Many British newspapers reported today on a list of ten most useful cookbooks, as compiled by Waitrose Food Illustrated. The panel consisted of restaurateurs, chefs and consumers, among them Aldo Zilli, William Sitwell, John Torode, Sophie Grigson.
Here are the ten most useful cookbooks:
1 Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham
2 Delia's Complete Cookery Course by Delia Smith
3 Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater
4 The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
5 A New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
6 Leith's Techniques Bible by Susan Spaull and Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne
7 Elizabeth David Classics by Elizabeth David
8 Rick Stein's Seafood School Cookbook by Rick Stein
9 Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook by Alice Waters
10 The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander
And the most useless cookbook? According to the panel, this title goes to the Larousse Gastronomique. Apparently it's "overrated, esoteric and stuffy" as well as "heavily biased towards all things French."
The list may seem a bit surprising, considering that many best-selling cookbooks (f. ex. by Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Mrs Beeton) are absent, but apparently the jury panel was looking for durability, reliability and not celebrity.
Any comments on the above list from well-read foodbloggers?
If you're interested in more detail, check out the Waitrose Food Illustrated, or Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, London Evening Standard for instance.