A quick perusal of The Chef’s Library’s pretty dust jacket is enough to make any armchair cook’s mouth water. “Which cookbooks do the great chefs use?” wonders the back cover in snazzy red typeface. Author Jenny Linford finds out, querying 72 professional chefs, coupling their answers with brief biographies and glossy photographs.
Yet pretty dust jackets can deceive. Only chapter one of The Chef’s Library addresses chefs’ favorites books. Chapters two and three are devoted to “Influential Cookbooks” and a “Cookbook Directory”, neither utilizing chefs’ input as to why the included culinary texts were chosen over others. The resulting book, while attractive, is not a serious work. More on this in a moment.