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HIGH-DESIGN COOKBOOKS

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Cookbook
Photograph by Tim Hout

Considering the exotic ingredients and science-lab equipment necessary to make use of them, it's unlikely these cookbooks will ever be sauce-splattered kitchen staples. But that's a good thing: Who'd want to blemish such lavishly packaged, gorgeously photographed culinary porn? From three of the world's most acclaimed and forward-thinking chefs, these visual extravaganzas illustrate their authors' molecular gastronomy at work. Grant Achatz, of Chicago's Alinea, delivers the most straightforward book, with pared-down text and pictures of architecturally arranged dishes worthy of Zaha Hadid. U.K. phenomenon Heston Blumenthal's release (pictured above), with its mind-blowing design and illustrations by cult fave Dave McKean, is the most striking. Ferran Adrià's surveys not only his food but also his Catalan restaurant's inner workings, from ingredient deliveries to end-of-night cleanup—it may be as close as you get to stepping inside El Bulli, since it's booked until 2010. Timothy Hodler

Find Them Online:
The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, Heston Blumenthal [Bloomsbury USA, $250]
A Day at elBulli, Ferran Adrià [Phaidon, $50]
Alinea, Grant Achatz [Ten Speed Press, $50]


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