Best French Cookbooks

French cuisine is still one of the most appreciated cuisines in the world and goes from the typically known haute cuisine to more modern interpretations of age-old recipes and popular recipes from the various French regions. With the cookbooks in this list you can get a taste of this European cuisine.

Top 10 Best French Cookbooks

1
Julia Child
December 1, 2009
Best French Cookbook: Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 Volume Set)

The perfect gift for any follower of Julia Child—and any lover of French food. This boxed set brings together Mastering the Art of French Cooking, first published in 1961, and its sequel, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two, published in 1970.

Volume One is the classic cookbook, in its entirety—524 recipes. 
“Anyone can cook in the French manner anywhere,” wrote Mesdames Beck, Bertholle, and Child, “with the right instruction.” And here is the book that, for nearly fifty years, has been teaching Americans how.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking is for both seasoned cooks and beginners who love good food and long to reproduce at home the savory delights of the classic cuisine, from the historic Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring-green peas. The techniques learned in this beautiful book, with more than one hundred instructive illustrations, can be applied to recipes in all other French cookbooks, making them infinitely usable. In compiling the secrets of famous Cordon Bleu chefs, the authors produced a magnificent volume that continues to have a place of honor in American kitchens.

Volume Two is the sequel to the great cooking classic—with 257 additional recipes. Following the publication of the celebrated Volume One, Julia Child and Simone Beck continued to search out and sample new recipes among the classic dishes and regional specialties of France—cooking, conferring, tasting, revising, perfecting. Out of their discoveries they made, for Volume Two, a brilliant selection of precisely those recipes that not only add to the repertory but, above all, bring the reader to a new level of mastery of the art of French cooking.

Each of these recipes is worked out step-by-step, with the clarity and precision that are the essence of the first volume. Five times as many drawings as in Volume One make the clear instructions even more so.

Perhaps the most remarkable achievement of this volume is that it will make Americans actually more expert than their French contemporaries in two supreme areas of cookery: baking and charcuterie. In France one can turn to the local bakery for fresh and expertly baked bread, or to neighborhood charcuterie for pâtés and terrines and sausages. Here, most of us have no choice but to create them for ourselves.
Bon appétit!

2
David Lebovitz
April 8, 2014
My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories

Recipes and Stories

A collection of stories and 100 sweet and savory French-inspired recipes from popular food blogger David Lebovitz, reflecting the way Parisians eat today and featuring lush photography taken around Paris and in David's Parisian kitchen.

In 2004, David Lebovitz packed up his most treasured cookbooks, a well-worn cast-iron skillet, and his laptop and moved to Paris. In that time, the culinary culture of France has shifted as a new generation of chefs and home cooks—most notably in Paris—incorporates ingredients and techniques from around the world into traditional French dishes. 

In My Paris Kitchen, David remasters the classics, introduces lesser-known fare, and presents 100 sweet and savory recipes that reflect the way modern Parisians eat today. You’ll find Soupe à l’oignon, Cassoulet, Coq au vin, and Croque-monsieur, as well as Smoky barbecue-style pork, Lamb shank tagine, Dukkah-roasted cauliflower, Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, and Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate. And of course, there’s dessert: Warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, Duck fat cookies, Bay leaf poundcake with orange glaze, French cheesecake...and the list goes on. David also shares stories told with his trademark wit and humor, and lush photography taken on location around Paris and in David’s kitchen reveals the quirks, trials, beauty, and joys of life in the culinary capital of the world.

3
Thomas Keller
November 1, 1999
The French Laundry Cookbook (The Thomas Keller Library)

2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of the acclaimed French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley—“the most exciting place to eat in the United States” (The New York Times). The most transformative cookbook of the century celebrates this milestone by showcasing the genius of chef/proprietor Thomas Keller himself. Keller is a wizard, a purist, a man obsessed with getting it right. And this, his first cookbook, is every bit as satisfying as a French Laundry meal itself: a series of small, impeccable, highly refined, intensely focused courses.

Most dazzling is how simple Keller's methods are: squeegeeing the moisture from the skin on fish so it sautées beautifully; poaching eggs in a deep pot of water for perfect shape; the initial steeping in the shell that makes cooking raw lobster out of the shell a cinch; using vinegar as a flavor enhancer; the repeated washing of bones for stock for the cleanest, clearest tastes.

