I'm Just Here for the Food: Version 2.0
A cookbook for people who want to know what's going on, not just what steps to follow to make something. If you're willing to be a little creative, you can combine the techniques described in this book to assemble great meals based on what you KNOW, instead of what's printed on some little card. Loads of great food history and food science makes this book a must-have for anyone who wants to be more capable in the kitchen.
Alton Brown breaks down the science of cooking. It's not enough to simply cook a recipe, rather it is far better to know what you're doing, why and how. It makes you a better cook for it; you're no longer a slave to recipes, knowing what you want as your end result and how to do it means you can improvise and make a meal all your own.