Bill Buford

Bill Buford

Author

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Buford
Bill Buford is the author of Among the Thugs and Heat, an Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany. From 1995, until he left for France, in 2008, Buford was at the New Yorker, first as Literary and Fiction Editor and then as a staff writer. He lived in England for eighteen years and founded the literary magazine Granta. He was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and now lives in New York City with his wife Jessica Green and their French-speaking sons, George and Frederick.

Most popular

Bill's favorite cookbooks

French Provincial Cooking

French Provincial Cooking

Elizabeth David

It was one of my first introductions to French cooking, because I was living in Britain, and because the book is an enduring reference work. David understands the narrative of making a dish of food. She also knows how to wear her enormous knowledge lightly. Eternal.

Happy in the Kitchen

Happy in the Kitchen

Michel Richard

Partly because of its sheer joy of invention (Richard loves the orthodoxy of the French kitchen because it provokes him to do something unorthodox, and there is nothing in this book that isn't wholly and gleefully original), and partly, for my purposes, because it serves to stand in place of a number of inventive French cookbooks, especially those written by Michel Guerard in the 1970s, which are either not translated or (worse) ruinously translated and cluelessly published.

White Heat

White Heat

Marco Pierre White

For its attitude, its uncompromising extremism, and the photography, including one blurry shot of the young Gordon Ramsey getting beaten up in the kitchen. Interestingly, the dishes themselves now seem dated, but the intensity is raw and charged by a take-no-prisoners purposefulness: it changes lives.

Liber de Arte Coquinaria (The Art of Cooking)

Liber de Arte Coquinaria (The Art of Cooking)

In effect, the first Italian recipe book, a surprisingly graceful 15th century collection of the dishes and ingredients that would become the foundation of Italian cooking (with the exception of a pasta made with eggs, which came later). There is a companion book, and the one that made Martino famous, written by a Vatican librarian known as il Platina, On Right Pleasure and Good Health, a glimpse into kitchens at the time (il Platina spent a summer watching Martino make feasts for a Cardinal at his summer house), and possibly the first example of explicit recipe theft.

The Complete Robuchon

The Complete Robuchon

Joël Robuchon

I have two copies, in French and English, and the translation is good. Comprehensive, utterly helpful, modern. You could get away with owning no other cookbook.

Memories of Gascony

Memories of Gascony

Pierre Koffmann

There were several French chefs popular in Britain when I lived there: Raymond Blanc, the Roux Brothers, Nico. And they all wrote good books. But there is something magical in Koffman's memoire, his first. The dishes have soul. Grandmothers and uncles and long-lost friends seem to radiate from them. It is like a poem.

Il Cuoco Segreto dei Papi

Il Cuoco Segreto dei Papi

Bartolomeo Scappi

The secret chef of Popes, translated loosely into English as Opera of Scappi. Bartolomeo Scappi. This could easily be my favorite book of all time. This is the full expression of the Italian renaissance in the kitchen. It is masterful. It was what taught the French how to cook (I discovered, recently, a personal copy that Catherine dei Medici owned, bound in white leather). The translation is not great but it could be used as a guide to the original, and the original is full of ambition and verve and genius.

L'Art de la Cuisine Française au XIXe Siècle

L'Art de la Cuisine Française au XIXe Siècle

Marie-Antoine Carême

Careme was actually brilliantly translated into English throughout the 19th century--there was an enormous appetite for what he was doing--and many translations are available on library sites. The books could have been written today. Just about every classic of the French repertoire, especially patisserie, is there, formulated, in many instances, for the first time.