David's Top 5 cookbooks from his 501 collection

3 February 2011

David Bitton has 501 cookbooks; one in his collection being his own. He is as obsessed with cookbooks as he is about being French. We asked Mr Bitton to give us his top 5, either ones that have inspired him or that he feels are crucial to becoming a successful chef. Below are his recommendations from his own collection.

David Bitton has 501 cookbooks; one in his collection being his own. He is as obsessed with cookbooks as he is about being French. We asked Mr Bitton to give us his top 5, either ones that have inspired him or that he feels are crucial to becoming a successful chef. Below are his recommendations from his own collection.

Larousse Gastronomique
By larousse
This book is my bible; it is the bible for all French cuisine.
I was given this book by my father the day I started my apprenticeship in 1984. Any apprentice should own a copy. I go back and reference this book on many occasions – I could not cook without it. It was first published in 1938 and it has stood the test of time.

Cheese Slices
By Will Stubb
As a Frenchman I love my cheese – as the French proverb goes: there is a different French cheese for every day of the year!
Will has spent a lot of time introducing and educating people about cheese and he has put together here an A-Z which is a fascinating read.
Although not a recipe you will learn everything there is to know about cheese – and it comes from an English-Australian man!
I can taste the cheese from the pages in this book.

Bitton: A French Inspired Café Cookbook
By David Bitton
I could not go without mentioning my own cookbook when it has consumed my life for nearly 2 years – there’s a lot of love poured into this book!
I am proud of my book because of how fantastic it is pictorially; the images capture the essence of my café and its cuisine.
Each recipe comes with a picture which I love to have in a cookbook; you want to see what you are cooking.

1080 Recipes
By Simone & Ines Ortega
This is a very informative book. Often people are scared to try cooking Spanish because of the perception that it is too complicated, but this book is straight forward and breaks it down, making it simple to follow.
I started to use this book because I am not so knowledgeable about cooking Spanish food and I wanted to learn - it inspired me to do so.
Great front cover and the illustrations throughout are entertaining.

From the Boathouse: Sharing food, sharing passion.
By Michael Klausen
I love how passionate Michael is about produce – it is his obsession to source the best produce and that is reflected in this book.
The photography also sits in line with his beliefs and they are fantastic. The recipes are also concise and easy to follow.
It is great to flick through and it makes you want to go out and catch your own fish and cook it – such a fresh book.