I have a modest (but growing) cookbook library– some of the most interesting are from local antiques shops. Others are still in print, so take a look. What cookbooks do you love? Let me know in the comments.
My New Orleans by John Besh. A fantastic example of good New Orleans cooking– including biscuits that Ira says are as close to his grandmother’s as he’s ever gotten. Besh’s recipes range from a Crawfish Boil to Cornmeal-Fried Okra to Slow-Cooked Baby Goat with Spring Vegetables. Overall, the recipes are accessible and well-written. This is more than a cookbook; his affinity for New Orleans, its history, and its cuisine is inspiring.
Frank Stitt’s Bottega Favorita: A Southern Chef’s Love Affair with Italian Food. Birmingham chef Frank Stitt has some of my favorite restaurants. This cookbook is based on his work with Italian food, and it is, admittedly, a very intimidating book. It is also beautiful, with photographs of local Alabama farms and produce. I had the honor of meeting Mr. Stitt at a speaking event; he is just as warm and welcoming as his restaurants– and his food.
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. I enjoy the idea of simplicity in what we eat: a few, good ingredients that work together to make a delicious meal. Alice Waters, pioneer of local, fresh cooking, brings this idea to reality by offering numerous simple meals. The book is complete with explanation and instruction, perfect for beginners and experts alike.