10 Starter Cookbooks for a Well-Loved Kitchen


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A note from Maggie

This is great!

One whiff of cinnamon and I am transported back to my maternal grandmother’s pantry. Amidst the jarred peaches, homemade chili sauce, hanging pots, and jars of mayonnaise (she never refrigerated the stuff, but I somehow survived), there was one shelf stacked high with her favorite cookbooks. She would often send me in search of a particular recipe in one of the tattered and food-splattered tomes, and I would get lost in their pages inscribed with her swirly notes. I fell madly in love with these treasured resources, and they are the reason I believe no kitchen is complete without a well-loved and well-used cookbook.

With this in mind, we at Eat Boutique gathered 10 of what we think are invaluable resources in the kitchen. Whether it’s a technique, an alternative to store-bought, a way to preserve the season, a mysterious ingredient, or a stiff cocktail after a long day, these following books offer guidance, inspiration, and a fantastic education. We could go on and on with so many wonderful books in the world, but consider this an introduction to the cookbooks that will make a new kitchen complete.

What cookbook do you consider a must-have for your kitchen shelf?



  • Jacques Pepin New Complete Techniques by Jacques Pepin: There’s a reason Jacques was a favorite of Julia Child’s. The man can cook, as well as teach.
  • The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum: Even the most skilled bakers can learn from this book.
  • How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman: With Mr. Bittman by your side, you will be cooking up a storm (and incredibly tasty food) in no time.


  •  The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst: Not sure what kohlrabi is? Care to learn if acorn squash is really related to acorns? This is the go-to resource for ingredient questions.
  • Canal Hose Cooks Everyday by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton: Simple and stunning dishes. Great kitchen inspiration.
  • How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson: The title really says it all. And we love Nigella.
  • Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila: Skip the store-bought stuff and make it home. Trust us, it’s worth it.

Photos courtesy of Kate Knapp and Amazon.com.

Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers and shares our version of #foodgiftlove. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop.

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Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.