From innovative soup techniques, to the proper way to cook green vegetables, to secrets of great fish cookery, to the creation of breathtaking desserts; from beurre monté to foie gras au torchon, to a wild and thoroughly unexpected take on coffee and doughnuts, The French Laundry Cookbook captures, through recipes, essays, profiles, and extraordinary photography, one of America's great restaurants, its great chef, and the food that makes both unique.

One hundred and fifty superlative recipes are exact recipes from the French Laundry kitchen—no shortcuts have been taken, no critical steps ignored, all have been thoroughly tested in home kitchens. If you can't get to the French Laundry, you can now re-create at home the very experience Wine Spectatordescribed as “as close to dining perfection as it gets.”

4
Ina Garten
October 26, 2004
Best French Cookbooks: Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home

Easy French Food You Can Make at Home

Hearty boeuf Bourguignon served in deep bowls over a garlic-rubbed slice of baguette toast; decadently rich croque monsieur, eggy and oozing with cheese; gossamer crème brulee, its sweetness offset by a brittle burnt-sugar topping. Whether shared in a cozy French bistro or in your own home, the romance and enduring appeal of French country cooking is irrefutable. Here is the book that helps you bring that spirit, those evocative dishes, into your own home.

What Ina Garten is known for—on her Food Network show and in her three previous bestselling books—is adding a special twist to familiar dishes, while also streamlining the recipes so you spend less time in the kitchen but still emerge with perfection. And that’s exactly what she offers in Barefoot in Paris. Ina’s kir royale includes the unique addition of raspberry liqueur—a refreshing alternative to the traditional crème de cassis. Her vichyssoise is brightened with the addition of zucchini, and her chocolate mousse is deeply flavored with the essence of orange. All of these dishes are true to their Parisian roots, but all offer something special—and are thoroughly delicious, completely accessible, and the perfect fare for friends and family. 

Barefoot in Paris is suffused with Ina’s love of the city, of the bustling outdoor markets and alluring little shops, of the bakeries and fromageries and charcuteries—of the wonderful celebration of food that you find on every street corner, in every neighborhood. So take a trip to Paris with the perfect guide—the Barefoot Contessa herself—in her most personal book yet.

5
Auguste Escoffier
November 13, 2000
The Escoffier Cookbook and Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery: For Connoisseurs, Chefs, Epicures Complete With 2973 Recipes

For Connoisseurs, Chefs, Epicures Complete With 2973 Recipes

An American translation of the definitive Guide Culinaire, the Escoffier Cookbook includes weights, measurements, quantities, and terms according to American usage.

Features 2,973 recipes.

6
Marjorie Taylor
April 10, 2018
The Cook's Atelier: Recipes, Techniques, and Stories from Our French Cooking School

Recipes, Techniques, and Stories from Our French Cooking School

The debut cookbook from The Cook’s Atelier—the international culinary destination and cooking school in Burgundyis a beautifully photographed resource on classic French cuisine and an atmospheric chronicle of a family’s life in a charming French village.
 
Mother and daughter American expats Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini always dreamed of living in France. With a lot of hard work and a dash of fate, they realized this dream and cofounded The Cook’s Atelier, a celebrated French cooking school in the storybook town of Beaune, located in the heart of the Burgundy wine region. Combining their professional backgrounds in food and wine, they attract visitors from near and far with their approachable, convivial style of cooking.
 
Featuring more than 100 market-inspired recipes and 300 exceptional photographs, this comprehensive reference is an extension of their cooking school, providing a refreshingly simple take on French techniques and recipes that every cook should know—basic butchery, essential stocks and sauces, pastry, dessert creams and sauces, and preserving, to name a few. Seasonal menus build on this foundation, collecting recipes that showcase their fresh, vegetable-focused versions of timeless French dishes, such as:
 

  • Green Garlic Soufflé
  • Watermelon and Vineyard Peach Salad
  • Little Croques Madames
  • Sole Meunière with Beurre Blanc and Parsleyed Potatoes
  • Seared Duck Breast with Celery Root Puree and Chanterelles
  • Madeleines
  • Plum Tarte Tatin
  • Almond-Cherry Galette

 
Stories of food and life in the village and the unique atmosphere of the atelier accent this personal cookbook. We can almost hear the clanking of the copper pots, the hiss of the vintage espresso machine, and the merriment around the table, as we meet some of the region’s best small farmers and artisanal producers and experience how Marjorie and Kendall’s family works together to create this special place.
 
More than a practical introduction to classic French cooking, this richly illustrated volume is also a distinctively designed celebration of the French art of joie de vivre and an inspirational primer on adopting elements of the French lifestyle, no matter where you live.

