Food writer and editor
This was the first recipe book I ever cooked from. Oh my 9th birthday my mum gave me her copy, which she herself had been given on the same birthday many years before. You can tell what pages we cooked from because they are often glued together with spilt honey or golden syrup! I love cookbooks that are tattered and splattered; like falling-apart teddy bears, you know it's because they've been loved.
Claudia Roden is less of a recipe writer, more a culinary custodian: she has spent her life lovingly recording the recipes of different communities around the world. She is most famous for her Middle Eastern and Jewish books but it's this, her bible of Spanish cooking, that has my heart.
I adore food and I adore history, so put them together and I'm in as happy as a clam. Mary-Anne Boermans's meticulously researched book collects together traditional British recipes, many of which she discovered in mouldering manuscripts and forgotten cookbooks, and which without her hard work might have been in danger of disappearing forever.
Japanese food can seem rather complicated and overwhelming to the outsider, but Tim Anderson is brilliant at deconstructing the secrets of Japanese cooking without dumbing it down. He has taught me with that just a few cupboard ingredients - dashi powder, bonito flakes, mirin - you can concoct all sorts of delicious Japanese dishes.
A fried of mine bought me this at university, when I was very into baking, and so many recipes have passed into my repertoire. It's a quintessentially American baking book, stuffed with crazily indulgent treats. Mouthwatering.
Diana Henry is one of the British food scene's brightest stars - I always think it's a shame she's not better known. It's hard to pick a favourite of hers but I think Simple encapsulates what she does best - bold, exciting flavours, but very much from a home cook, rather than a cheffy, stance.
Nigella changed the way I looked at cookbooks - hers were books I wanted to curl up with and read on the sofa just as much as I wanted to cook from. She has the most civilised, warm and authentic voice. There are other Nigella books that are probably better, but this is a book I am always excited to get off the shelf when Christmas season draws near.
Don't expect pretty pictures; this is a meticulous, fascinating guide to the art of English bread-making, from the origins of the Chelsea bun to the history of ovens.