Everyone should have a primer, a basic reference book. Over the years I have used many from Mum's Good Housekeeping Step by Cookery, through The Fanny Farmer Junior Cook Book (!), The Joy of Cooking & a generic Hamlyn book but Leith's is now the one I use to check back on basic ratios in classic recipes
Chef and food writer
The book that changed my life and continues to shape it to this day. I use it as a touchstone for almost all of my recipes. It communicates the base skills of how to cook so well. Whether it’s the perfect hollandaise sauce or a souffle method you can’t fail by, this is the book.
Its title became pretty apt as my dog-eared copy (stolen from my mum’s cookbook collection) became my dependable culinary doctrine for a summer spent in Dorset blagging my way from kitchen porter to chef at a country house hotel in Studland.
Food writer and food stylist
During my year studying at Leiths school of food and wine this was my text book and constant companion, i cooked from it every day, obeyed its rules - It's not flashy or full of pictures but this book has taught me more than any other.
Food Editor, Jewish Chronicle
I trained at Leith’s and my copy has lost both covers and is full of handwritten notes, plus my own recipes stapled onto what’s left of the front pages. A lot of basics and classics come from here.
Group Editor, The World's 50 Best Restaurants
We may have Larousse on the shelf, but in truth this is our family's go-to reference. My wife trained there, so it has a nostalgia element too
My trusty go-to guide for all the basics and classics, also a great reminder of my training many years ago.
A companion to every cook from a brilliant lady with a body of work to back it up.
Head Chef & partner at The Culpeper
A year of my life that I owe my life to.
Director (Alice) and Founder (Catherine) of Baby's Taste Journey
Chief Executive, Doves Farm Foods
Creator of Konditor & Cook
Food writer and Daily Telegraph columnist
Preserver, cookbook author and sometime food stylist
Editor, Delicious magazine
Oenophile and Home Cook