Books Worth Buying: July’s Best Food and Drink Releases

Of this month’s dozens of new releases, these four cookbooks have earned a place on our over-stuffed shelves

We get dozens of cookbooks each week at SAVEUR, and every month we share our favorite new releases—books that, through one avenue of greatness or another, have earned a place on our over-stuffed shelves. July's best new releases include an intellectual exploration of perfecting the tipple, a French take on making the most of farmer's market finds, a fictional character's take on New Orleanian classics, and mouthwatering memories of the notorious Chicago Dog.


Hot Doug's: The Book

]( Doug Sohn
I was flirting with giving up a 2-year stint as a vegetarian when I moved to Chicago and Doug Sohn's famous "encased meat emporium" seemed like the best place to finally take the plunge. So a friend and I got in line one very cold Chicago afternoon and waited. And waited. My toes were completely numb by the time I ordered my inaugural dog: a Saucisson Alsacienne bacon sausage with creme fraiche, caramelized onions, and a slab of gooey French cheese, and, of course, a pile of the famous duck fat fries. As I made my spectacular return to omnivorism, I knew without a doubt that Hot Doug's was totally worth it. Hot Doug's: The Book is a compilation of memories similar to my own, along with stories from friends who knew Doug when he was just a guy who wanted to open a hot dog shop, as well as those who had a hand in the shop's opening. I started flipping through the 231-page ode—stories of its history, the saga of the infamous Chicago foie gras ban, recollections of some of the weirder celebrity sightings—and found that by the time I looked up, I had read it nearly cover to cover. There is even a collection of photos of Hot Doug's tattoos: Nearly 60 people have them, and yes, they all get free food for life—but they still have to wait in line for it. —Laura Sant
Agate Midway; $24.95.

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The French Market Cookbook

]( Clotilde Dusoulier
Good intentions abound when I tuck fresh radish greens into my crisper, but I've tossed a lot of tops as my vegetal imagination runs dry. Clotilde Dusoulier, a Paris-based writer, believes that the greens are the best part, and in her new root-to-stalk cookbook, The French Market Cookbook, she inspires with vegetable-driven, meatless French recipes, like pasta tossed with radish greens, sauteed shallots, toasted walnuts and olive oil. The chapters, arranged by time of year, begin with a list of the season's fruits and vegetables along with tips on how to buy, identify, store and prepare them. Coaxing out each ingredient's true, rich flavor remains the book's greatest triumph with recipes such as pascadous—Swiss chard fritters cooked in a bit of olive oil to yield golden-brown exteriors and tender insides; earthy carrot soup, enhanced by almond milk and vanilla bean, with hints of cardamom and star anise; and a nutty buckwheat tart that cradles tender roasted asparagus, strips of lemon zest, caramelized onion and scallions. Rather than demanding strict adherence to each recipe, Dusoulier's refreshingly simple, yet comprehensive, manual urges that we go to the market to "be surprised and seduced by the ingredients," to which we answer "oui." —Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
Clarkson Potter; $22.50.

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The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes


by Tony Conigliaro

Tony Conigliaro, famed British mixologist and co-founder of The Drink Factory—a lab that researches and perfects liquid flavor—has put his alchemy into words (and pictures, a la clever landscape-like illustrations of flavor journeys along the palate) with The Cocktail Lab. In this Willy Wonka-esque scientific exploration of various tipples, Conigliaro offers improved and reinterpreted recipes. Take, for example, his dirty martini, where a centrifuge is used to make olive water, thereby removing the salty, oiliness of the brine for a more balanced classic; the Cosmo, transformed into pink foam "popcorn" by liquid nitrogen; and a thought-provoking chapter devoted to the relationship between our olfactory senses and taste. While it's unlikely that I'll go out and buy any of the specialized equipment or obscure roots and herbs required to make the cocktails within, The Cocktail Lab, like many modernist and molecular gastronomy cookbooks, is deeply stimulating and a source of inspiration that made me consider how I could begin elevating cocktails in my own kitchen. —Dawn Mobley
Ten Speed; $29.99.

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Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans

]( Lolis Eric Elie
Though chef Janette Desautel of HBO's "Treme" is a fictional character, her voice and feisty personality are convincingly brought to life via the elegant prose of the show's writer (and SAVEUR contributor) Lolis Eric Elie in Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans, in which she guides us through her city's stewed, slow-cooked, and simmered culinary landscape in all its post-Katrina glory. Eli also gives voice, and enlightening backstories, to other "Treme" characters, like trombonist Antoine Batiste, who waxes nostalgic on diced bologna and seafood jambalaya, and violinist Annie Talarico, who talks up the po'boys at Verti Mart. While the book might seem like pure novelty, it's packed with great recipes from non-fictional characters, including chefs Donald Link, David Chang, John Besh and Susan Spicer. Best of all, the book includes a recipe I've been trying to track down for years—trumpeter Kermit Ruffin's butter beans and rice, which he occasionally substitutes for the usual red beans and rice served during his weekly Thursday night gigs at Vaughan's Lounge. I can tell you, it's one of the creamiest, smokiest, best tasting bean dishes of all time, and it's just one of many anything-but-fictional classics Elie offers up. —Keith Pandolfi
Chronicle Books; $29.95.

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