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Cookbooks and Chill

If you’ve ever envied anyone for their cookbook collection, forget about it.

For with the upcoming launch of, the tables will soon be turned, and you’ll be flaunting the free space on your bookshelves instead. For a modest subscription fee, will be granting online access not just to a wealth of great chefs’ recipes, but also to the entire book in which those individual recipes were originally published.The project is managed from London and New York and was launched in July with a Kickstarter campaign—for which the promotional video was hosted by none other than Harold McGee, author of that seminal book of culinary science, On Food and Cooking. Obviously, that title is included on ckbk’s evolving list, which started with a core list of the 1,000 most essential cookbooks of all time, according to recommendations from chefs, food writers, editors and other culinary professionals.

If you want Auguste Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire or Marco Pierre White’s White Heat or even Naomi Duguid’s Burma, they are all there—along with all 2,438 pages of Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine. So be advised: the price of purchase of the latter will buy you about five years of ckbk at its opening price of $8.99 U.S. monthly. And save you a whole lot of bookshelf for something else, too.