My Favorite Cookbooks

a stack of cookbooks with text overlay

As a food blogger and someone who owns a personal chef company, it should come as no surprise that I am OBSESSED with cookbooks, so I thought I’d show you my favorite cookbooks of the moment!

open cookbook

I love getting lost in the pretty pictures and authors’ personal stories about what food means to them. Cookbooks are where I find so much inspiration for future blog posts, catering menus…wtf to make for dinner. And it’s so much more gratifying to flip through colorful pages than it is scrolling endlessly through Pinterest, don’t you think?

Granted, this is subject to change at any time, because the next one I buy might easily become my new favorite. But I call these my favorite cookbooks because they’re either the ones I’ve been reaching for the most lately, or have stood the test of time throughout the years and managed to keep their place on the list due to the sheer educational value they have provided. Some are newer releases and some are classics, so I hope you enjoy!


The Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme- A Cozy Kitchen is one of my FAV blogs to look at. Adrianna’s recipes and photography are always on point, and so is this cookbook. It’s a little outside of the box, which is awesome. In addition to recipes, there are so many ideas for DIY projects (that you’d actually want to do), little ways to sneak in more adventure and relaxation into our lives, and no shortage of her adorbs Corgi, Amelia. And we could all use a little more coziness in our lives, am I right?

The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio- Love and Lemons is another one of my favorite blogs to visit on a regular basis, and this book is a dreamy extension of Jeanine’s blog. The photography and styling are light and bright, and the design is unlike anything I’ve seen in a cookbook- I meannnn….just look at that art deco inspired cover. But the recipes, ordered alphabetically from apples to zucchini- make produce simply shine.

Food with Friends by Leela Cyd- Leela is a fellow Santa Barbara native, so you know I had to pick up her book to show my support. Her vibrant recipes are inventive and full of life, not to mention beautifully photographed! Leela captures the element of bringing people together through food with both charm and sentiment- chapters include picnics, potlucks and teatime!

Eating in the Middle by Andie Mitchell- Andie ties personal stories about her connection to food in with her recipes- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Having a complicated relationship with food at one point in time or another is something so many women can relate to, and her flavorful recipes show how delicious it can be to find (and keep) the balance between healthy and indulgent.

favorite cookbooks


The French Laundry Cookbook  by Thomas Keller- All I can say is HOLY GRAIL. The French Laundry is what you might call a serious cookbook. It has helped me hone my skills as a self-taught professional chef in more ways than I can count. In publishing the recipes from his successful restaurant of the same name, Thomas Keller divulges invaluable professional techniques. Some of these recipes are more labor intensive than you might be used to, but even if you don’t wind up making all of them, simply reading through them will give you several useful insights into the fundamentals of restaurant-level cooking at home.

Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller- Literally, same as above, but for pastry. If you’ve ever wanted to to perfect the croissant, brioche or doughnut, this is the book to bury your head into. Sweets cravings are unavoidable after reading. Sorry.

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters- Alice Waters is a farm to table goddess, which, as someone who has built her business on crafting seasonally inspired meals, pretty much makes The Art of Simple Food my bible. This book is full of deceptively simple recipes that artfully balance flavors with textures and colors. I am constantly referring back to this book when brainstorming new catering menus.

The Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters- I think I received this book as a gift from a client before I actually got my hands on the first volume (which, coincidentally, was also a gift), but it quickly became one of my favorite cookbooks. Teeming with 200 garden-centric recipes as well as helpful advice for growing your own garden for a true farm to table experience, this volume is just as special and just as necessary to have on your bookshelf as the first.

favorite cookbooks


Rustic Italian Food by Marc Vetri- Everyone needs a faithful Italian recipe book. One that you can crack open on a Sunday when you don’t have much else to do, flip to any recipe, and as soon as you start cooking your house immediately begins to smell like an old nonna’s Tuscan villa where there’s always something simmering on the stove. This book is it, my friends. Full of old-world, slow-cooked, made-from-scratch amazingness.


Happy Cooking by Giada De Laurentiis- My dad surprised me with a signed copy of this book two Christmases ago. I own every single one of Giada’s cookbooks (all of Ina’s too) and I have to say this is her most comprehensive book to date. Almost 200 recipes are packed into this book, including drinks, snacks, desserts, kid friendly meals, healthy meals as well as tons of stories and time saving tips. And all of the recipes are so approachable and non-fussy- I’m talking make-them-on-a-Monday easy.

favorite cookbooks

Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission if you purchase items through my links (at no cost to you). Thanks for supporting the things that keep Le Petit Eats going! 

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