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 director of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD)
Consultant and writer
Executive Chef, Eat First
Culinary Consultant, Route to Market LLC
Director (Alice) and Founder (Catherine) of Baby's Taste Journey
Owner & Founder, Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Editor, Bon Appetit
Director, Fales Library and Special Collections
Assistant Professor at Penn State Abington
Psychologist and best-selling author
Fermentation blogger and educator