This is the perfect cookbook for people who don't like to be told what to do. 

By F&W Editors
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 all-time top picks.

The Chef:Melissa Perello

The Book: At Elizabeth David’s Table, by Elizabeth David (2011)

“The publisher took a bunch of Elizabeth David’s recipes from several of her books and republished them with photographs, along with an introduction by Ruth Reichl,” Perello says. “I like the way her recipes are written, not as a list of ingredients followed by procedures, more as a guide. That’s how I cook—very loosely. I don’t like precise recipes, but I love suggestions and inspiration. From her writing, too, she seems like somebody I would have loved to have met and had lunch with.”