The list author says: "There are so many cookbooks out there, many of which are spectacular, many of which are terrible or irrelevant. Here is my list of essential cookbooks, which I think have both a depth and breadth to be of value to anyone."
"The quintessential American cookbook. If there's just one cookbook you own, it should be this. It has vast amounts of information between the covers, as well as an understanding that cooking means different things to different people, and tries to meet all those needs. It's not the best at any one thing, but it's one of the few cookbooks that touches on everything."
"If you're serious about cooking, this book is amazing. The textbook for the Culinary Institute of America, it has a real focus on technique, not just recipes. Many of these recipes are too large for the home kitchen and some ingredients or techniques are impractical, but on balance, this book is worth having."
"James Beard is an American culinary icon. This book is meant to be a companion to his other legendary book, "Theory and Practice", which I have never read. However, this book works well on its own and is packed with recipes, anecdotes, technique information, shopping advice and more. It's a great book to be able to refer to and will never go out of style."
"Look at the title. It doesn't actually cover everything, but it gets pretty close. Bittman provides technique and recipes on a huge range of dishes. He also encourages you to get creative and adapt these recipes for your tastes and budget and ingredient availability. Take him up on it, and make these recipes your own."
"One of several authoritative books on meat. I like this one over the others for three reasons: shopping/selection advice, plenty of cooking technique guidance and the breadth of recipes. It's a great resource to help you become more comfortable with all the aspects of meat cookery."
"Partially a green, tree-huggy, sustainable, eco-friendly, organic, locavore, etc manifesto, part the best guide to picking produce you can find. I recommend the whole thing, as I think understanding food is important, but for cooks who haven't grown up with an innate understanding of how to pick produce in a market and who need to store it, this book is a stellar resource."