"I truly that cooking is spontaneous, and I think that my cooking is spontaneous...you are influenced (or should be) by your surroundings and what's available," says David Lentz. Which is why he loves A Return To Cooking by famed French-turned-New-Yorker chef Eric Ripert.
"Chef Ripert goes to different places at different times of year with a crew and just cooks. If i ever do a cookbook (which I would like to, some day), I would try to do the same thing. I think you are at your best when you are relying on what you have. What a great job, to take six months and go to different exquisite locations and cook, have dinner parties, etc.
"The book is also great for new cooks. It shows the importance of cooking what's in season, and also the fact that you should cook with whats indigenous to your area. It's definetley a must for any cook. I often find myself thumbing through the pictures just to capture some of the passion that is exuded."
Read about more favorite cookbooks from L.A. chefs in our Chef's Library archives.