Michael Ruhlman spotlights four food lit keepers on shelves right now. Here are our notes on his notes.

The Pedant in the Kitchen (Julian Barnes): Sometimes whiney kitchen passages, but Barnes is on fire when writing about other writers writing about food.

Service Included (Phoebe Damrosch): A Per Se waitress who's not as snarky as you'd think, especially for someone who didn't tell the staff she was scribing notes behind their backs. Too much of the story, though, revolves around her saucy relationship with Andre, a Per Se sommelier. The two eventually move in together. (Sau-cy!)

An Edge in the Kitchen: How to Buy Them, Keep Them Razor Sharp and Use Them Like a Pro (Chad Ward): It's an entire book devoted to knives. Knives! If you like knives, you will probably like this book.

Baking with Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature's Ultimate Sweetner (Ania Catalano): For those tired of sugar, or if you just want to pay more on a fancy sap also responsible for tequila, you can now agave-fy everything. Breads, cocktails, custards and cakes. Agave nectar upside down, inside out and all over the place.

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