It's so surprise that Steve Samson's favorite cookbooks cover the history of the cooking of his greatest muse, Italy.
"My all time favorite food-related book is Pellegrino Artusi's The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well," Samson says. The book, also known as Science In the Kitchen and the Art Of Eating Well, is well over 100 years old, and is considered a landmark work in Italian cooking and culture.
"It was the first cookbook to include recipes from the different regions in Northern Italy," Samson says. "Despite being written in 1891, Artusi's recipes, and his wit, hold up very well."
For something a wee bit more modern, Samson recommends Giorgio Locatelli's Made in Sicily. "Even though he's from Northern Italy, with restaurants in London, Made in Sicily really captures the uniqueness and complexity of the island's cuisine."