'The Flavor Equation'
Nik Sharma's dedication to breaking down the science of great cooking and flavor-packed food reminds me a little of Samin Nosrat's "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat." Though it is uniquely organized, at its core, it's about understanding how different techniques and ingredients work to produce the most flavorful dishes.
In Sharma's second cookbook, the food writer and recipe developer suggests that emotions play a big role in flavor. By Sharma's equation, emotion + sight + sound + mouthfeel + aroma + taste = flavor.
Science is an inherent part of the cooking process and while the early part of the book takes a fairly intricate look at its role in the kitchen, it lends understanding and background you'll appreciate once you roll up your sleeves and get cooking.
Take the Spareribs in Malt Vinegar + Mashed Potatoes recipe, filed under the chapter called Brightness. The ribs are cooked with a decent amount of vinegar and white wine, both acidic ingredients, but they're also bathed in sweet and spicy liquid, thanks to brown sugar, fennel and peppercorns. The result is fall-off-the-bone tender meat, its richness balanced by the bright acid and further smoothed out with the mashed potatoes.
There's a lot to absorb here (pun intended), but Sharma is a very fine teacher.