Food writer and author
Of all the many books on French cuisines, this is my favourite (second only to the Alice B Toklas cookbook in terms of entertainment value - this didn't make my list as I don't really cook from it, treat it more as a memoir). The writing is superb - matter of fact, self deprecating, beautifully descriptive, but what marks it out from other books is the scientific rigeur applied to the recipes. He explains why things work and why they don't. It's thanks to him my gratin dauphinois never curdles.
Chef and culinary educator
Food writer and restaurant consultant
Author, former chef & TV cook/presenter