Chef Daniel Boulud has been carrying this series of cookbooks around with him for 40 years. 

By F&W Editors
Updated May 23, 2017
© Peter Medelik

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 Chef: Daniel Boulud

The Book: Les Recettes Originales by multiple authors, published by Robert Laffont

“This is a series of about 12 to 15 cookbooks created by the publisher Robert Laffont, by all of the French chefs who redefined French cuisine in the 1970s: Frédy Girardet, Roger Verger, Michel Guérard, almost everyone did one,” says Boulud. “The books are all the same format, and very well made; some were translated into English, like Girardet and Guérard. But I grew up in France and was a young chef in the ’70s, and those were the first books I collected. Once I became a chef at Le Cirque and had some money, I bought more expensive first editions and antiques. But those books bring me back to my heroes: Jacques Maximin, Georges Blanc, they keep me grounded in French cuisine. I’ve been carrying them around with me for 40 years now.”