By Marilyn Kitzes
From cooking at home to the well-being of our most favorite restaurants and chefs, food (and the people who create food) are top of mind these days. And while we may not be able to visit our favorite restaurants or hunt down an unusual ingredient for a new recipe right now, let’s plan for the days when we will again. If reading cookbooks—and books about the science and art of cooking—make you smile, expand your library and your skills and order one of these excellent choices, selected by the Sous-Vide editorial team. Read on and get inspired.
A WEALTH OF INSIGHT: THE WORLD’S BEST CHEFS ON CREATIVITY, LEADERSHIP, AND PERFECTION Author and journalist Rahim Kanani profiles nearly 45 culinary icons around the world to learn how they began their careers in the restaurant business, their culinary philosophies, how they unearth personal creativity, and more personal revelations. The book features interviews with luminaries such as Aaron Silverman, Guy Savoy, and Eric Ripert. Kanani’s interview collection makes a great gift, too.
SOUS-VIDE MADE SIMPLE: 60 EVERYDAY RECIPES FOR PERFECTLY COOKED MEALS A celebration of the immersion circulator, Lisa Q. Fetterman’s cookbook combines the art of sous vide with a do-ahead approach that helps streamline your cooking. Featuring 65 recipes such as a hearty Beef Bourguignon Pot Roast, global-inspired dishes like Grilled Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa, and Eggplant Shakshuka, Sous-Vide Made Simple is great for sous vide beginners and pros alike.
MOUTHFEEL: HOW TEXTURE MAKES TASTE Why does the texture of oysters delight some and repel others? Why is chocolate such a decadent sensation? How important is the crunch of a potato chip? Part cookbook, part scientific textbook, Mouthfeel examines how food’s physical qualities shape our perceptions of taste. Authored by Ole Mouritsen, a biophysicist, and Klavs Styrbaek, a chef, this one-of-a-kind book provides excellent insight for food lovers who love to experiment in the kitchen.
ALTON BROWN: EVERYDAYCOOK Featuring chef Alton Brown’s 100 personal favorite recipes—and photographs taken on his iPhone—this informal read takes you into a celebrity chef’s creative world. Sections such as “Morning,” Coffee Break,” “Anytime,” “Evening,” and “Later” are testament to Brown’s belief that food is a glorious, all-day affair. The book also features sections such as “Pantry,” which reviews some less-common ingredients that Brown uses every day, and a “Methods” section where he describes techniques such as skinning a mango, cleaning cast iron, and using clarified butter—one of his secret weapons.
SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT: MASTERING THE ELEMENTS OF GOOD COOKING Fans of the gifted Samin Nosrat will appreciate this bestselling book, which inspired a four-part Netflix documentary series spotlighting her unique culinary travels around the world. Nosrat believes there are only four basic elements that influence good cooking: Salt, fat, acid, and heat. The first part of the book explores the complexities of each element and the second part offers inspiring recipes and recommendations. With a foreword by Michael Pollan, this is a must-have for your kitchen shelf.