4 Restaurant Professionals Reflect on Their Favorite Cookbooks

By Jaclyn Warren | Will Blunt, Erin Lettera, and Jaclyn Warren


Jaclyn Warren
Will Blunt, Erin Lettera, and Jaclyn Warren

Passed through the generations and marked up with substitutions, cookbooks often hold a place of sentimentality for those who love food. We asked industry professionals about their favorite ones.


Baker Autumn Moultrie, Back Alley Bread


The New Pillsbury Family Cookbookit was the first cookbook I ever read. My auntie had it in her library when I was growing up. She wouldn’t let me touch it because I had doodled in it as a toddler, but when I got older, I’d take it. I would make things out of the book, then hide everything and clean up before everyone got home because I wasn’t supposed to touch the stove! I told [my partner, Brian Villanueva] that story a couple of years ago, and he found the book online for my birthday. Whenever I need inspiration, I pull it out and thumb through the faded pages. It’s so inspiring to look at the basic recipes I used to marvel at as a child and try to recreate them.”






Pastry Chef Caroline Schiff, Gage & Tollner


“Edna Lewis was the real first of the farm-to-table movement. White men get all the credit. That's why I love her and The Taste of Country Cooking. She was living that here [at Gage & Tollner]. We wanted a bread service, so I started looking at Edna’s cookbooks, and our savory chef decided to execute the rolls with me. Baked in the cast-iron to get that crust, this bread is important to me. It’s so welcoming.”




Bartender Crystal Chasse, Talks Story Rooftop





I first came across The Flavor Bible while bartending in San Francisco about 10 years ago! It has been an integral part of my journey as a bartender. It allowed me to really widen my base of flavor pairings. Over the years, I have used it to find that magic something that was missing from a drink I was crafting.” 






Chef Adrienne Cheatham, Sunday Best



“My cookbook is due out next year. The process has been more consuming than I thought. I’ve worked on cookbooks with Eric [Ripert] and Marcus [Samuelsson], but the year of work that goes into it is intense. I still have a lot of my favorite books. I’m focusing now on books by Black chefs like Toni-Tipton Martin, who did Jubilee and The Jemima Code.”

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