I'd like one for french and one for italian since those are my two favorite cuisines. I need books that cover technique in a thorough manner and not just a bunch of recipes. For french the choices seem to be Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child or the Larousse Gastronomique. I'm sure a lot of people will say both, but I just ordered several hundred dollars worth of cookware so i want to take it easy; i still have to buy food ;p Is one better than the other for learning technique? And is there something comparable to those works for italian cooking?