Getting a chef to pick a favorite cookbook is like asking a parent to choose her most-loved child. But F&W pressed great cooks around the country to reveal their top picks of all time. The Chef: Nicolaus Balla, Bar Tartine in San Francisco: “It’s an incredible piece of writing,” Balla says. “The first 150 pages are a history of Hungarian cuisine, and then it moves into simple versions of all of the most well-known dishes. It’s just a legendary book, and George Lang was a legendary person. His family has actually been coming to eat at our restaurant, which is really cool. I wish I could have met him.” The book is available from Amazon.