Perry Hoffman's Formative Cooking Encyclopedia
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: Perry Hoffman
The Book: The New Making of a Cook by Madeline Kamman, 1997
“This book came out when I was still a beginner cook about 15 years ago, and it was my encyclopedia,” Hoffman says. Author Madeline Kamman “goes into so much detail for just one dish, like a braised lamb’s tongue with fava beans and pole beans: She talks about the importance of pole beans, how to select them. She ties everything together, too, to explain why this dish makes sense, and why it’s not just random flavors on a plate. That’s important for any cook to understand, whether a home cook or a professional.”