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When Emeril Lagasse talks about food, well, we listen, especially when it comes to cookbooks. Having written 19 bestsellers himself, it's safe to say he knows just as much about cookbooks as he does about New Orleans cooking.

Recently, Lagasse was selected by Food52 to be a judge in this year's Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks, where he was asked to choose between two very different culinary tomes: Bottom of the Pot by Naz Deravian and The Flavor Matrix by James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst. Not only did Lagasse pick a winner (Bottom of the Pot), he also shared some valuable insight into what he looks for in a cookbook:

Lagasse went with Bottom of the Pot over The Flavor Matrix because it engaged his heart more than his head.

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"For me, cooking comes more from the heart than the head, and it is a true act of love," he writes. "As a matter of fact, my personal mantra has always been ‘food of love.'"

Something tells us mama would agree with that, Emeril!

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