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The Book of St. John

Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver (Ebury)

One doesn’t necessarily come to this cookbook for the recipes, but rather for its one-of-a-kind perspective on cuisine, technique, ingredients, and life in general. In Henderson and Gulliver’s world, every meal is an occasion, nothing goes to waste, and the wine never stops flowing.

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Falastin: A Cookbook

Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley (Ten Speed)

Tamimi and Wigley weave a fascinating tale about the evolution of Palestinian cuisine in this offering. What really sets this splendid cookbook apart is the way in which the authors reveal each recipe as if it were a family secret—and the reader is lucky to witness the occasion.

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The French Laundry, Per Se

Thomas Keller (Artisan)

In this stunning collaborative effort, two celebrated restaurant kitchens—those of the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., and Per Se in New York City—provide a feast for the eyes, mind, and soul. The extensive notes on technique convey a tremendous respect for cuisine as an art form and every gorgeous page is an ode to the experience of fine dining.

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Meals, Music, and Muses: Recipes from My African American Kitchen

Alexander Smalls (Flatiron)

This eclectic cookbook provides classic Southern recipes with extra flair thanks to Smalls’s affinity for music. An internationally recognized opera singer, he elevates the work by naming each chapter after a type of music and diving into the details of his South Carolina childhood and how it influenced his cooking style.

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