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The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,142 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
For the past six decades, Gourmet magazine has shaped the tastes of America, publishing the best work of the foremost names in the world of food. To create this landmark cookbook, editor in chief and celebrated authority Ruth Reichl and her staff sifted through more than 50,000 recipes. Many were developed exclusively for Gourmet's test kitchens. Others came from renowned ...more
Hardcover, 1056 pages
Published September 22nd 2006 by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published September 28th 2004)
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6th out of 99 books — 101 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 29, 2008 Malbadeen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: you and you and you and you and me
Recommended to Malbadeen by: ben
one of my pet peeves is when i'm in a group of women and they start trying to out do each other with their lack of cooking ability. "I can't cook", "who has time to cook?","I can barely manage to heat up a box of macaroni and cheese without burning it", "I don't even know how to fry an egg anymore", "I'm such a cooking retard that I have to read the directions on microwave popcorn EVERYTIME". what?! when did it become cool to not be able to cook? These tend to be the same woman that pride themse ...more
Steven Peterson
Feb 28, 2010 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it
An interesting concept. . . . "Gourmet" magazine's "greatest hits" among recipes put together in a large compendium (recipes end on page 935). There is also a DVD that features the author's cooking techniques and some recipes. There are some nice features to this work, including "Tips and Techniques" (e.g., using salt and pepper, toasting spices, and handling chiles), a glossary (with a variety of chiles, fleur de sel, miso, truffle oil), and where to get certain ingredients and cooking supplies ...more
Cyndi J
Nov 09, 2008 Cyndi J rated it it was ok
This is a great cookbook - but THERE ARE NO PICTURES! I know they were probably trying to save money and all that, but what's a cookbook without the dream that you can create the beautiful art in front of you?
Zomick's  Bakery
Nov 04, 2014 Zomick's Bakery rated it really liked it
What a treasure this book is. Found many recipes and some of them are even kosher foods. Working at a bakery this cookbook has showed me new techniques in preparing my Zomick's Challah. There are variety of recipes taken from different cuisine - Mediterranean, Asian, African... and also French and Italian. Most of the recipes I've tried are good but not great, but it has so much to offer and I wouldn't be surprised if there are some extraordinary recipes in it. - Zomick's Challah
Catherine Woodman
I want to write this on the day that I found out that Gourmet was going to close down. My only complaint about this cookbook is that the color they chose for the recipe titles is so hard to read that it really compromises the utility of the cookbook, but the recipes are outstanding, and this is a general cookbook that would be an excellent cookbook if you only had two or three--with the Joy of Cooking, and How to Cook Everything, as well as the Cook's Illustrated cookbook, you would be able to c ...more
Sep 08, 2009 Ken-ichi rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, cookbooks
Pretty much everything in here is a winner. Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything is sort of my go-to book for basics, Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is my go-to for veggies, but this book is my go-to for awesomeness.
Wendy Darling
May 08, 2011 Wendy Darling rated it it was amazing
Still the book I reach for time and time again. I'm nowhere near an advanced cook, but I do love food and to make somewhat interesting food in the kitchen, so this is the perfect day to day resource. I normally like having photographs with my cookbooks for inspiration, but I honestly don't even miss it in this one. The recipes are so good (and so concisely yet enticingly written) that I don't even miss them. Well...not much, anyway.
Sep 13, 2010 Astraia rated it it was amazing
