Web Extras: Best Cookbooks of 2009

Find the perfect cookbook for the gourmet, home cook or child on your list.

Dec. 22, 2009— -- Only on ABCNews.com, 15 more great cookbooks to give as gifts this year!

"Momofuku" by David Chang, Clarkson Potter, $40

From one of the most exciting new chefs on the New York scene comes this inspirational book with an Asian slant. It is also David's story of becoming a chef. A great read.

"Golden Door Cooks" at Home by Dean Rucker, Clarkson Potter, $40

Unlike many cookbooks put out by spa properties and spa chefs, this is one you could actually learn from and use. The ingredients are all fresh and real (no fake substitutions here).

"My New Orleans" by John Besh, Andrews McMeel, $45

This amazing coffee table book captures the flavor of New Orleans in recipes, stories and photos.

"The Entertaining Encyclopedia" by Denise Vivaldo, Robert Rose, $24.95

All the details you need to know about throwing a party, from menu planning and estimating food quantities to napkin folding.

"Serious Barbecue" by Adam Perry Lang, Hyperion, $35 (Hyperion is owned by the Walt Disney Co., also the parent company of ABC News).

This book is indeed serious. If barbecue is your passion, Adam will take you to the next level. He is an amazing teacher.

"How to Roast a Lamb" by Michael Psilakis, Little Brown, $35

From the chef who has brought some of the best Greek food to New York City comes this wonderful home cooking book with tasty stick to your ribs recipes. The stories that accompany the recipes are wonderful too.

"Baking" by James Peterson, Ten Speed Press, $40

James Peterson is the author of many definitive tomes on the subject of such topics as "fish," "soups" and "sauces." He admits that he is more of a cooker than a baker in the introduction to this book, and as another non-baker he really spoke to me. But this book is for everyone who wants to bake, from the simplest to the most complicated pastry.

"Real Cajun" by Donald Link, Clarkson Potter, $35

Authentic rustic Cajun recipes and stories of growing up in southwest Louisiana from a very talented food chef.

"New American Table" by Marcus Samuelsson, Wiley, $40

With 300 very diverse recipes, this book is a trip around the country, celebrating all of the ethnic cultures that have settled here. If you feel that your cooking has gotten a tad dull, this is the book for you.

"Salt to Taste" by Marco Canora, Rodale, $35

100 very simple, accessible Tuscan home recipes from a renowned chef with useful tips and ideas to make variations of your own. This is soulful comfort food.

"You Don't Have to be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook" by Tom Valenti, Workman, $19.95

How nice to finally have a cookbook addressing this huge American dietary issue from a very knowledgeable talented chef. The title is very apppropriate -- this is a book for everyone.

"Michael Symon's Live to Cook" by Michael Symon, Clarkson Potter, $35

"Stir" by Barbara Lynch, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35

Another inspirational Italian cookbook from a great Boston chef with recipes both for simple home cooking as well as fancy entertaining.

"Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking" by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, Chronicle, $50

From one of my all time favorite cookbook authors comes this series of lessons and recipes which guides the home cook through all the techniques essential to Chinese cuisine. Stunning photography as well.

"Antojitos" by Barbara Sibley and Margaritte Malfy, Ten Speed Press, $22.99

As the subtitle says, this book is filled with "festive and flavorful small plates," and small plates with many tastes is my favorite way to eat. If you need to expand your dinner horizons, this is the perfect book both for home cooking and for entertaining.

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