Here are some of the local-interest cookbooks that got our attention this year. Consider them for holiday giving, or as a gift to yourself.
"Baltimore Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from Charm City and the Surrounding Counties" ($24.95, Globe Pequot Press) by Kathy Wielech Patterson and Neal Patterson.
Published this summer and beautifully illustrated with photographs by Kevin Maher, the book has more than 80 recipes for the home cook contributed by some of Baltimore's best restaurant chefs. There's a gorgeous Rhode Island quahog chowder from Eric Houseknecht of Thames Street Oyster House, a chilled lobster salad from Tom Devine of Linwood's and, really worth a book of its own, a crab cake recipe from Nancy Longo of Pierpoint. The Pattersons, who maintain the witty and informative Minx Eats food and dining blog, are also the authors of "Food Lovers' Guide to Baltimore." Well researched and well organized, their new book is a beauty.
"Seafood Lover's Chesapeake Bay: Restaurants, Markets, Recipes & Traditions" ($19.95, Globe Pequot Press) by Mary Lou Baker and Holly Smith.
Brand new in bookstores, this book co-written by former Baltimore Magazine food and wine editor Mary Lou Baker is part history, part recipe book and part guide to the region's seafood suppliers and seafood-related culinary events.
"The Dead Rise Cookbook"($15, flyingdogbrewery.com)
Back this summer, when Flying Dog released its massively successful 75th anniversary tribute to Old Bay seasoning, Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale, the Frederick-based brewery also published this cookbook with recipes from such chefs as Bryan Voltaggio, Spike Gjerde and Mike Isabella. All the recipes incorporate Old Bay seafood seasoning, and most of them also make use of Flying Dog beer. Proceeds from the cookbook, which is available on the brewery's online shop, continue to benefit the state's True Blue seafood certification and marketing program.
"Baltimore Baseball and Barbeque with Boog: Stories from the Orioles' Smokey Slugger"(American Palate, $19.99) by Rob Kasper and Boog Powell
Orioles fans will eat up this collaboration by a former Baltimore Sun writer and Orioles legend Boog Powell.
"Slices of Life: A Food Writer Cooks through Many a Conundrum" (Perseus Books Group, $26) by Leah Eskin
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Followers of Eskin's Home on the Range columns, which often appear in the pages of The Baltimore Sun, will like her book and her easy-to-follow recipes.