Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books, gives us her picks for the year's best cookbooks. Order up and get cooking.
1. Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking (Wiley, $35) by Paula Wolfert. A melting pot of flavors by the Queen of Mediterranean cooking. Wolfert makes it all seem so easy.
2. Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition (Ten Speed Press, $25) by Gerald Hirigoyen. Basque specialties like morcilla (sausages) in cider, and snapper ceviche make delicious additions to my repertoire. Following Hirigoyen's drink pairing suggestions is a must.
3. My New Orleans (Andrews McMeel, $45) by John Besh. Besh, one of the nicest chefs on earth, guides us through the essential cuisines of his hometown. I mean, who doesn't like crawfish etouffée?
4. Canal House Cooking (Canal House, $25) by Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirsheimer. The first two volumes of this thrice-yearly cookbook were issued this year, and they are a whole new breed. Seasonal food and drink photographed with a seductive eye made me want to make everything in these small volumes.
5. My Nepenthe (Andrews McMeel, $35) by Romney Steele. The subtitle says it all: "Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur." Cookbook and memoir, this is a great book.
6. The Country Cooking of Ireland (Chronicle Books, $50) by Colman Andrews. Andrews thougthfully includes the stories and origins behind each recipe in this massive tome. Lushly photographed by Christopher Hirsheimer, I felt like I'd been to Ireland after devouring this cookbook.
7. Ad Hoc at Home (Artisan, $50) by Thomas Keller. Wow, a cookbook by Thomas Keller that even I can cook from! His attention to detail and ideas for better cooking methods have shone a new light on my kitchen.
8. The Sweet Life in Paris (Random House, $25) by David Lebovitz. Travel guide, food memoir, and cookbook all in one. David's wit will keep you laughing.