Leading chefs in the Chicago area shared memories of the cookbooks that matter to them. Matthias Merges, who ran Charlie Trotter's kitchen for 14 years, said Time-Life's "Foods of the World" books "opened up the whole world" starting at age 8, while Jason Hammel, who owns and operates Lula Cafe with wife Amalea Tshilds, said he still relies on his copy of Thomas Keller's "The French Laundry Cookbook."

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