Rick Bayless doesn't know it, but he's my mentor. I've never met him formally, I've never eaten at any of his restaurants, or even been to Chicago for that matter! I just love his books, plain and simple. When anybody asks me for my recommendation on a Mexican cookbook, I always tell them to get Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico. Not only is it thorough, but his enthusiasm for the culture and food of this diverse country almost jumps off of the page. I also like to cook from Mexico: One Plate at a Time. It is the companion book to his PBS show, which I watch obsessively. The reason I bring this up is because I recently stayed home sick from work and Clay made me a giant pot of chicken tortilla soup from one of Chef Bayless' books, and it was so delicious. Who knew that a nasty head cold would revive an old favorite?
Which are your favorite tried and true cookbooks?