10 Brilliant New Cookbooks That are Inspiring the Country's Best Chefs

Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes

© Ben Alsop

By Chelsea Morse Posted May 14, 2015

We asked the 100 contenders for The People’s Best New Chef about their favorite new cookbooks. Here, their top 10, ranked by level of obsession.

We asked the 100 contenders for The People’s Best New Chef about their favorite new cookbooks. Here, their top 10, ranked by level of obsession.

1. Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns
“That book is a wonderland. Nick and Cortney make everything in the house at Bar Tartine in San Francisco, so being able to actually have all these different recipes is just great. It is also one of the few books out there that breaks down ingredients and techniques in a non-fussy way, easily digestible for home cooks.” —José Ramírez-Ruiz, Semilla, Brooklyn

2. Relæ: A Book of Ideas by Christian Puglisi
“The restaurant Relæ’s opening story in Copenhagen is challenging and inspiring. I like their approach of taking the food seriously but not themselves.” —Kris Komori, State & Lemp, Boise, Idaho

3. Heritage by Sean Brock
“So beautiful and thoughtful! What stood out most to me is his ability to take something as simple as a grain of rice and make it so damn interesting: the story of where it came from, the people that grow it, what it means to him and how to honor it through cooking.” —Adam Evans, The Optimist, Atlanta

4. A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow
“The book showcases Kostow’s incredible style of plating at The Restaurant at Meadowood, which inspires me when plating our dishes at Boka.” —Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago

5. The Wizard’s Cookbook by Ronny Emborg
“This is my favorite new cookbook. The pictures are subtly amazing, and the technique is clean and precise. I also enjoy his flavor combinations because they are very similar to mine, like beetroot with licorice or grilled marrow bone with porcini and raw chestnut. One technique from the book that we utilize in our kitchen is the burning of vegetables or hay to make ash.” —Phillip Lopez, Root and Square Root, New Orleans

6. Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton
“I adore her, her cooking and the restaurant. (I even named my dog Prune!) I love the Garbage section in the book that discusses how to use up products that some may just throw away. She's a fearless warrior in the kitchen.” —Zoi Antonitsas, Westward, Seattle

7. Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold
“His Experiments section of the book is a must-read for anyone who makes a cocktail, because it helps to dispel old habits and misinformation. The dilution rate experiment was particularly eye-opening.” —Thomas Kim, The Rabbit Hole and The Left Handed Cook, Minneapolis

8. Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi
“I really love all of Yotam Ottolenghi's books, but his new one, Plenty More, is amazing. I love the spice combinations that he uses and the way he plays with textures.” —Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Ripple and Roofers Union, Washington, DC

9. Charcutería: The Soul of Spain by Jeffrey Weiss and Sergio Mora
“Jeffrey spent a good amount of time in Spain learning the process of Spanish charcutería from the matanzas (butchers), from fabrication to seasoning, curing and finished product.” —Omar Flores, Casa Rubia, Dallas

10. elBulli 2005-2011 by Ferran Adrià, Albert Adrià and Juli Soler
“This book is something really fun and different. You probably won’t cook from it, but you can see some pretty cool cuisine.” —Damian Sansonetti, Piccolo, Portland, Maine

Honorable Mention: Flour + Water: Pasta by Thomas McNaughton
Brooks Headley's Fancy Desserts: The Recipes of Del Posto's James Beard Award Winning Dessert Maker by Brooks Headley
A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus: Menus and Stories by Renee Erickson and Jess Thomson
Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food by Jody Williams and Mario Batali
My Best: Eric Ripert by Eric Ripert and Angie Mosier

Related: America’s Most Decadent Potato Dishes
100 Restaurants Worth a Pilgrimage: North America & South America
Perfect Potluck Recipes

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