Master Chef Joel Robuchon has distilled decades of culinary experience into a single volume, The Complete Robuchon (Knopf, $35).  A hefty book (more than 800 pages), it starts with the basics: a glossary of terms, essential equipment, methods of cooking, and recipes for stocks and sauces.  The recipes that follow emphasize freshness and quality of ingredients while Robuchon’s descriptions clearly and precisely detail the process.  Classics such as Beef Bourguignon, Cassoulet, and Sole Meuniere retain all their rustic charm and simplicity while the author has clearly kept the American home kitchen very much in mind.  There are a wide variety of salads, vegetable dishes, soups, and desserts.  What you won’t find here are pages of glossy photos of happy country people, romantic landscapes, and the author grinning while sniffing an eggplant.  This is a book that promises to collect sauce splatters, butter stains, and dog-eared corners, a practical book for serious cooks.

The Complete Robuchon: French Home Cooking for the Way We Live Now with More than 800 Recipes: A Cookbook Cover Image
By Joel Robuchon, Robin H. R. Bellinger (Translated by)
$40.00
ISBN: 9780307267191
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - November 4th, 2008

In Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way (Houghton Mifflin, $32), the recipes are simple to prepare and flavorful; Pépin also has tips on using ingredients and tools, like pressure cookers, to expedite the overall process of creating a dish. This is a fantastic addition to any kitchen and is sure to be covered in sticky notes and floury fingerprints from excessive use before the weather turns warm again.

Jacques Pépin More Fast Food My Way Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780618142330
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - August 12th, 2008

With The Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook (John Wiley, $34.95), editor Barbara Fairchild has again compiled interesting and approachable recipes, complementing the instructions with fantastic photos.  These recipes are designed for people who have little time for cooking but care about healthful, seasonal eating.  From curry to tacos, if you can imagine eating it, there’s at least one quick, easy-to-follow recipe for the dish here. While even the most accomplished home chef would benefit from this compendium, it would make a particularly spectacular gift for the more timid cooks on your list.  It will become their most reliable friend in the kitchen.

The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh Cover Image
ISBN: 9780470226308
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - September 19th, 2008

The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh Cover Image
ISBN: 9780470399125
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 1st, 2008

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