Love it!!! Recipe's are clear with fabulous results. (Note: cookie and cake recipes are not as consistent but I have still given in 5 stars as the desert section is small and the remaining recipes more than make up for it.)
Dave O'Neal
Mar 24, 2009 Dave O'Neal rated it it was amazing
What's great about this cookbook: The recipes can mostly be trusted to be top-of-the-line. Gourmet has a reputation to maintain, and Ruth Reichl is a good steward of that rep, while introducing innovation. The other great thing is that the recipes are precise. You never find any annoying reference to, say, "juice of one lemon," which is exactly the kind of thing that drives me insane (juice of one lemon can be one to three tablespoons, guys. Ingredients and techniques are precise. You can expect ...more
Jul 14, 2007 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-own-library
This is my favorite cookbook. I know the light yellow print wasn't the best choice for the book, because it is hard to see, and some of the recipes can be intimidating. However, I'm an intermediate cook and I use this book all the time. The Pumpkin Apple Bread is awesome, and both my parents and in-laws love it. I gave loaves of it out for Christmas (very little money means baking presents instead of buying) and everyone raved, asking for the recipe. The Irish Soda bread was delicious in a uniqu ...more
Sep 24, 2015 Felicia rated it it was amazing
I am especially fond of this cookbook because in the past, during times of financial difficulties, it wasn't uncommon for me to browse this cookbook wistfully and day dream. Cooking these days is about what is quick and easy more often than not. It's nice to allow yourself the luxury of fussing over a more sophisticated recipe now and then.
Aug 20, 2014 Irina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culinary
The desert island cookbook, along with its green sequel. Recipes are imaginative, varied, and precise. I especially like the salads and vegetables sections. Yes, the color scheme could be less tone-on-tone, but it's a minor detail. This is probably not the best book for beginners or for those who can't live without food photos (why?).
Jan 25, 2009 Clare rated it really liked it
For a cookbook enthusiast such as I am, this book is great fun to peruse. I took it out of the library and it weighs about 40 tons but it was worth lugging it home. Reichl, the editor (maybe former?) of Gourmet magazine writes entertainingly. I have read some of her previous books and enjoyed each one. In this hefty tome, she presents lots of interesting and well-researched recipes that have either stood the test of time or are made with now readily available and more exotic ingredients in a del ...more
Oct 26, 2015 Kristen rated it it was amazing
This cookbook has an incredible array of old favorites, new twists and things I've never heard of. There is information and basic lessons on most of the proteins and different vegetables to give you a grasp of how each one can be prepared in its most basic form. I haven't made anything we didn't like yet!
Aug 15, 2009 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
When people ask me to recommend a cookbook, I unequivocally blurt out, "The Gourmet Cookbook". Then I have to describe it. This isn't any gourmet cookbook, this is a compendium of recipes culled from sixty years of Gourmet magazine's finest. My copy is battered, wine-spattered, laced with flour and sugar, and covered with notes. Everything that I've cooked from this cookbook has been delicious. I'm curious about what the DVD offers (I bought mine when it was first published, sans DVD), but doubt ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Emmeri rated it liked it
While I occassionally go to this book for recipes none of the ones I've tried have any "wow" factor for me (and some recipes do not sound good "pecan pumpkin pie"?). The pizza crust is ok but really it's about the same taste as a very basic pizza dough that doesn't require you to only pull (not roll) out the dough. The sugar cookies are again ok but nothing that distinguishes them from another recipe. However, this book does have great tips included on the history of an item, how to do do things ...more
Jan 15, 2010 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
Another huge cookbook on my shelf at home, I received this from an event that I went to where I got to meet Ruth Reichl and get the book signed by her. It was definitely a great experience.

