Top Five: David Burke's cookbook picks
We asked Chef David Burke, the man behind David Burke Townhouse, David Burke at Bloomingdales and Fishtail by David Burke, to name his top-five cookbooks.
Burke, who is known for adding a creative spin to American food, doesn’t often consult cookbooks. But he recommended these five for any cook, or aspiring cook, looking for inspiration. “They’re interesting, beautiful and good to add to your collection,” he said.
Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes
by Jennifer McLagan, $32.50*
In this book, McLagan explores the history of fat, its many uses and provides recipes, too. (In the past, fat was used to preserve and flavor dishes.) Burke lauded the author for focusing on duck fat, bacon fat, ghee and other varieties of fats. “The flavors of those fats are delicious, and we grow up in a time where people use mostly just butter and oil,” he said.
The Big Fat Duck CookbookArt Culinaire: The International Magazine in Good Taste
by Heston Blumenthal and Dominic Davies, $250*
This book caters to your inner scientist, delving into molecular gastronomy. Burke described author Blumenthal “as one of the best chefs in the world, at the top of his league, and renowned for his work in molecular gastronomy and food science.” And, he added, “whether you’re an amateur or a professional chef it’s interesting to read about it.”
These quarterly hardbound magazines have been must-haves for most chefs for 20 years, Burke said. Each issue features dishes from chefs from around the world and focuses on different ingredient and cuisines. “It’s a great gift too for someone who’s interested in food,” Burke said. “I must have 80 of them.”
by Grant Achatz, $50*
This “coffee table book” is the work of renowned chef Grant Achatz, who Burke praised for introducing groundbreaking techniques in the molecular gastronomy movement. An added bonus: Purchase includes access to a companion site with video demonstrations, interviews and more.
Egg*All books are available for a lower price on Amazon.com.
by Patrick Mikanowski, Lyndsay Mikanowski and Grant Symon, $45*
You’ll learn everything you need to know about eggs from this book. “It’s a good read; It’s a fun book, and the recipes are good,” said Burke. “I just love eggs,” Burke said. “And this book teaches the versatility of eggs.” The book explores different types of eggs (with diagrams, too), and provides both simple and complicated recipes for the experienced and novice chef alike.