My wife has almost 100 cook books including ones from Burt Wolf, Jacques Pepin, Frugal Gourmet, and of course Julia Childs. My favority chef is Bobby Flay of iron chef fame. He does a modern take on cooking with a southwest twist especially pepers but his cookbooks have too many indegrediants and too complex.
Gordon Ramsay has some very good british TV cooking shows and a good but way overproduced Fox TV show called Hells Kitchen. Ramsay truly shows to be a excellent teacher in this cookbook titled appropriately "make it easy". It has great photography and very good descriptions in a step by step simple fashion than even a mediocre on a good day cook can follow. I have succesful cooked a number of his recipies. Also, it comes with a DVD proving instruction on a cooking a couple of recipies. I especially like the last chapter on his pantry and equipment. This cookbook I would recommend for someone whom never envisions being a iron chef but wants to do a litlte more than boil water.