I'm currently on a serious cookbook kick. I've amassed probably half a dozen in the last couple months, far more than I could possible cook from in that amount of time. The great thing is, I'm learning so much about techniques of cooking that are different from my own. Sohui Kim, chef of The Good Fork, titled her book after her beloved Brooklyn restaurant.
What I love about her cooking style is the blurring of cultural ingredients. Born in Seoul, Korea, Kim's influences are in asian ingredients, but often she couples them with a French home cook's techniques.
Other recipes, like her lamb ragu with fresh fettuccine don't have any asian flavor profiles, but are rich and comforting. I've tried only a handful of recipes so far, but each one is incredibly balanced and interesting.
I've learned some new ingredient combinations, my favorite so far being the succotash from this trout recipe. Kim combines baby bok choy, corn, maitake mushrooms [I couldn't find any so substituted with shiitake] and shallots to create a wildly flavorful succotash.
With this particular recipe, which is surprisingly healthy [well, if you only use a drizzle of the lemon beurre blanc!], feels like a decadent southern plate of comfort food. There aren't many cookbooks I've tried that manage to encompass such a variety of cultures and flavors and depth in one sitting.
I'd recommend this book for someone who's already proficient in the kitchen, or who doesn't mind prep work. Many of her recipes are quite lengthy and require a fair bit of vegetable prep before you even get to the heart of cooking the dish. All that work is absolutely worth it, as every dish I've made from here is one of the best things I've tasted. Though I haven't been [yet!] I imagine I'm eating in her restaurant when I plate each dish, and the level of cooking blurs the lines of home cooking and fine dining, a combination I love.