I have to admit that the first time I cracked this tome was to find out how long it took to soft boil an egg… not exactly what this pricey and dignified book of the Culinary Institute of America was made for, but it sure looks impressive in the kitchen no matter what you're cooking. Of course since, in my opinion, this is the best overall cook book on the market, with detailed preparation photographs, ingredient and technique information, and great recipes, it's worth it's considerable weight (it's 1056 pages) the more you learn from it.
My only complaint is that the measurements are for massive servings, so math is required to modify if you're cooking for less than a small army. In an age of easy online recipes that take less than an hour, which is the way I usually cook, it's nice to have this kitchen companion if you want to make a meal for real, with the vegetables sliced the correct way, with everything expertly prepared. We don't all have the time for such perfectionism, but at least when we do, there is a book to turn to. It also works if you need to know how to boil an egg.