Wedding registries usually start in the kitchen. After all, when else are you going to have a chance to stock your cabinets with beautiful dishes, useful tools, and the gadgets and appliances you've always wanted? With all that kitchen gear to work with, you'll need a few things to cook, too, so don't forget to add a few cookbooks to your registry alongside those pots and pans. We've compiled a list of amazing cookbooks you'll be happy to have in your collection, whether you're just learning or have been a whiz at the stove for years. From time-honored classics to new publications garnering all sorts of praise, here are seven books you won't want to miss.
How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman
*Making delicious food doesn't have to be complicated. Just ask Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything, who focuses on simple techniques and fresh ingredients to get great results. He breaks down cooking from scratch into a manageable (and fun!) process, proving you don't need a culinary degree to enjoy being in the kitchen. And there's no lack of variety — the newest edition features 2,000 recipes to choose from!
(How to Cook Everything, from $18.90, available at Amazon.com)*
The Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker
If Julia Child called a cookbook an essential, you know you've got to have it! This tome, celebrating its 75th anniversary, helps decode ingredients and explain cooking methods, offers recipes for every occasion, and will teach you everything from how to boil eggs to the finer points of making tamales. The classic recipes are set alongside new methods (like preparing vegetables in the microwave!), and you'll find answers to all your kitchen questions in its pages.
(The Joy of Cooking, from $21.08, available at Amazon.com)
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle
Speaking of Julia Child, no chef's collection is complete without the two-volume set of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. From French institutions like boeuf bourguignon to lighter seasonal fare plucked straight from a Parisian market, these books are the perfect way to bring a little bit of France into your kitchen. Traditional techniques are explained in such a way that even an inexperienced cook will feel confident boning a duck with a little practice.
(Mastering the Art of French Cooking 2 Volume Set, from $59.78, available at Amazon.com)
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan
Italian cooking is more than just red sauce (though Hazan has a timeless recipe for that, with just three ingredients to boot!). From fresh pasta to succulent fish dishes to the best way to make a soffritto, this collection will take you straight to Italy, all while clarifying techniques and recommending ingredients available outside of the specialty stores.
(Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, from $20.65, available at Amazon.com)
Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
This culinary guru has written cookbooks for the likes of Pierre Hermé and Julia Child, but it's her own book of recipes that can't be missed. From homey muffins to elegant cakes and pies, look no further for inspiration to whip out your flour and whisk. Ever wonder why it's called a bundt pan, or if you really need to buy cake flour? Greenspan has your answers, and much more.
(Baking: From My Home to Yours, from $26.14, available at Amazon.com)
Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook, by Kristen Miglore
This collection of 100 recipes, tirelessly tested by the Food52 staff, includes contributions from the likes of Marcella Hazan and Jim Leahy, and each is guaranteed to be almost foolproof. Some of the tips and tricks might surprise you, but you'll love having a go-to source for everything from roast turkey to chocolate cake — without wondering if the recipe will work.
(Food52 Genius Recipes, from $21.08, available at Amazon.com)
Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi, by Yotam Ottolenghi
The best way to get your vegetables? By discovering new and exciting ways to cook them. Yotam Ottolenghi draws inspiration from his Mediterranean background, combining spices and flavors in ways that will make what used to be just a side dish into the star of your meal. It's a reminder that food can be bright, exciting, and complex — even without meat on the plate.
(Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi, from $21.08, available at Amazon.com)