Bitters, Beef Cutters, and Cheesemongers: A Taste of the 2012 James Beard Foundation Book Award Finalists

The 2012 James Beard Foundation Book Award finalists include several of our favorites. Any of yours?

Chow Bella Book Club read one of the finalist's books: Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. We'll be reading another nominee, Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller, for April's event at Changing Hands -- details on that to follow.

Here's the complete list of books nominated for a 2012 James Beard Foundation award:

American Cooking: A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen by Hugh Acheson (Clarkson Potter)

American Flavor by Andrew Carmellini and Gwen Hyman (Ecco)

Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country by Suvir Saran with Raquel Pelzel and Charlie Burd (Chronicle Books)

Baking and Dessert: Baking Style: Art, Craft, Recipes by Lisa Yockelson (John Wiley & Sons)

Cooking with Chocolate: Essential Recipes and Techniques edited by Frédéric Bau (Flammarion)

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan)

Beverage: An Ideal Wine: One Generation's Pursuit of Perfection -- and Profit -- in California by David Darlington (Harper)

Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, & Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press)

The Oxford Companion to Beer edited by Garrett Oliver (Oxford University Press)

Cooking from a Professional Point of View: The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts by Meredith Erickson, David McMillan and Frédéric Morin (Ten Speed Press)

Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara (Little, Brown and Company)

Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab)

General Cooking: My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking by John Besh (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

Ruhlman's Twenty by Michael Ruhlman (Chronicle Books)

The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter).

Focus on Health: Comfort Food Fix: Feel-Good Favorites Made Healthy by Ellie Krieger (John Wiley & Sons)

The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food Without Gluten & Lactose by Barbara Kafka (Artisan)

Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson (Ten Speed Press) International: The Country Cooking of Italy by Colman Andrews (Chronicle Books)

The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert (Ecco)

The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden (Ecco) Photography: The Cheesemonger's Kitchen, photographer Joseph De Leo (Chronicle Books)

Notes from a Kitchen: A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession, artist/photographer: Jeff Scott (Tatroux)

Rustica: A Return to Spanish Home Cooking, photographer: Alan Benson (Chronicle Books)

Reference and Scholarship: The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional's Guide to Butchering and Merchandising by Kari Underly (John Wiley & Sons)

The Food Lover's Guide to Wine by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Co.)

Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880-1920 by Andrew P. Haley (The University of North Carolina Press).

Single Subject: All About Roasting by Molly Stevens (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal by Jennifer McLagan (Ten Speed Press)

Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi (Chronicle Books) Writing and Literature: Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (Random House)

Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press)

Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Now that's a nice stack of summer reading. Winners will be announced Friday, May 4.

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Jennifer Woods
Contact: Jennifer Woods