Pastry Chef, Consultant, Writer, Creative Director at ICE, NYC
This hefty volume, along with a durable chefs knife, was among my first investments as a young cook. An encyclopedic treatment of French cuisine from abaisse to zuppa inglese, Larousse remains a rock-solid standard I still reference on occasion. And as modern cooking evolves at an exponential pace, its also an important document of the increasingly obscure, the rare classics in danger becoming forgotten.
This is where I'm supposed to talk about "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," but the Larousse (1st American edition, which is what my father gave me) not only taught the basics, it put the entire cuisine into context, including comparison to other cuisines. (Look no further than the charts on American, British and French butchery.) It is canonical.
Chef and food writer
When I was in my late teens and before I got into Leiths, I discovered Larousse. My mum was an amazing cook, but although she owned the book she never actually read any of it! I devoured it from cover to cover at bedtime and have read it over several times since. I knew I wanted to be a chef because of this book.
This book perhaps provided me with more information about food than any other. Many of the recipes are outlandishly elaborate, and many simply don’t work, but it is, nonetheless, an endlessly valuable mine of gastronomic knowledge.
Author and Historian
The original 1938 edition pulled together all French cooking and practice from the end of the monarchy to the pre-WWII era. Later editions were extensively revised and are not the same book.
Head Chef, The French at The Midland Hotel, Manchester
I was first introduced to Larousse by my first exec chef, it inspired me to see beyond just food and into a world of culinary tradition and also invention.
Not an original choice, but I genuinely think I read this from cover to cover when I was gifted a copy as I started out on my cooking journey
The definitive step-by-step guide to culinary excellence — key techniques, ingredients and recipes explained in 1,800 photographs.
This book is like the Wikipedia of classical French cookery, with pictures and more details than La Repertoire (Escoffier).
Before you could look things up easily on the internet, this was the cook's best reference for understanding a dish.
Head Chef at The Cooking Lab
Perhaps not my go to book for a long time, but fundamental to my first years as an apprentice and curious cook.
The first English edition, for preference. The later ones are more modern, less intensely French.
The one book no serious cook should be without and the first book I would recommend anyone buys.
If you want to make a display of radishes in aspic with truffles, this is the book for you.
Executive Chef and co-owner, The Atlantic Restaurant
A TRUE classic, it represents the history of all things French, while being approachable.
The world’s culinary reference and filled with tips and a must for all enthusiasts.
I am using the 1996 French edition, but (naturally) also available in English
Executive Editor, Saturday Kitchen
Just an immense piece of work and so thorough and reliable. I love it.
The bible for French-based cooking - never goes out of style
Chef and TV Presenter
It's what I had for bedtime reading as a student.
Co-owner of ScandiKitchen
Of course, this is one of the classics
I have a 1963 edition that's amazing
It blends recipes and information.
Head Chef & partner at The Culpeper
Essential. Just essential.
Scientist, physician, author & amateur cook
The cooking Bible
Executive Chef of Sokyo and Kiyomi
Distiller and Botanical Wine Maker
Author, Hungry for Paris
Academic Dean, The French Pastry School
Co-founder of Edible Communities
Executive Chef & CEO: The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen & Cinnamon Soho
Writer and composer
Co-Owner/Chef at Edinburgh Food Studio
Kepos Street Kitchen & Kepos & Co
Vice-principal of Silwood Cookery School
Former chef and owner of wd-50 and Alder restaurants
Editor, The Art of Eating
Chef, restaurant owner and partner
Chef and restaurateur
Food writer, editor
Founder of Leiths Group, food writer and author
Baker & Chef
Chef and author
Broadcaster and chef
Chef/proprietor and cookbook author
Chef and owner of Buvette
Chef de Cuisine, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Chef and author
Head Chef and owner, Locavore
Editor, Bon Appetit
Celebrity Maitre d'
Master Chocolatier & Director, Paul A. Young fine chocolates
Founder of Cocoa Box
Biophysicist, epigeneticist and food scientist
MD and Principal, Tante Marie Culinary Academy
Chef and author
Head Chef and Owner Three Blue Ducks (with co - Owner Darren Robertson)
Executive Chef, The Grill Room at Capella Washington, D.C.
President, International Culinary Center
Director of Sales, Sun Noodle
Executive Chef and Owner
Chef and Owner, The Square
Owner/Chef Patron of The Hand and Flowers and The Coach, Marlow