|L. to R. Eric and Adam|
To paraphrase, Rippert said you only need 3. He’d start with any great book that actually teaches you how to cook, the techniques for producing great meals at home. The books that made this list were Julia Child’s “The Way to Cook” (Alfred A. Knopf 1989) is still in print although you may have to buy it in paperback. Almost in the same breath, he mentioned the great Jacques Pepin whose “Essential Pepin” (Harcourt Mifflin Harcourt) came out in 2011. Both books are filled with techniques and skills. Finally, the author of “Avec Eric” (John Wiley & Son 2010), offered up Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc at Home” (Artisan Books 2009) as being the third essential cookbook. (Cookbook fanciers, like yours truly, were encouraged to hear that Chef Rippert himself has ‘about a 1000 cookbooks’ which sounds about right to me.)
|The Great Man himself, Thomas Keller|
Now I have all three of the recommended cookbooks. I have gone to Julia and Jacques for help more times than I could possibly remember. Thomas Keller, on the other hand, is well-represented in our kitchen but all three volumes we have--“Bouchon”, “The French Laundry” and “Ad Hoc at Home”-- all seemed to fall into the category of ‘too intimidating’ and have remained as ‘coffee-table books’ that just happen to be kept in the kitchen.