Exactly. I immediately understood the reason for browning the meats before putting them in the slow cooker (you can’t have the maillard effect while stewing in sauce) and I was pretty happy to have a cookbook by a guy actually trying to maximise flavour with the slow cooker method. Besides, most things I do from that book turns out very well.
It has been my experience that either a cookbook “works” for you or doesn’t work. I have a shortlist for most templates… I like chef John from Foodwishes because I’m very visual and has recipes that works, I know Julia child recipes usually helps me knock dishes out of the park, I go to Marcella Hazan for italian, Michael Ruhlman if I need to came back to the basics (I love his approach of “ratios”. It makes a lot of sense for me), Manjula’s kitchen for indian and to “the perfect scoop” from David Lebovitz for ice cream. Alternatively, I haven’t had a ton of success with “modern” french chefs (I’m thinking here of Troisgros brothers and Robuchon specifically) because I get the sense their approach has been influenced by having an army of commis so there is a lot of busy work and they can be very finicky with ingredients. I have more success with more classical chefs (Carème, Escoffier, Fernand Point, La Mère Brazier) because they present the essence of french cooking without trying too hard (in my opinion). I find that Julia Child makes a very good transition between the classical french spirit and the everyday kitchen without dumbing that too hard. I’m still on the fence with the Jamie Oliver empire but I usually have good results with Gordon Ramsay’s recipes. The Joe Beef and Pied de cochon cookbooks can be very involved but usually yield good results. I hate Rose Levy Beranbaum’s narrative style and method for pastry, pies and cake but had great success with Momofuku milk bar.
Not everybody has the same experience with cookbooks. I have a friend who contacted me for tips during the holidays because she had a real hard time executing a pastry cream in a Chef John recipe (which is usually foolproof for me). I sent her the Julia Child variant and she succeeded in her second attempt. Maybe chef john is not fit for her!
With that being said, the art of the slow cooker is my actual reference for slow cooker. Its not my only reference but its that book lying around on the subject of slow cooker that has recipes that makes it work for me.