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Take a peek into the lives of top chefs

I'm fascinated by people who take an ordinary activity and make it something extraordinary. While all of us do some type of cooking, even if it's only warming up frozen food, chefs elevate this ordinary activity into kitchen art.

I'm fascinated by people who take an ordinary activity and make it something extraordinary.

While all of us do some type of cooking, even if it's only warming up frozen food, chefs elevate this ordinary activity into kitchen art. Check out these entertaining biographies of some great kitchen masters.

One of the newest chef biographies is Life, On the Line by Grant Achatz.

Achatz is one of the pioneers of molecular gastronomy, and his Chicago restaurant Alinea is famous for some science-based marvels.

He shares how a cancer diagnosis helped him change the way he sees and tastes food.

If you like your food southern and rich, then dive into Paula Dean: It Ain't All About the Cookin'. Dean's Savannah, Georgia restaurant, The Lady & Sons, attracts lineups for every meal. She shares her childhood memories, how she started her first business with just $200 and insights into what makes her such a successful TV personality and businesswoman.

Anthony Bourdain is certainly one of the "bad boys" of the culinary world. His Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly shocked food lovers with his often graphic tales of the restaurant world. Although not for the faintof-heart, this fascinating read will give you a whole new appreciation for the people who work in the food business.

Blood, Bones & Butter

by Gabrielle Hamilton is a beautifully written memoir by the owner of New York's Prune. Although lots of space is given to Hamilton's experiences building Prune, she gives

equal time to the many kitchens of her past and family members that shaped her feelings about food. Some other great titles include Alice Waters and

Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee, Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life by Kim Severson, and Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family by Patricia Volk.

And if you're inspired by any of these books, the New Westminster Public Library has a wonderful selection of cookbooks, perfect for novice and experienced cooks alike!

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