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5 Books To Sink Your Teeth Into Until Top Chef Is Back

While Top Chef Masters is great, I'm eagerly anticipating the real deal, which starts its newest season in New Orleans in October--which gives you plenty of time to dig in to these food-centric reads, so think of these as your appetizer course.

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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.)

5. Mark Kurlansky's SALT

How many chefs have had to pack their knives and go because of under-seasoned food? Kurlansky's sprawling history of the world's only edible mineral serves as a good reminder to just how important a little sodium is.

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