What Else Is Cooking?

The following new titles fit well into the category of personal renditions of specific regional cuisines or culinary areas. Give them a look.

Four Star Desserts (HarperCollins, $32.50, hardcover) by Emily Luchetti. An excellent follow-up to her Stars Desserts, this book embodies Luchetti's dessert aesthetic, putting flavor and substance well ahead of architecture. Try the Espresso Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cake, Baked Apple with Caramel Rum Raisin Sauce and the Banana Tarte Tatin for fall.

Cooking with Nora (Random House, $35, hardcover) by Nora Pouillon. This Washington, D.C. chef/restaurateur is often called the "Alice Waters of the East Coast" and with very good reason. Her cuisine is based on the freshest organic and natural ingredients prepared in season. Recipes are arranged in seasonal menus with wine recommendations and followed by nutritional information.

Louisiana Real and Rustic (Wm. Morrow, $25, hardcover) by Emeril Lagasse. This is the second book from New Orleans chef/restaurateur and TVFN personality Lagasse. With co-author Marcelle Bienvenu, he takes the takes the reader through the bayous and villages of Southwestern Louisiana, chronicling their rustic foods and hearty flavors. My only quarrel with this book is with the design; some of the type is pale green on white paper and almost impossible to read.

The Sephardic Kitchen(Harper/Collins, $30, hardcover) by Rabbi Robert Sternberg. Rabbi Sternberg has added to his list of culinary creations (the first was Yiddish Cuisine) with this collection of the healthful food and rich cultural history of the Mediterranean Jews. A fascinating addition to the Mediterranean section of any serious cookbook collection.

True Grits(Junior League of Atlanta, $26.95, hardcover) by the Junior League of Atlanta. My personal favorite of the new crop of community cookbooks, this recipe collection features short stories and anecdotes from prominent Southern storytellers (Lewis Grizzard, Anne Rivers Siddons, Eugenia Price and others) to begin every chapter. A delightful read with a pleasant batch of regional recipes. -- V.W.

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