A modern take on The Joy of Cooking. Any cook on any level can find a new revelation every time they pick it up. See also The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, which I put on the same level.
The title is quite a claim and the book isn't quite that comprehensive, but this is my go-to reference source for straightforward, clear information and fail-proof recipes.
Food writer and restaurant critic
Mark always reminds me that cooking need not be precious and there are a lot of approaches to tackling a new dish (and anxiety need not be part of the experience).
A more advanced “basic” cookbook, this is what I reference when I'm looking up recipes for something slightly more detailed.
Food and wine writer
It's the perfect go-to resource book when you're in the middle of cooking something and have a question.
Blogger, Chinese Grandma
A classic guide; Bittman's trademark minimalist approach, applied to everything.
Good reference for basic directions, proportions, or baking temperatures.
Photographer and blogger
My first go-to cookbook.
Executive Chef, Eat First
Consultant and writer
Culinary Consultant, Route to Market LLC
Director (Alice) and Founder (Catherine) of Baby's Taste Journey
Owner & Founder, Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Editor, Bon Appetit
Fermentation blogger and educator
Executive director of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD)
Psychologist and best-selling author
Director, Fales Library and Special Collections
Assistant Professor at Penn State Abington