I recently bough this book at a clearance sale at our local Waldenbooks, since they're going out of business (sob!). I am an avid collector of cook books, but try not to pay full price for them, since I don't actually end up using them all- I mean, really, how many new recipes can you use?
However, I am in love with this cook book, namely because it has recipes for basic things that you can't always remember how to make, but can never find a recipe for in the new-fangled cook books of today! There are easy-to-read little information boxes scattered throughout the book on things like soaking beans overnight, sharpening knives, food storage, etc. The entire first chapter, called Cooking Basics, is full of basic information on things like herbs, sweeteners, appliances, meal planning, and more! It's kind of like the stuff Grandma used to teach us when we were kids, but have since forgotten. There are tons of fabulous pictures as well, making it very appealing to the eye.
This book is in a very user-friendly format as well, with each chapter having its own color coded tabs which are visible on the outside edge of the book. These color also coordinate with the color blocks in the table of contents, making recipe lookups fast and easy!
In the two weeks since I bought this book, it has fast become my favorite. It would make a great gift for any chef in your life!
Update On Jul 02, 2008: I just had to add this- I realized tonight that all the recipes have nutrition information included!! I never noticed it before- it's great for anyone who is watching their calories, fiber, carbs, or whatnot.