1. Charlotte Druckman’s SKIRT STEAK
Druckman’s rapid-fire wit and cutting observations (not to mention interviews with some of the baddest female chefs in the business and Top Chef alum like Traci Des Jardins) will have you coming back for seconds.
2. Marcus Samuelsson’s YES, CHEF
If tracing an Ethiopian-born,Swedish-raised chef’s path through the White House state room and into Harlem doesn’t sound interesting to you, may I ask you to look at a picture of Marcus Samuelsson? He’s good looking and an even better chef (and also on Top Chef Masters!).
3. Tom Colicchio’s THINK LIKE A CHEF
If you thought there would be a Top Chef without Tom, well, you thought wrong. If you’ve ever wondered what’s going on behind that shiny, bald head of his, this is the book for you.
4. Melanie Dunea’s MY LAST SUPPER
In what sounds like a terribly morbid premise but turns out to be an addicting read, Dunea asks famous chefs what their very last meal would be, and they answer, accompanied by portraits. Dunea’s book was the inspiration for one of the final elimination challenges is season 5. (Plus, there’s a nude Tony Bourdain, and Wylie Dufresne lounging surrounded by piles of American cheese, if you’re into that.)