By Emily Kaiser Thelin
Updated May 23, 2017

Getting a chef to pick a favorite cookbook is like asking a parent to choose her most-loved child. But F&W pressed great cooks around the country to reveal their top picks of all-time.

The Book: Le Livre de Michel Bras by Michel Bras, 1991

“It was one of the first serious cookbooks I got when I was just 22 or 23,” Cimarusti says. “I was lucky to get it when it came out—it’s out of print now, and would probably cost more than $700, if you can even find it. I didn’t speak much French at the time, but it had a big impact. It was the first time I’d ever seen a Japanese knife, the first time I’d seen his vegetable-driven cooking. The idea of using what surrounds you, his whole aesthetic completely changed the way I thought about food.”