Karen at Pilgrim’s Pots and Pans tagged me for a cookbook meme, as I understand it, a positive form of chain mail a la bloggers. (Okay, I got flack for not truly defining “meme” – so here it is: Meme pronounced Meem is an alteration of mimeme and defined by Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary as an idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person to person). I traced back some of the answers to this effort and was impressed so I thought I would get my answers up on my blog as soon as possible…
1. Total number of cookbooks I own â€“ About 230+ cookbooks. I also have 500+ food magazines (Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Vogue Entertaining & Travel, etc.) that are catalogued on my computer so I know where they are and which ones I still have to acquire to complete my archives. I walk around with a list (of magazine issues that I still need) in my wallet and scour discount magazine shops for old issues at reduced prices.
2. Last cookbook(s) I bought â€“ I tend to buy in bunches so the last batch included: amuse-bouche by Rick Tramonto (Random House), The Duck Cookbook by James Peterson (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), What Einstein Told His Cook by Robert L. Wolke (Norton) and Asian Ingredients by Bruce Cost (Quill). I also order cookbooks on-line, buy them on trips, and get many of them as gifts.
3. Last food/cookbook I read â€“ I tend to read several at the same timeâ€¦ so the books by my bedside at the moment include:
– The Balthazar Cookbook by Keith McNally, Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson (Potter) based on food from the famed Balthazar restaurant in New York and the book itself is physically beautiful
– Dinner is Served by Arthur Inch (Running Press) which is an English Butlerâ€™s Guide to the Art of the Table
– blue ginger by les huynh (Murdoch Books) no, not the Ming Tsai guy but an ethnic Vietnamese chef who now lives in Australia
– Schottâ€™s Food & Drink Miscellany by Ben Schott (Bloomsbury Publishing) which has all kinds of food trivia.
4. Five cookbooks that mean a lot to me â€“
The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker (Bobbs-Merrill Company) â€“ no cook, serious or amateur should be without this basic guide to cooking. I have had one for at least 25 years. Last month in Baguio I found a used copy at an SM mall bookstore for PHP120 and bought it to leave in our kitchen at the beach, a real bargain!
The Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson (Oxford) â€“ a superb reference material for all things foodwise from unusual ingredients to key cooking techniques and the history of food. Superb and indispensable since I started my food website. The number of entries and depth/quality of content is just fantastic. It is like the Bible of Food…
A Tuscan in the Kitchen by Pino Luongo (Potter) â€“ my first real introduction to Italian cookingâ€¦ my dog-eared and well-worn copy of this terrific cookbook that has no measurements but only the names of ingredients was my first introduction to cooking based more on my senses than exact instructions. I dined many times at this chefâ€™s Il Cantinori restaurant in Manhattan and Sapore di Mare restaurant in East Hampton, once sitting next to Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley.
Staffmeals by David Waltuck (Workman) â€“ the chef/owner of the superb Chanterelle restaurant wrote a book about the hearty but delicious meals he used to prepare for the kitchen and waitstaff of his many starred restaurant â€“ it is practical, economical and perfect for informal dining and get togethers with friends. Classics are given nice twists that make the ordinary extraordinary.
The French Laundry Cookbook and Bouchon by Thomas Keller (Artisan) because I firmly believe Keller must be one of the best chefs alive with such a passion for his cooking, his kitchen, his equipment and his restaurant that I would be remiss to leave him out. Surprisingly, despite the intimidating recipes, they actually work.
5. Which 5 people would you like to see fill this out on their blogs – don’t think I know five…