Though the gilt-edged pages and smooth canvas cover seem more suited to a hymnal than a cookbook, Filip Verheyden’s The Basics still has us singing its praises. It begins with standard cooking techniques (like how to julienne) and simple recipes, but by the last chapter you’ll be learning how to make potato foam and sea-water jelly. Some of the photography is a bit undercooked, but nonetheless this is an innovative cookbook with plenty of tips for the novice as well as the top chef.

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