There are thousands of cookbooks, from really well-known to really obscure. I'll cut to the chase, I rarely follow a recipe to the letter, but I love to learn about food and I like pretty pictures of food. Here are some cookbook essentials, that have made my favorites list, because they guide you to amazing results, but open your eyes to a world of possibilities. And some of them also just look good on the shelf. I'll start with what I think are must-haves for your collection.
Let's start with The Blackberry Farm Cookbook by Sam Beall: Recipes from the #1 ranked resort. As the cover says, this place knows all about the good life. Blackberry Farm has both horses and truffles and is therefore as close to heaven as I think exists. They should invite me to come write about them...right? A girl can dream. I have cooked many recipes from this gorgeous book, and they have all had spectacular results. From the Fig Tart (which is now a family holiday dessert staple) - I added blue cheese and honey - to the Blackberry Farm Biscuits (really one of the best biscuit recipes I've ever worked with) which I have eaten plain, and used as a base for herbs, cheese and other delicious variations, to the Lamb and vegetable sides - I've never had a bad bite. I have been told that the Pimento Cheese recipe is also insanely good. I will try it and let you know. Their seasonal philosophy, attention to detail and insanely inventive approach to food and food quality is unparalleled. Go buy the book, and then go make me really jealous when you take a trip to Tennessee! You should probably buy several, because they are also great gifts. Your friends will thank you.