Living: Cookbooks: A Gastronome's Picks

Of the making of cookbooks there is no end. From Mrs. Beeton to Mme. Simone Beck, Shennung to Francatelli, culinary counselors have been with us always. Perhaps 99% of all books on food are out of print, untranslated or forgettable—yet there are at least 2,000 volumes on the subject available in the U.S. today.

TIME asked Manhattan-based Culinary Expert George Lang, who owns 4,000 books on cooking and gastronomy, to draw up a short list of books that he considers essential to the kitchen library. Hungarian-born Lang is a renowned chef, author, designer, restaurateur...

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