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Getting a chef to pick a favorite cookbook is like asking a parent to choose her most-loved child. But F&W pressed great cooks around the country to reveal their top picks of all-time.

The Chef: Danny Bowien

The Book: Les Diners de Gala, by Salvador Dalí (1973)

“The photographer Todd Selby introduced me to it,” Bowien says. “It’s a big, gold cookbook with very old-school classic French recipes, like lobsters glazed in aspic. It was one of the first things I bought when I came to New York; I got it at Kitchen Arts and Letters.”