I do the vast majority of my cooking from one web site and two other cookbooks:
- really the only "cookbook" you need
- How to Cook Everything. Mark Bittman
- Joy of Cooking. Irma S. Rombauer et al.
One should also have a few books for other cuisines
- Authentic Mexican. Bayeless
- An Invitation to Indian Cooking. Madhur Jaffrey
- Classic Italian Cookbook. Marcella Hazan
If you're into the science of cooking, its nice to know how things work
- On Cooking. Harold McGhee
- Cookwise. Shirley Corriher
Beyond that, it's all supplemental.
- Gourmet Cookbook. Ruth Reichl et al.
- Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites That Delight Before the Meal Begins. Rick Tramonto et al.
- The Way To Cook - Julia Child
- PH10.– Pierre Hermé (pastry)
- All About Braising. Molly Stevens
- China – Healthy dishes for the Imperial Court.
- My latest cookbook: Patricia Wells "At Home in Provence", which I like much better than her
If I were really serious, which I'm not, I would have
- El Bulli 1983-2002
- Larousse Gastronomique
- The Wine Report, by Tom Stevenson
- The World Atlas of Wine –Edition nº 6