#LeithsLoves - Cookbooks

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#LeithsLoves - Cookbooks

In celebration of our brand new Leiths library...

What can be better than kicking back with a good cookbook and seeing inside the worlds of great chefs as they inspire you to try new techniques? When I graduated from Leiths, I knew I'd miss our incredible teachers and brilliant class demonstrations. Then it occurred to me that this was a group of people who could provide me with a pretty elite reading list! So I asked them: What is your favourite cookbook of all time?

Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hammelman

A brilliantly researched and comprehensive manual that uses an illustrated step-by-step approach to teach the elemental art of breadmaking. The book was considered a revelation when first published in 2004 and has since attained legendary status among the breadmaking glitterati.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

Today it is difficult to believe there was ever a time when chefs didn't all have a dozen tattoos, a hipster beard (or floral knotted headscarf - the lady chef equivalent) and a wardrobe full of skinny jeans. But Bourdain's highly readable account of sex, drugs and cooking didn't just make food cool, it made it rock and roll, and inspired a generation of chefs in the process.

Coming To My Senses; The Making Of A Counterculture Cook by Alice Waters

There are perhaps a handful of chefs, restaurateurs and writers who could reasonably be said to have shaped today's food landscape. Elizabeth David and Julia Child spring to mind. Waters founded (and still runs) Chez Panisse in California, widely considered to be the most influential restaurant in the US. Part memoir, part diary, her book is so much more than that; it's a riff on self-actualisation and fulfilment and a frank account of a life lived without compromise.

The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz

Fermentation is currently enjoying a pretty major bask in the limelight. And yet there is good reason to think this particular trend isn't about to become yesterday's fad. The book is a masterclass in fermentation by a fascinating character who is living testament to its health benefits and who was achieving international acclaim for his work before Noma had even opened its doors.

The Square, The Cookbook by Phil Howard

Some restaurant cookbooks are pretentious exercises in brand building; all moody portraits and pretentious twaddle. This book couldn't be further from that. It's a brilliant, workman-like labour of love from one of the best chefs of a generation. Phil is keen to pass on everything he knows about refined restaurant cooking - outstanding.

Floyd on Fish by Keith Floyd

I couldn't let this article go without plugging my own personal favourite. Keith Floyd is the reason I started to cook and his swashbuckling style made him (along with Delia) the biggest TV chef of the 80's and 90's. Beneath the compelling media personality was a genuinely knowledgeable cook on a personal mission to defeat the pomposity and snobbery that surrounded "fine dining" in the UK at the time. Grab a copy and see what I mean.

Follow #LeithsLoves on Instagram to keep updated with what we love here at Leiths.

Author: Tristan Chappel


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