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Real Cooks Will Like These Books

SPQR By Shelley Lindgren and Matthew Accarrino, Ten Speed Press. Hardcover. $35; 295 pages. How often anyone who unwraps SPQR will make Farro-Stuffed Quail with Chestnuts, Persimmons, and Dandelion Greens is open to debate, but this San Fran restaurant's take on Italo-inspired California cooking will dazzle the right foodie on your list.

Modern Sauces By Martha Holmberg, Chronicle Books. Hardcover. $35; 256 pages. Sauce making can be a great secret weapon for a successful home cook: Professional chefs know that a great sauce dazzles and can cover myriad sins. Give this to any canny cook.

Japanese Farm Food By Nancy Singleton Hachisu, Andrews McMeel Publishing. Hardcover. $35; 386 pages. California food lover marries Japanese organic farmer and produces exotic but earthy farm-to-table book. Give this one to any dreamer.

Flour Water Salt Yeast By Ken Forkish, Ten Speed Press. Hardcover. $35; 265 pages. The next great book to leaven the home-baked bread revolution. Give to any baker or aspiring baker, then insist on being invited over for tastings.

Making Artisan Pasta By Aliza Green, Quarry Books. Paperback. $25; 174 pages. We've been cooking from this in our Test Kitchen, and we love it. Clear techniques, gorgeous noodles. Give to the pasta hound.

Cindy's Supper Club By Cindy Pawlcyn, Ten Speed Press. Hardcover. $35; 287 pages. Not many chefs could pull off this supper-club-feeling assemblage of global menus. Pawlcyn does: It's a warm-hearted book for friendly cooks.

Gran Cocina Latina By Maricel E. Presilla, W. W. Norton & Co. Hardcover. $45; 901 pages. The long-awaited bible of Latin-American cooking from a New Jersey chef-scholar we dig.