James Beard award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson has been a judge on Top Chef, Iron Chef America and Chopped. /Courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson hide caption

itoggle caption /Courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson

Yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk. "Bacteria in our gut enable us to live," says author Sandor Katz. "We could not survive without bacteria." iStockphoto.com hide caption

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The Shroom With A View: Mushrooms are fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting bodies found all over the world. They can grow in practically any environment with moisture. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Want the perfect pie crust? Christopher Kimball from America's Test Kitchen says the secret is to substitute half of the recipe's water with vodka, for a dry, flaky crust. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Mark Bittman explains how to make more than 2,000 vegetarian recipes in How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian. "We raise animals now in what can only be called an industrial fashion," he says — and hopes the book encourages people to cut back on their meat consumption. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Harold McGee writes that the flavor of most vegetables exists to deter others from eating them — which may explain the pungency of mustard greens. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Child, who made French cuisine feel accessible to Americans, died in August 2004 at age 91. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Before she took the helm at Gourmet magazine, Ruth Reichl won two James Beard Awards for her work as restaurant critic for The New York Times. Courtesy Ruth Reichl hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Ruth Reichl

"Can something be called chicken or pork if it was born in a flask and produced in a vat?" asks Michael Spector. "Questions like that have rarely been asked and have never been answered." iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Alinea's version of pheasant, served with shallot, cider gel and burning oak leaves. Lara Kastner/Alinea hide caption

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