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.
Food writer and Daily Telegraph columnist
Director (Alice) and Founder (Catherine) of Baby's Taste Journey
Oenophile and Home Cook
Chief Executive, Doves Farm Foods
Editor, Delicious magazine
Creator of Konditor & Cook
Preserver, cookbook author and sometime food stylist