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Saturday, October 20, 2007

My favorite cookbooks

As a "retired" private chef in San Francisco, I frequently get asked about my favorite foods, restaurants, chefs and cookbooks. So, from time to time I'll post on these subjects, including cookbooks from my library, and here are two books that I think should be in every kitchen.

Emily Luchetti's first 2 pastry books, Stars Desserts and Four-Star Desserts are legendary. The originals of these books sell for hundreds of dollars when you can find them. Fortunately, Emily revisited those books and published Classic Stars Desserts earlier this year. Emily was the original pastry chef at Jeremiah Tower's Stars Restaurant - the likes of which will never be seen again! Emily's pastries are simply the best. She is neat, economical and dead on when it comes to putting together a recipe. No one has ever made a better lemon square.

Judy Roger's Zuni Cafe is also a San Francisco legend. Her cookbook of the same name is, in my opinion, the best to come out in decades and should stand as one of the best ever. Her discussions of brining and braising are life changing and there is no better roast chicken than Judy's. This book won the James Beard award and Judy was named Chef of the Year at the same time.

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