In the Presence of Greatness

Cookbooks are the new coffee table art book. And among the many stunning culinary tomes out there, none are more conversation-stopping than the beautiful books of Phaidon.

Phaidon books on the coffee table

I currently have four Phaidon titles on my coffee table. The newest is “Noma,” featuring the culinary art of Denmark’s renowned René Redzepi of the restaurant Noma — frequently named best restaurant in the world, and sure to solidify that position with the closing of Spain’s famous el Bulli. More

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Your Continuing Cooking Education

The coffee table at our house

I have a Master’s degree in creative writing. But I’ve always said, the way I learned the most was by reading the great writers. Same with cooking.

I didn’t go to school for cooking. Most chefs didn’t. (Nor did William Faulkner or Virginia Woolf have Master’s degrees in writing.) I cooked in restaurants when I was a younger man. But I learned the most by reading, observing, studying what the great chefs were doing and doing that too, and by trial and error. More