It's easy to see by looking at a restaurant's menu what a chef's tastes and influences are. But what tools did they use to get there? And what tools do they still use, at work and at home, to draw inspiration?

We decided to ask chefs around L.A. what cookbooks they consider favorites, which ones they wouldn't want to live without. Today we start with Mark Peel, chef-owner of Campanile, who recommends a vintage find, The Gold Cookbook by Louis P. De Gouy. “It's my favorite go-to book,” he says. “I found it years ago at a book festival.”

De Gouy was the head chef at the Waldof-Astoria, and Peel says he thinks his book rivals the Larousse Gastronomique, the encyclopedic bible of French cooking. Of The Gold Cookbook, Peel says, “everything is in it, almost 2500 recipes. It's very old school in style but clearly written. I have the 1948 edition, which was the fifth printing. I use it as a reference when I want to do something but I'm not sure how, or when I want to skim for ideas.”

If you'd like your own copy of The Gold Cookbook, there are quite a few for sale on Amazon.

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