this year, the james beard cookbook award went to fat: an appreciation of a misunderstood ingredient, by jennifer mclagan. i have perused this book more than once, oddly obsessed, but fully understanding that, as a vegetarian, i will never use the majority of the recipes. i love that there are sections on duck fat, pork fat, marrow.
but i digress.
i just read an article about the popularity of cookbooks and the winners of cookbook awards. the best-sellers are rarely cookbook genius, it claims. i don't necessarily even see why this article exists. we have different cookbooks for different purposes. why a person would only have one is beyond me. and if that were the case, i would choose the joy of cooking. it's so perfect; it has everything you ever wanted, and weird things, too.
but, in case you were wondering, here is my ultimate favorite:
- farmer john's cookbook: the real dirt on vegetables, by john peterson
- the barefoot contessa cookbook, by ina garten
- venturesome vegetarian cooking, by j.m. hirsch and michelle hirsch
- moosewood restuarant daily special, by the moosewood collective
but usability wins. the fat cookbook might be spectacular, but i still LOVE the ones that i can easily understand, get messy in the kitchen, and use all of the time. and those are probably the reasons why i haven't bought the alinea book yet.