I've made some recipes in here which have come out to be delicious. Though, I do think the recipes are a little more difficult with ingredients that are harder to find. It's definitely not for a beginner cook.

There are great sections in the book where they discuss different cuts of meat and various different
Mar 07, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I've never had one of these recipes fail - just make sure you follow Reichl's instructions to a tee (if she says, "it will look like it is not fully baked, but don't leave it in the oven" she means it - my one failure was a birthday cake that had that editorial comment with the recipe. I didn't believe her...if there's such a thing as bad birthday cake, this was it).

Cooking and prep times are accurate, and if you want to find out how to cook something, chances are good it's in here.

No photos...
Aug 08, 2007 Allison rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Experienced cooks
Shelves: cookbooks
This is a huge cookbook - there are hundreds of recipes. Remember when I said in an earlier review that I could generally tell if a recipe was going to work out? Well, this is one book that has consistently proved me wrong. I have tried a lot of these recipes and too many of them needed serious tweaking. Because of what it is trying to accomplish, I can't rate this book higher because a kitchen novice can't pick this up and work with it. Too bad Ruthie. It does have a happy yellow cover though a ...more
Beth Fox
Aug 19, 2008 Beth Fox rated it it was amazing
Well, my copy didn't come with a DVD, but still I love it. This is my main "go to" book anymore. I believe in having several basic cookbooks in your culinary arsenal (Better Homes and Gardens, Joy of Cooking, Fanny Farmer, Betty Crocker), but this one leaves them all behind. I've yet to find a bad recipe in the bunch.

My only complaint is the color choice. Who ever thought the sunny yellow used on the cover ahould be used again as the title to each recipe was concerned more with color continuity
Jan 20, 2016 Cherie rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2007 Carlie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cooks, Ruth Reichl Fans, People Who Like To Eat
I have been a fan of Ruth Reichl, editor of Gourmet Magazine, for some time, I've enjoyed her writing and considered her opinion of heavy weight in the culinary world. This is her cookbook. It is the latest version of Gourmet Magazine's favorite recipes. Its comprehensive, and full of very good food. The only complaint I've had is that their pancake recipe it terrible. Otherwise, amazing food....all throughout. Ruth knows what she's doing.
Jun 05, 2008 Jacob rated it really liked it
A fair to good cookbook. Many of the recipes are made to seem more complicated than they really are. Some ingredient snobbery is also present. I understand that not every walnut is a walnut, but I'm also not going to order vintage carpathian walnuts at like $100.00 per pound. Otherwise a nice introduction to the art. Although some of the recipes are too contrived (see Pho).

A fair to good cookbook.
May 17, 2009 A rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this cookbook from the Sierra Madre Public Library and found that I was copying a LOT of the recipes. Macaroni and cheese, foccacia bread are some of my all-time favorites. This is a great reference book. Ruth Reichl knows how to cook!!!

Made the rosemary foccacia bread this weekend for the bake sale, and came across The Queen of Mold by Ruth Reich at the Bük table. Thanks, Lisa!
Feb 03, 2008 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
This is a good book for a chef--not for the culinary faint-of-heart. I find the recipe headings to be difficult to read, considering the fact they are in a light yellow. If you're looking for a comprensive cook-everything book, try Mark Bitman's 'How to Cook Everything.' However, Ruth Reichl's pancakes (from this book) are to die for...
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 Catherine Woodman rated it it was amazing
The only bad thing I have to say about this is that the titles of the recipes are impossible to read because they are in this light yellow that really detracts from the ability to read through the cookbook in a browsing fashion, which is too bad because it is really an outstanding cookbook, with depth and width that is impressive
Sep 12, 2011 Lesli rated it really liked it
Like Gourmet Today: More than 1,000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen, this one is also worthy of a spot on my cookbook shelf or as a gift.
Apr 17, 2007 sara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Enthusiastic cooks who want to broaden their repertoire
Shelves: foodie-food
My former boss gave me this as a Christmas present, and it's my go-to cookbook. I use it at least once a week. The basics are all here, from how to butterfly a chicken breast to how to make essential sauces. And the cakes . . . don't get me started on the cakes. It's comprehensive, easy to read, and essential.
Jul 21, 2007 Nancy rated it really liked it
This is a good basic cookbook although I've been disappointed in a few of the recipes - the banana bread being the only I can remember. This is a huge book - I see it as a basic along the lines of the Joy of Cooking. The layout is a little clumsy and there are no pictures. That said, I would recommend this book.
Feb 15, 2013 Ellen rated it liked it
This is an excellent selection of recipes culled from Gourmet during Reichl's tenure. So if cilantro is your thing, there is plenty of it. The font is on the small size and can be hard to cook from. And what were they thinking when they decided to use yellow ink for recipe titles? Talk about hard-to-read!
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Ruth Reichl is an American food writer, the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and culinary editor for the Modern Library.
Born to parents Ernst and Miriam (née Brudno), she was raised in New York City and spent time at a boarding school in Montreal. She attended the University of Michigan, where she met her first husband, the artist Douglas Hollis. She graduated in 1970 with a M.A. in art history
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