The Culinary Institute of America has trained generations of notable chefs (Sara Moulton, among them). In this easy-to-parse volume, its experts serve up fast versions of French classics including Salmon en Papillote, as well as high-end comfort food (Risotto with Scallops). With simple ingredients and inspiring photos, this is perfect for weeknight cooks craving something fast and fab.
Patrick O'Connell's Refined American Cuisine
Co-creator of the Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, O'Connell is a self-taught chef who specializes in luxe but accessible versions of old favorites. In his second cookbook, he elevates comfort favorites to a new level: Deviled eggs are made with quail's eggs; fish sticks become Sole Fingers with Green Herb Mayonnaise. Enlivened by splendid photos, O'Connell's book is a joy.