The kind of food I love to eat, from one of my favourite ever restaurants (and most admired restaurateurs), in a stunning and much-mimicked physical package. The book I most wish I'd published myself.
Constantly referenced, beautifully written and worth it for the Spaghetti Carbonara recipe alone (and thank you, Nigella, for reminding me to re-read Nora Ephron). My copy is splattered and stained.
Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
One of the first cookbooks I bought for myself, this was my kitchen bible in the 80s and 90s. Still fond.
This was the first cookbook that I read like a novel, and it taught me that the narrative is just as important as the recipe.
A tribute to the joys of seasonal eating, and a masterclass in how to put a meal together.
Édouard de Pomiane
Contains the most delightfully written recipe of all time: "Fry some chipolata sausages. Serve them very hot on a dish and on a second dish a dozen oysters. Alternate the sensations. Burn your mouth with a crackling sausage. Sooth your burns with a cool oyster. Continue until all the sausages and oysters have disappeared. White wine, of course." I treasure my first edition.
A wonderful read, with recipes – including the best fried chicken method I've ever come across (and when you only dare indulge in fried chicken once a year, this matters).
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
My favourite of all of Yotam's books, for putting gorgeous food into its cultural context. And as a book geek, I love the package.
An extraordinary insight into how one of the world's most innovative chefs approaches food and cooking. It's one of those rare books that will change the way you think about eating.
Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker
THE classic American cookbook – from which millions (including me) learned to cook.