forty books to celebrate

i had to swing by chez panisse today, and when i tracked cal down in the kitchen, he and nathan were flipping through the auberge of the flowering hearth, a book i haven't picked up for at least eight or nine years, but whose mythical story i love as much as its recipes.

i wondered why they'd chosen this book to cook out of today of all days, and they told me it's their book for the week.  

when i made another confused face, they went on to explain that for each of the forty weeks leading up to the fortieth birthday celebration of the restaurant next august, they'll be writing menus inspired by one of the seminal cookbooks in the chez panisse library.  

brilliant!  but how come i hadn't heard about this yet?  

it's only the second week, cal said.  no one really knows about it yet.  

what was last week?  

richard olney, of course.  

so then i started asking who else was on the list:

scott peacock?  yes.  
niloufer ichaporia?  yes.  
mfk fisher?  yes.
elizabeth david?   
marcella hazan?
madhur jaffrey?

yes.  yes.  yes!

i am in love with this idea...and want to make my own list of forty cookbooks.  who would be on yours?

a few of my favorites:
the cooking of southwest france
honey from a weed
mastering the art of french cooking
the tuscan year 
jane grigson's fruit book
the fannie farmer cookbook
marion cunningham's breakfast book
the art of mexican cooking by diana kennedy
on food and cooking