I'm a big fan of Bravo TV's Top Chef (currently in its seventh season) so I was thrilled to get my hands on How to Cook Like a Top Chef by the creators of the show (foreword by Rick Bayless, text by Emily Miller, photos by Antonis Achilleos).
Top Chef contestants and judges from all six seasons, including Top Chef Masters, take you through appetizers & sides, proteins, seafood, cooking with ethnic flavors, advanced culinary techniques, and desserts. Although the book is more or less organized around courses, it's slightly chaotic in structure (cooking tips and Q & A's with "cheftestants" and judges are thrown in sort of haphazardly amongst the recipes), but I don't mind a bit. It has the feel of yearbook more than a typical cookbook, which makes it a fun overview of the past six seasons.
I'm sure How to Cook Like a Top Chef will have the most appeal to fans of the show, but you'll find enough great recipes ("Hosea's Hoisin-Braised Short Ribs" - yum!) and cooking tips (how to fillet and roast a fish) to inspire any foodie to take to the kitchen. There's also a good mix of simple ("Ariane's Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Salad") and complex recipes ("Kevin's Pork Terrine with Pickled Cherries"), so there's plenty here to work with whether you're a complete amateur or an aspiring Top Chef yourself.
If your interest is piqued, but you've never seen the show, check it out on Bravo every Wednesday. New shows air at 10pm, but you can count on seeing at least three of the previous shows in the hours leading up to the newest show. Season 7 is about half way over, but there's still plenty of kitchen drama left and this season takes place in D.C. so there's plenty of local appeal!