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Ask Mr. Gold: Favorite Cookbooks

Dear Mr. Gold,

You must have an extensive collection of cookbooks. Do you have a list (or would you be willing to make one) of your favorite cookbooks for each national/ethnic group’s cuisine with which you’re familiar?

—Sandeep Gyawali

Dear Sandeep:

To paraphrase Anthony Burgess, everybody wants to lend you cookbooks, but nobody wants to lend you shelves. I’m not sure there are enough pages in the restaurant section to cover the unruly piles on my office floor. But off the top of my head, here are a few favorite — as opposed to “best” — cookbooks, which is to say the ones I tend to cook out of: The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan; Simple French Food, by Richard Olney; Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco, by Paula Wolfert; Catalan Cuisine, by Colman Andrews; Exotic Ethiopian Cooking, by Daniel J. Mesfin; Please to the Table: the Russian Cookbook, by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman; Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook, by Ruth van Waerebeek; The Jews of Poland, by Edouard de Pomiane; The Art of Peruvian Cuisine, by Tony Custer; Malaysian Cookery by Rafi Fernandez; Thai Food, by David Thompson; Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji; Traditional Recipes of Laos, by Phia Sing with Alan Davidson; Filipino Cuisine, by Gerry Gelle; Hyderabadi Cuisine, by Pratibha Karan; The Foods of Israel Today, by Joan Nathan; The Food and Wine of Greece, by Diane Kochilas; The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking, by Barbara Tropp; Indonesian Regional Cooking, by Sri Owen; Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table, by Mai Pham; The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, by Claudia Roden; Lebanese Cooking, by Anissa Helou; Irish Traditional Cooking, by Darina Allen; The Georgian Feast, by Darra Goldstein; A Pinch of Salt: Classic Afghan Cookery, by Rahima Amini; Authentic Mexican, by Rick and Deann Groen Bayless; Flavours of Korea, by Marc and Kim Millon.

I could go on, especially about regional Italian, French and American cookbooks. And someday, maybe I will.