Despite never having made it to the Inn itself, I was inspired to purchase The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook: A Consuming Passion on a recent visit to Washington DC. Published in 1996, it remains a must-have. The Inn at Little Washington—located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains (about 70 miles west of DC)—has a restaurant that cooks with fare from sustainable, local purveyors and farmers, as well as using its own orchards, gardens, and chicken houses. For the cookbook, Chef Patrick O’Connell adapted recipes from his kitchen in an easy-to-follow format that makes cooking with unfamiliar or exotic ingredients approachable. His personal headnotes offer a closer look into how and why the Inn has become an institution, and ample photos of the grounds and food convey the place’s quaint sophistication. I will enjoy my copy’s pristine appearance for the moment, as it is sure to become tattered before my next trip out east (when maybe, eventually, I’ll eat at the Inn).

The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook: A Consuming Passion, $50

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