Chef RoundTable

Culinary Personalities

What's your favorite cookbook?


1. Executive Chef Jim Pastor of The Rusty Pelican

The last real cookbook I read was the one I found in my mother's kitchen. It was written in Spanish, and featured very simple recipes. These recipes are what drive me to cook the way I do—beautiful, delicious comfort food, from the heart, just like my mother.


2. Owner and Creator Melvyn Franks of Fish Fish

“The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters. Waters states that a perfect meal is one that is balanced in texture, color, and flavor. That is the philosophy that inspires us at Fish Fish. We focus on clean, fresh fish from local sources. “Fish done right” is our motto, as we believe the most gratifying dish is often the least complex.


3. Chef de Cuisine Ezio Gamba of Cioppino of The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

My favorite cookbook is called “Sven Elverfeld.” The author is by the chef de cuisine at Acqua at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg. He personally sent me his book recently and it is amazing. The book is well executed, creative, and combines all the ingredients that I like to cook with, but on a completely different level.


4. Chef Oscar del Rivero of Jaguar Ceviche, Talaverna, and Peacock Garden Café

I love cookbooks! My favorite one at the moment has to be “On the Line” by Eric Ripert. This particular book has great recipes, but also has a lot of information on the life of a restaurant. As a chef, I enjoy all details and stories on line cooks, equipment, wines, restaurant lingo, ingredients—you name it. Even if I were not in the business, I think I would still find them very entertaining and educational.