The James Beard Society's 20 Necessary Cookbooks

Hmm. This is interesting. I have/had seven of these and I don't even think they're the seven I'd have liked best. From the Epicurious EpiBlog.

(An aside, Chris Lilly, a Florence native who married into Big Bob Gibsons, cooked for the JBS's monthly meeting a couple of years ago. PULLED HIS GRILL behind his truck from Decatur AL to NYC, cooked dinner for these people and then was on The Today Show the next morning. That's fun.)

I have my copy of the BH&G Cookbook, and I also have my grandmother's, copyright 1941. With her notes.

American Cookery (BBS Publishing Corporation, 1996), James Beard
Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2007), Rick Bayless
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens, 2004)
Classic Indian Cooking (William Morrow Cookbooks, 1980), Julie Sahni
Complete Techniques (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2001), Jacques Pepin and Leon Pererr
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (Macmillan, 1995), Marcella Hazan
How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food (Wiley, 2006), Mark Bittman
The Joy of Cooking (Scribner, 2006), Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker
The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook (Countryman Press, 2003)
Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1999), Maida Heatter
Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook (Clarkson Potter, 1999), Martha Stewart
Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume One (Knopf, 2001), Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck
The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking: Techniques and Recipes (William Morrow Cookbooks, 1996) Barbara Tropp
The New Food Lover's Companion (Barron's Educational Series, 2007), Sharon Tyler Herbst
The Oxford Companion to Wine (Oxford University Press, 2007), Jancis Robinson
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood (Ten Speed Press, 2004), Rick Stein
The Silver Palate Cookbook (Workman Publishing Company, 2007), Sheila Lukins and Julie Rosso
The Thrill of the Grill: Techniques, Recipes, and Down-Home Barbecue (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2002), Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (Broadway, 2007), Deborah Madison
The Way to Cook (Knopf, 1993), Julia Child

So. What did the James Beard Books Awards Committee get wrong? What did it get right?


City Girl said…
From that list I have the BH&G book, circa 1985; The Joy of Cooking, sans cover, it's been used so much; Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which I LOVE; and Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

How is Alice Waters missing from this list? Chez Panisse Cooking! Hello!?! It only BEGAN the fresh/local/seasonal revolution.

Also, I think they missed the original Martha Stewart Cookbook, with the "Tiffany Blue" spine, and Baking with Julia.

But that's just me.

Also, I finally abandoned "Circling My Mother" and picked back up "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant." Good food read.

*My BH&G is actually The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook circa 1985. Stained, torn, nearly spineless. The perfect first cookbook.
Nikki said…
All my favorite cookbooks are the ones that some church or some women's club were selling as a fundraiser. Pat Conroy actually wrote an essay about how great these cookbooks are, and it's pretty fantastic in itself. (I believe it's in his own cookbook, which is really more a collection of essays with a couple recipes thrown in there.)

I bought my BH&G in 2004, and have never once used it. I really thought I would, but it hasn't happened. I LOVE "Young and Hungry" by Dave Lieberman and "Paula Deen Celebrates!" Now that lady can just flat-out cook.
City Girl said…
My only issue with Paula Deen is the mayonnaise factor.

Entree? Mayo!
Side dish? Mayo!
Dessert? Mayo!
Beverage? Mayo!

ENOUGH already!
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