7
Mimi Thorisson
October 25, 2016
French Country Cooking: Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyards

Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyards

A captivating journey through off-the-beaten-path French wine country with 100 simple yet exquisite recipes, 150 sumptuous photographs, and stories inspired by life in a small village. 

“Francophiles, this book is pure Gallic food porn.” —The Wall Street Journal  

Readers everywhere fell in love with Mimi Thorisson, her family, and their band of smooth fox terriers through her blog, Manger, and debut cookbook, A Kitchen in France. In French Country Cooking, the family moves to an abandoned old château in Médoc. While shopping for local ingredients, cooking, and renovating the house, Mimi meets the farmers and artisans who populate the village and learns about the former owner of the house, an accomplished local cook. Here are recipes inspired by this eccentric cast of characters, including White Asparagus Soufflé, Wine Harvest Pot au Feu, Endives with Ham, and Salted Butter Chocolate Cake. Featuring evocative photographs taken by Mimi’s husband, Oddur Thorisson, and illustrated endpapers, this cookbook is a charming jaunt to an untouched corner of France that has thus far eluded the spotlight.

8
Clotilde Dusoulier
March 20, 2018
Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local

Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local 

Tasting Paris features new and classic French recipes and cooking techniques that will demistify the art of French cooking and transport your dinner guests to Paris. Whether you have experienced the charm of Paris many times or dream of planning your first trip, here you will find the food that makes this city so beloved. Featuring classic recipes like Roast Chicken with Herbed Butter and Croutons, and Profiteroles, as well as newer dishes that reflect the way Parisians eat today, such as Ratatouille Pita Sandwich with Chopped Eggs and Tahini Sauce and Spiralized Zucchini Salad with Peach and Green Almonds. With 100 recipes, 125 evocative photographs, and native Parisian Clotilde Dusoulier’s expertise, Tasting Parist ransports you to picnicking along the Seine, shopping the robust open-air markets, and finding the best street food—bringing the flavors and allure of this favorite culinary destination to your very own kitchen

9
Clotilde Dusoulier
July 2, 2013
The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from My Parisian Kitchen

Vegetarian Recipes from My Parisian Kitchen

Cook from the farmer’s market with inspired vegetarian recipes—many of which are gluten-free and dairy-free—with a French twist, all highlighting seasonal produce.
 
Beloved ChocolateAndZucchini.com food blogger Clotilde Dusoulier is not a vegetarian. But she has, like many of us, chosen to eat less meat and fish, and is always looking for new ways to cook what looks best at the market. In The French Market Cookbook, she takes us through the seasons in 82 recipes—and explores the love story between French cuisine and vegetables.
 
Choosing what’s ripe and in season means Clotilde does not rely heavily on the cheese, cream, and pastas that often overpopulate vegetarian recipes. Instead she lets the bright flavors of the vegetables shine through: carrots are lightly spiced with star anise and vanilla in a soup made with almond milk; tomatoes are jazzed up by mustard in a gorgeous tart; winter squash stars in golden Corsican turnovers; and luscious peaches bake in a cardamom-scented custard. With 75 color photographs of the tempting dishes and the abundant markets of Paris, and with Clotilde’s charming stories of shopping and cooking in France, The French Market Cookbook is a transportive and beautiful cookbook for food lovers everywhere.

10
Jacquy Pfeiffer
December 3, 2013
The Art of French Pastry

What does it take to perfect a flawless éclair? A delicate yet buttery croissant? To pipe dozens of macarons? The answer is: an intimate knowledge of the fundamentals of pastry. In The Art of French Pastry award-winning pastry chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, cofounder of the renowned French Pastry School in Chicago, gives you just that.

By teaching you how to make everything from pâte à choux to pastry cream, Pfeiffer builds on the basics until you have an understanding of the science behind the ingredients used, how they interact with one another, and what your hands have to do to transform them into pastry. This yields glorious results! Expect to master these techniques and then indulge in exquisite recipes, such as:
 
·      brioche
·      napoléons / Mille-Feuilles 
·      cream puffs
·      Alsatian cinnamon rolls / chinois
·      lemon cream tart with meringue teardrops
·      elephant ears / palmiers
·      black forest cake
·      beignets
 
as well as some traditional Alsatian savory treats, including:
 
·    Pretzels
·    Kougelhof
·    Tarte Flambée
·    Warm Alsatian Meat Pie
 
Pastry is all about precision, so Pfeiffer presents us with an amazing wealth of information—lists of necessary equipment, charts on how ingredients react in different environments, and the precise weight of ingredients in grams, with a look at their equivalent in U.S. units—which will help you in all aspects of your cooking.

