One of my most bookmarked, often turned to for inspiration cookbooks, is John Ash's From the Earth to the Table: John Ash's Wine Country Cuisine.
John Ash was a painter prior to becoming a chef, and it's evident in the way the recipes are written and composed to have both visual and taste appeal. He also provides wine pairings and garnish suggestions. He is also committed to sustainable, seasonal cooking, which is also evident.
Ash is going to be teaching two classes and hosting a dinner at Piatto Novo in April 2010 with the Western Reserve School of Cooking. I really wish I could attend, especially since the first class is on my birthday, but I have already made other plans.
I've made the Baked Olives and Vegetable Crudites with Warm Garlic Dipping Sauce for several parties to great reviews. The Seared Ahi Tuna with a Lavender-Pepper Crust is also a favorite, which pairs perfectly with a fruity Pinot Noir or Grenache for red drinkers, or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc for white drinkers.
Especially when I am planning a wine paired dinner or party, this is one of the first books I turn to, but practically every page sings out with a recipe that appeals to me and inspires me to get cooking. One of my favorites out of the probably pushing 400 cookbooks in my collection.