The Age has just released a list of the “10 most influential cookbooks you should own“. The paper compiled the list by asking 100 Australian foodies for the five books that they considered to be the “most important cookbooks you would recommend to improve cooking skills and food knowledge

Top of the list is The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander.

Stephanie Alexander’s Cook’s Companion resonates with Australian cooks and chefs like no other. It is ours. It is Australian. While great British books gave recipes for cod, turbot, pheasants in feather and wild salmon, Stephanie Alexander wrote about the food we grew up with. Lamb, plums and pumpkin. It was a standout for inclusion in the top 10, scoring twice as many votes as its nearest rival.

It’s no surprise to me that this number one; I have a copy a home that I refer to at least a couple of times a week. The Cook’s Companion is actually is the only book from the list that Cockburn Libraries currently have in our collection, though most of the others can be requested in as inter-library loans from elsewhere in the state (see the title links below).

If you have any thoughts on any of the books in the list or what cookbooks you think should be in the top 10 please add your comments to this post.

The complete top ten is:

1. The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander
2. French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David
3. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
4. A New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
5. The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon
6. Good Things by Jane Grigson (not available)
7. Thai Food by David Thompson
8. Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook by Alice Waters
9. White Slave by Marco Pierre White
10. Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson (not available, but you could try the sequel (of sorts), Second helpings of roast chicken : a recipe book)