But in order to properly enjoy your “just desserts,” so to speak; you will also learn where these delicacies originated. Jacquy Pfeiffer comes from a long line of pastry chefs and has been making these recipes since he was a child working in his father’s bakery in Alsace. Sprinkled with funny, charming memories from a lifetime in pastry, this book will have you fully appreciating the hundreds of years of tradition that shaped these recipes into the classics that we know and love, and can now serve to our friends and families over and over again.

The Art of French Pastry, full of gorgeous photography and Pfeiffer’s accompanying illustrations, is a master class in pastry from a master teacher.

11
Bill Buford
May 5, 2020
Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking

Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking

Bill Buford turns his inimitable attention from Italian cuisine to the food of France. Baffled by the language, but convinced that he can master the art of French cooking--or at least get to the bottom of why it is so revered-- he begins what becomes a five-year odyssey by shadowing the esteemed French chef Michel Richard, in Washington, D.C. But when Buford (quickly) realizes that a stage in France is necessary, he goes--this time with his wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow--to Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Studying at L'Institut Bocuse, cooking at the storied, Michelin-starred La Mère Brazier, enduring the endless hours and exacting rigeur of the kitchen, Buford becomes a man obsessed--with proving himself on the line, proving that he is worthy of the gastronomic secrets he's learning, proving that French cooking actually derives from (mon dieu!) the Italian. With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterly ability to immerse himself--and us--in his surroundings, Bill Buford has written what is sure to be the food-lover's book of the year.

12
Mimi Thorisson
October 28, 2014
A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse

A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse

With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, A Kitchen in France transports you to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking.

"This is real food: delicious, honest recipes that celebrate the beauty of picking what is ripe and in season, and capture the essence of life in rural France."
—Alice Waters

When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods—and, most important, time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes—such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Crème Fraîche, Cèpe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Crème Caramel—will bring the warmth of rural France into your home.

13
Melissa Clark
March 10, 2020
Dinner in French

My Recipes by Way of France: A Cookbook

Just as Julia Child brought French cooking to twentieth-century America, so now Melissa Clark brings French cooking into the twenty-first century. She first fell in love with France and French food as a child; her parents spent their August vacations traversing the country in search of the best meals with Melissa and her sister in tow. Near to her heart, France is where Melissa's family learned to cook and eat. And as her own culinary identity blossomed, so too did her understanding of why French food is beloved by Americans.

Now, as one of the nation's favorite cookbook authors and food writers, Melissa updates classic French techniques and dishes to reflect how we cook, shop, and eat today. With recipes such as Salade Nicoise with Haricot Vert, Cornmeal and Harissa Soufflé, Scalloped Potato Gratin, Lamb Shank Cassoulet, Ratatouille Sheet-Pan Chicken, Campari Olive Oil Cake, and Apricot Tarte Tatin (to name a few), Dinner in French will quickly become a go-to resource and endure as an indispensable classic.

14
Cecile Delarue
July 25, 2017
Voilà!: The Effortless French Cookbook: Easy Recipes to Savor the Classic Tastes of France

Easy Recipes to Savor the Classic Tastes of France 

"Classic, simple, foolproof, and seasonal recipes enable you to eat French style in the comfort of your own home―without borders. Voilà! Effortless French Cookbook makes me want to cook."
―Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat

To enjoy the essence of authentic French cuisine, you don’t have to get on a plane or take a 5-star Michelin cooking class. All you need is Voilà! Effortless French Cookbook and a passion for the delights of classic French fare. Join Cécile Delarue, creator of the food blog French and Parfait, as she shares her tried-and-true French recipes, as well as her tips for creating elegant French meals on the average American dime.

Fun and easy-to-follow, Voilà! Effortless French Cookbook offers:

  • A preparatory chapter that recreates a Parisian cooking class will teach you the basic skills of traditional French cooking
  • More than 125 classic French recipes with wine pairings deliver plenty of options―without fussing over gourmet ingredients or a celebrity chef's personal tips
  • Chapter upon chapter of delicious French staples to help you get savvy about sauces, poach the perfect egg, and bake the best tartines and quiches

Enjoying the French meals you love shouldn’t be complicated―and Voilà! Effortless French Cookbook is the only French cookbook that proves they don’t have to be. Even if you’ve never cooked French food before, you’ll be saying bonjour to the simple pleasures of French cuisine, and au revoir to the hassle of intricate recipes with Voilà! Effortless French Cookbook.

