|If your idea of stardom is a celebrity chef, you must read My Last Supper, 50 Great Chefs and their Final Meals. The stunning volume is a perfect coffee table book. The portraits of each chef are divine—from a near-naked Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune, New York City) suckling her infant (and wishing for caviar, cold radishes, soft-scrambled eggs, buttered yeasty toast and ripe cherries), to Dan Barber (Blue Hill, New York City), ethereally slender behind Boris, a huge heritage hog he has raised, who will also be his last meal (“If I’m going, so is Boris”), to Mario Batali, looking like a Roman emperor in a headdress of turnips (his menu is vast). Boston’s Lydia Shire is holding a lobster the size of a two-year-old child, with claws larger than her head (she’ll have a super-prime sirloin steak and two great Burgundies, thank you). You’ll also see El Bulli’s Ferran Adria with his two bulldogs, Anthony Bourdain naked (holding a large, strategically-placed thigh bone), and Laurent Tourondel furtively contemplating a conveyer belt of Krispy Kremes.||
Buy several for gifts. You can order the book for $26.37 on Amazon.com.
|The chefs also tell you who they’d share the meal with, what wines would be served, the setting, and what music would be playing…and they share recipes, as well. This book is true delight for any lover of great restaurants and the chefs who make them possible.
For a slam dunk, cruise on over to The Gourmet Institute to order a copy of The first-ever Chefs of The Gourmet Institute calendar. Melanie Dunea, photographer of My Last Supper (above), took these gorgeous photos, too. They don’t call it a pinup calendar of top New York chefs, but we will. Dan Barber, Anthony Bourdain, Cesare Casella, Scott Conant, Kurt Gutenbrunner, Masaharu Morimoto, Charlie Palmer, Dave Pasternack, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, Laurent Tourondel and Jonathan Waxman are the pinup guys. Calendars are $19.95 each, $1.00 of which goes to Citymeals-On-Wheels. The photo of Marcus Samuelsson (at right), looking like a culinary Cole Porter, is alone worth the price; but each photo is suitable for framing. By the way, Gourmet Institue: why are there no women in this calendar? Were Lydia Bastianich, April Bloomfield, Alex Guarnaschelli, Gabrielle Hamilton, Sara Jenkins, Anita Lo, Jody Willliams and Patricia Yeo all busy the day of the photo shoot? Or is Moet & Chandon, the calendar sponsor, more comfortable with an all-male roster of “favorite chefs?”
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