Three vibrant cookbooks bring a world of food to your kitchen bookshelf this August. Not only are the recipes superb, but the books make fabulous reading.

THAILAND: THE COOKBOOK by Jean-Pierre Gabriel is the most comprehensive volume on Thai cookery available. Renowned photographer and food writer, Gabriel has spent over three years visiting every region of Thailand to photograph and study this special cuisine. He spoke with authentic Thai cooks, visited food markets and restaurants, and sampled delicacies from simple street food to sumptuous banquet cuisine. The large volume begins with a series of introductory essays that explore the history of Thai cuisine and ends with a selection of menus from celebrated chefs from all over the globe. Each recipe is accompanied by helpful guidance on unusual ingredients and essential cooking techniques to help home cooks.

30 YEARS AT BALLYMALOE: A Celebration of the World-renowned Cooking School with over 100 New Recipes by Ireland’s best-known foodie Darina Allen is a wonderful look at this evolving and exciting cuisine. I was fortunate to eat at the restaurant and stroll through the gardens a few years ago. Now the recipes come alive in this wonderful volume. When Ballymaloe’s doors opened to students in 1983, there were 15 courses available. Today there are over 100 courses, reflected in the recipes collected here. The book chronicles how the school has been at the forefront of cooking and food trends since its inception, from Darina’s championing of the Slow Food movement and her highlighting the importance of using local, seasonal and fresh produce to installing a wood-burning oven and expanding its gardens so students can learn the importance of eating less meat and more vegetables and preserving heirloom varieties of produce.

VIBRANT FOOD: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season by Kimberley Hasselbrink captures the shades of the seasons with recipes that transform meals into fascinating works of art. Ms Hasselbrink, a famous food protographer, and the creator of the acclaimed blog The Year in Food, turns the act of cooking into an amazing palate for the eyes and taste buds. It is a visually striking look at the colors and flavors of each season espousing healthful eating with easy recipes. Outstanding highlights include green rice salad with nectarines and corn; summer squash pasta with green goddess dressing; and turkey burgers with balsamic figs.

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