15
Rachel Khoo
February 5, 2013
The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple But Classic French Recipes

120 Simple But Classic French Recipes

Rachel Khoo moved to Paris, studied patisserie, fell in love with the city, became a restaurateur in a very tiny space, then, a television star, and is now a bestselling author! Not every lover of Paris experiences this career trajectory, but cooks of all skill levels with a taste for French fare will be inspired by The Little Paris Kitchen to try an updated approach to French cuisine. In this charming cookbook, Khoo demystifies French cooking with 120 enticing recipes for simple, classic, and fresh French dishes, from gouter(snacks) to elegant desserts. More than 100 breathtaking photos from celebrated photographer David Loftus shine a spotlight on the delicious food and the City of Light, and capture Khoo interacting with her purveyors and friends. We all can't have springtime in Paris. But we all can enjoy this delectable, do-able food!

16
Ecole Ferrandi
November 14, 2017
French Patisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts

Master Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts

Ferrandi, the French School of Culinary Arts in Paris—dubbed “the Harvard of gastronomy” by Le Mondenewspaper­—is the ultimate pastry-making reference. From flaky croissants to paper-thin mille-feuille, and from the chestnut cream–filled Paris-Brest to festive yule logs, this comprehensive book leads aspiring pastry chefs through every step—from basic techniques to Michelin-level desserts. Featuring advice on how to equip your kitchen, and the essential doughs, fillings, and decorations, the book covers everything from quick desserts to holiday specialties and from ice creams and sorbets to chocolates.

Ferrandi, an internationally renowned professional culinary school, offers an intensive course in the art of French pastry making. Written by the school’s experienced teaching team of master pâtissiers and adapted for the home chef, this fully illustrated cookbook provides all of the fundamental techniques and recipes that form the building blocks of the illustrious French dessert tradition, explained step by step in text and images. Practical information is presented in tables, diagrams, and sidebars for handy reference. Easy-to-follow recipes are graded for level of difficulty, allowing readers to develop their skills over time. 

Whether you are an amateur home chef or an experienced pâtissier, this patisserie bible provides everything you need to master French pastry making.

17
Dorie Greenspan
October 8, 2010
Best French Cookbooks: Around My French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours

More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours

When Julia Child told Dorie Greenspan, “You write recipes just the way I do,” she paid her the ultimate compliment. Julia’s praise was echoed by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, which referred to Dorie’s “wonderfully encouraging voice” and “the sense of a real person who is there to help should you stumble.”

Now in a big, personal, and personable book, Dorie captures all the excitement of French home cooking, sharing disarmingly simple dishes she has gathered over years of living in France. 

Around My French Table includes many superb renditions of the great classics: a glorious cheese-domed onion soup, a spoon-tender beef daube, and the “top-secret” chocolate mousse recipe that every good Parisian cook knows—but won’t reveal.

Hundreds of other recipes are remarkably easy: a cheese and olive quick bread, a three-star chef’s Basque potato tortilla made with a surprise ingredient (potato chips), and an utterly satisfying roast chicken for “lazy people.”

Packed with lively stories, memories, and insider tips on French culinary customs, Around My French Table will make cooks fall in love with France all over again, or for the first time.

18
Anthony Bourdain
September 23, 2004
Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking

Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking

Bestselling author, TV host, and chef Anthony Bourdain reveals the hearty, delicious recipes of Les Halles, the classic New York City French bistro where he got his start.

Before stunning the world with his bestselling Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain, host of the celebrated TV shows Parts Unknown and No Reservations, spent years serving some of the best French brasserie food in New York. With its no-nonsense, down-to-earth atmosphere, Les Halles matched Bourdain's style perfectly: a restaurant where you can dress down, talk loudly, drink a little too much wine, and have a good time with friends. Now, Bourdain brings you his Les Halles Cookbook, a cookbook like no other: candid, funny, audacious, full of his signature charm and bravado.

Bourdain teaches you everything you need to know to prepare classic French bistro fare. While you're being guided, in simple steps, through recipes like roasted veal short ribs and steak frites, escargots aux noix and foie gras au pruneaux, you'll feel like he's in the kitchen beside you-reeling off a few insults when you've scorched the sauce, and then patting you on the back for finally getting the steak tartare right.

As practical as it is entertaining, Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook is a can't-miss treat for cookbook lovers, aspiring chefs, and Bourdain fans everywhere.