Our neighbors to the north have been busy this year: Seattle chefs and eatery owners have upped the ante for restaurant cookbooks, releasing several tomes this season that deserve a place in your kitchen library—and on you iPad!

By chef John Sundstrom of Lark, self published

Sundstrom's crowd-sourced cookbook (financed in part by a successful Kickstarter campaign) may herald a new era of culinary publishing. The community-supported book was released as an iPad app, e-book, and made-in-the-USA handbound hardcover that explores the Pacific Northwest's three seasons of food: mist, evergreen, and bounty. I literally gasped when I opened the cookbook app for the first time—each recipe is available as a step-by-step slideshow with stunning photos and videos that serve as a digital culinary school for follow-along cooks. It's a love letter to local food sources, and to cookbook fans in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Sneak peek recipe: Wild boar shoulder with chestnuts, sugar pumpkin, and porcini

Get it: On the Lark cookbook website and in the App store.

By chef Makini Howell, Sasquatch Books, available April 23

This colorful vegan cookbook from Seattle-based Plum Bistro captures the spirit and passion of chef, owner, and life-long vegan Makini Hawell with her recipes for vegan spins on pantry essentials, breakfast favorites, small plates, mains utilizing tofu, tempeh, and seitan, and desserts. Many of the recipes are also gluten-free and soy-free, but the book's luscious photos are sure to whet anyone's appetite, dietary restrictions or no.

Recipes include: Grilled black plum and jicama salad with radicchio, Habanero yam soup, Blue corn pizza with pesto-grilled heirloom tomatoes, and raw tostadas with spicy strawberry avocado salad.

Get it: At Powells Books or Amazon. Howell will be at Powells City of Books (1005 W Burnside St) on Saturday, April 27 at 4 pm to read from her book and share the stories behind her Plum Bistro success.

The recent announcement of this year's James Beard Award finalists brought my attention to several other cookbooks out of Seattle, including Michael Natkin’s Herbivoracious in the Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian category, and The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle for Baking and Desserts. 

Stay tuned for upcoming releases from culinary Portlanders, including Andy Ricker's Pok Pok cookbook, Gabe Rucker's Le Pigeon: The Cookbook, John Gorham's The Toro Bravo Cookbook: The Making, Breaking and Riding of a Bull, Lake Oswego's gluten-free Crave Bake Shop's Sweet Cravings, as well as Nick Zukin and Michael Zusman's The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home, all due out in 2013. Watch out, Seattle.

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