The Books in the Bathroom at Momofuku Ko


Back in May, when Robyn Lee wrote on Serious Eats about the books in the bathroom at Momofuku Ko, the picture she shared showed just a stack of vintage cookbooks (“African Cooking,” “The Cooking of Italy,” “The Cooking of Japan”) and a few fancier books–Michael Bras’s “Essential Cuisine,” Roger Verge’s “Vegetables in the French Style” and Alain Ducasse’s “Grand Livre De Cuisine”–all displayed, rather simply, above the toilet. Now, as you can see from my picture above, the library has grown exponentially: there are three shelves worth of food-related books in there. Enough that you almost wish you’d get food poisoning so you could spend a long time in there, flipping through all of them. Instead, though, I took a few close up pictures so we can examine EXACTLY what’s on those shelves. Here’s what I found.

The Top Shelf


Ok, at a glance I can see The Big Fat Duck Cookbook and A Day at El Bulli (which is what I got for Christmanukkah this year) but the rest are hard to see. Let’s go closer:


Ah, that’s better. Ok, next to El Bulli, I see: something called Alajmo, Roellinger, The Elements of Taste, Los “Rajos” de La (?) Cocina, something called Cracco, Roger Verge’s Vegetables in the French Style, and the rest I can’t tell. Can you?

The Middle Shelf


Ok, it’s hard to see the left side of the shelf. Let’s go closer:


There I see: Pierre Gagnaire’s “Lucide & Ludique,” a book I can’t make out, Paul Bocuse’s French Cooking, Cuisine (?), Le Livre De Pates, Contemporary French Cuisine, some books not in English and Tetsuya by Tetuya Wakuda.

As far as the other books on the middle shelf, I see the Cafe Boulud Cookbook, The French Laundry Cookbook, Under Pressure, some indecipherables, and–again–“Grande Livre de Cuisine” by Alain Ducasse.

The Bottom Shelf


There it is in full, now let’s zoom in on the left side:


I can’t decipher the book all the way on the left, next to that I see “4 Saisons a la Table,” “Preparez Terrines, Foie Gras Et Sauces,” “The Natural Cuisine of Georges Blanc,” “The Professional Charcuterie Series,” “Essential Cuisine of Michel Bras,” something I can’t decipher, Roger Verge’s “Entertaining French Style,” more indecipherables, “Au Pied de Cochon,” can’t tell, “The River Cottage Cookbook,” Kaiseki, “Great …?” and–finally–the River Cottage Meat Book.


That was exhausting. But we’re not done: let’s see how many of these books are on Amazon. If you buy enough of these books, maybe you too can cook like David Chang!

Books You Need to Build a David Chang Library

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook

A Day at El Bulli

That “Alajmo” Book–Ingredienti: Lecalandre (Editions Braus)

Olivier Roellinger’s Contemporary French Cuisine: 50 Recipes Inspired by the Sea

The Elements of Taste

Roger VergĂ©’s Vegetables in the French Style

I couldn’t find Pierre Gagnaire’s “Lucide & Ludique,” but this looks like a good substitute:

Pierre Gagnaire: Reinventing French Cuisine

Paul Bocuse’s French Cooking

Le Livre De La Pate

Daniel Boulud’s Cafe Boulud Cookbook: French-American Recipes for the Home Cook

The French Laundry Cookbook

Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide

Le Grand Livre de cuisine d’Alain Ducasse

4 Saisons a La Table No.5

The Natural Cuisine of Georges Blanc

Professional Charcuterie Series

Essential Cuisine of Michel Bras

Roger Verge’s New Entertaining in the French Style

Au Pied de Cochon: The Album

The River Cottage Cookbook

Kaiseki: The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto’s Kikunoi Restaurant

And that, my friends, is your David Chang library. Happy cooking.

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