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5 Must Have Cookbooks

A roundup of classic and contemporary tomes your cook-bookshelf needs.

To celebrate cookbook month in October, we’ve selected five must have cookbooks for food lovers.

There are so many amazing cookbooks out there we had a hard time narrowing it down to these five must haves. Here, we’ve selected a couple of classics and some modern staples – the kind of books with recipes you’ll actually want (and be able) to make.

Whether you’re a novice cook or a hobby chef, or you’re looking to buy your first cookbook ever or already have a shelfful, here are five great must-haves for any cookbook collection.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking
By Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle

No cookbook shelf would be complete without this tried and true classic. Originally published in 1961, this book brought complicated French cuisine to the American home cook in an understandable, practical way. The late Julia Child is known for being a pioneer in television cooking shows, often emphasizing that cooking can, and should, be fun.

An Invitation to Indian Cooking
By Madhur Jaffrey

Dubbed the “godmother of Indian cooking” by The Independent on Sunday, Madhur Jaffrey brought Indian cuisine to America with this classic cookbook, first published in 1973 and inducted into the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame. If you’re curious about Indian cooking, this is the perfect place to start – Craig Claiborne of The New York Times called it “the final word on the subject … perhaps the best Indian cookbook available in English.”

Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai
By Ming Tsai

Known for his James Beard- and Emmy-nominated cooking television show Simply Ming on PBS, Ming Tsai’s first cookbook, Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking provides exactly that – unique East meets West dishes that combine techniques and ingredients from across the globe for incredibly flavourful meals. Though the title restaurant, Blue Ginger, closed after 19 years in business earlier this summer, Tsai’s Asian gastro pub Blue Dragon in the city is still open, and he has a new venture, ChowStirs, slated to open early next year.

Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
By Gordon Ramsay

As much as he’s known for his angry outbursts and scathing criticism on television, the Michelin-star chef has some serious cooking skills to back all of that up. This book is divided into chapters that take you through every meal from weekday breakfasts to weekend dinners. According to Ramsay, “Home cooking has to be easy. It’s got to be fast. It’s got to be delicious. If you think you can’t cook amazing food at home, think again.”

Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook
By Jamie Oliver

Really, we could have picked anything by Jamie Oliver, but we chose this one because there’s nothing quite like holiday food, now is there? Jamie offers some classic Christmas dishes here, as well as some new ideas. He’s known for his solid cooking skills and easy recipes that turn simple, fresh ingredients into delicious, hearty meals. Any of his books would be great additions to your kitchen bookshelf.