Chris Ying

Chris Ying

Editor-in-Chief, Lucky Peach

https://lky.ph

Most popular

Chris's favorite cookbooks

Momofuku

Momofuku

David Chang and Peter Meehan

This book demonstrated to me exactly how far food has come as a cultural institution. Here were two guys who were interested and knowledgable about so much more than food, and who had a story to tell. Their cookbook was a great book, not just a great cookbook, and that really shifted the earth underneath my feet.

Available on ckbk now
Mission Street Food

Mission Street Food

Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz

I cooked at Mission Street Food and I edited and designed this book, so I'm biased. But we approached this project with no idea of what we were doing—only what we wanted to do. I came to love making cookbooks because of it.

The Babbo Cookbook

The Babbo Cookbook

Mario Batali

When I was a young cook, Babbo was the restaurant I looked up to. I watched Molto Mario religiously. I read and reread Bill Buford's profile of Molto in the New Yorker countless times. On my first ever visit to New York, my chef gave me $200 to eat at Babbo. I've cooked from this book dozens of times through the years and still look to it for reference.

The New Best Recipe

The New Best Recipe

Cook's Illustrated

I have no time to test and retest recipes. If it doesn't come out the first time, I'll probably never try it again. So whenever I'm trying to cook something new, I always look to see how the Cooks Illustrated guys did it first.

Sichuan Cookery

Sichuan Cookery

Fuchsia Dunlop

Fuchsia gets Chinese food. She's done a tremendous service for Westerners in unpacking a very dense and insular cooking culture. Every time someone "discovers" some new Chinese dish, chances are Fuchsia's already written about it.

The Art of Mexican Cooking

The Art of Mexican Cooking

Diana Kennedy

Diana is so uncompromising, it's hilarious. But she's earned the right to be so, given the work she's put into documenting authentic Mexican dishes. She's an anthropologist as much as a cookbook writer.

Hot Sour Salty Sweet

Hot Sour Salty Sweet

Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

Southeast Asian cooking was a complete mystery to me before I started cooking from this book. In a lot of ways, it's still a great unknown frontier to me (and most people). I love how this book for its recipes and for the story it weaves about a fearless family traveling throughout SE Asia—it's inspiring both in the kitchen and outside of it.

Nose to Tail Eating

Nose to Tail Eating

Fergus Henderson

Everybody wants to be the guy who taught modern diners how to eat hooves and snouts and balls, but Fergus is the true owner of that title. This book is the source text for so many other books, restaurants, and philosophies. It’s one of a small group of cookbooks that are important beyond their culinary value. Whole-animal cookery isn’t just tasty, it’s important culturally, environmentally, and economically.

Mexico: One Plate at a Time

Mexico: One Plate at a Time

Rick Bayless

There are two Mexican cookbooks on my list, which seems sort of excessive, but whatever. I'm from California and if California food (not California "cuisine") is defined by one thing, it's Mexican food.

Chez Panisse Café Cookbook

Chez Panisse Café Cookbook

Alice Waters

Even to a born-and-raised Californian, the Chez Panisse books were a revelation to me. This book was a vital part of the education in conscious farming, cooking, and eating that I received when I moved to the Bay Area fifteen years ago. The recipes ain’t too shabby either.