Every man should have a few recipes – five or so will do it – that he knows by heart and can whip up if he needs to scrape together a simple dish in 30 minutes or less. Most of the time, cooking is really about eating, so maximizing efficiency makes sense. That said, your kitchen is not dissimilar to a workshop, and taking the time to tinker with your tools can be rewarding to both the mind and the palate. Cooking projects that involve simmering fish stock, pickling vegetables, or tiptoeing into molecular gastronomy can be intimidating, especially after you've seen those reality shows featuring furious chefs. But cooking doesn't have to be intimidating. That's what cookbooks are for.
Six new ones, out this fall, offer intricate recipes and trade secrets from some of the world's most acclaimed chefs. The authors, including Daniel Boulud (DANIEL), Michael Anthony (Gramercy Tavern), John Besh (August), Daniel Patterson (Coi), Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman (Hogs & Hominy), and David Kinch (Manresa), are an inspirational lot, and the dishes are daunting, which is a great reason to take them on. From perfecting the omelet with black truffles to simmering a classic bouillabaisse to constructing a refined chicken and rice, the following recipes serve as excellent guides. They teach amateur chefs who have been nibbling around the gourmet edges how to go big by going home-cooked.