The Chef's Library is a series in which we ask chefs around town to tell us about their favorite cookbooks. Today, we talk to Josiah Citrin, chef and owner of Mélisse.

When asked about his favorite cookbooks, it's hardly surprising that Josiah Citrin goes for the classics. Most of the books he loves and recommends are primarily concerned with precise French-influenced cooking, much as he is at Mélisse.

“My all-time favorite cookbook is Joel Robouchon's first, Ma Cuisine Pour Vou,” Citrin says. “I bought it when I first went to France, and the detail and perfection is so inspiring. I still refer to the style of preparation and the rigor he shows in that book.

“The book I tell all young chefs they should have is Simply French by Joel Robouchon [with Patricia Wells]. But also the French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller. I mean, if you don't have that, there's just no way. … Keller is the biggest, most important and influential chef of our time.”

See also: Where the Chefs Eat: 4 Restaurant Picks From Josiah Citrin

“I also love Rick Bayless' Authentic Mexican Regional Cooking From the Heart of Mexico. He just explains Mexican cooking in a way that's really amazing.”

And of course, “I always go back to Larousse Gastronomique. You always have to refer back to history.”

See also: The Chef's Library archives.

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