Johnny Vee (not to be confused with famed Florida chef Johnny V) has penned his first cookbook. Known in Santa Fe for his food columns in Santa Fean magazine as well as his cooking classes at Las Cosas, Vee—short for Vollertsen—is a man with a big personality. I've sat in on a couple of his classes and have to admit, it's hard to not like the guy. I still laugh when I recall his story about giving Shirley MacLaine diarrhea by overusing truffle oil. With his big laugh and inability to keep food-related gossip to himself, it's no wonder his students keep coming back for more.
Auguste Escoffier's 1903 Le Guide Culinaire is an exhaustive reference of French cuisine. It still serves as a guide to all who seek to create the perfect selle de chevreuil briand (saddle of antelope larded with bear fat, roasted on a bed of vegetables and garnished with pears poached in red wine), as well as a look back into culinary history. If you're feeling confident, try your hand at this quiz that delves deep into the pages of this intimidating tome.