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Good Minds Suggest—David Lebovitz's Favorite Cookbooks

December, 2014
David Lebovitz

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American pastry chef and popular food blogger David Lebovitz is the author of seven cookbooks, including his most recent, My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories. A collection of more than 100 dishes, both savory and sweet, the book was inspired by the cuisine, culture, and environment of his adopted Parisian home. It is a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Food & Cookbooks of 2014. Lebovitz, who moved to Paris a decade ago, has been cooking professionally since he was 16 and spent more than a decade working with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Most of his previous books are about desserts, including The Great Book of Chocolate, an ode to his "favorite ingredient." For My Paris Kitchen, Lebovitz provides essential recipes for classics like soupe à l'oignon as well as inventive, contemporary treats like duck fat cookies, all informed by his experiences shopping, baking, and cooking in the world's culinary capital. He shares five of his favorite cookbooks with Goodreads.

Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters
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"I love vegetables but am often challenged finding new ways to cook with them. Chez Panisse is pretty much the standard when it comes to appreciating the various vegetables one finds at the farmers' market, and this collection of recipes, culled from years of menus at the famed restaurant (where I worked for 13 years), are always exactly what I feel like eating. The bonus is the beautiful drawings by Patricia Curtan—some are suitable for framing!"


The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers
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"I learn something every time I cook from this book, from how to salt meats for a more succulent braise to discovering a new condiment to serve alongside dinner. Her instructions are incredibly clear, without being fussy—just like her cooking. Judy Rodgers was a brilliant chef, and I think this book is an essential cookbook for anyone interested in becoming a better cook."


The Fannie Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham
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"For good, old-fashioned American baked goods, Marion Cunningham's recipes always hit the spot. With homespun advice for a seasoned baker, this is the standard reference for all-American goodies, from pies and tarts to cakes and cookies. Her reassuring voice throughout the book is like having a wise friend in the kitchen with you."


French Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis (Goodreads Author)
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"French cooking isn't hard, as evidenced by this highly usable cookbook. Most recipes require just a few ingredients, like the best of French cooking, but the results are always crowd-pleasing dishes that capture the spirit of country French meals. The book is well-researched, and I love to read the stories about producers and farmers, many of whom provided inspiration and recipes for this thick collection of French classics."


Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
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"Jerusalem is a complicated city, a mingling of cultures, religions, and flavors simmering away. This book sums up the foods and spirit of this vibrant place beautifully, with gorgeous photos and recipes that capture the various Middle Eastern cultures that intersect in the bakeries, restaurants, and lively outdoor markets there. The emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables is particularly appealing to cooks anywhere."





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