This book is a favorite among the old school crowd. One of the best step-by-step cookbooks, La Technique, contains a plethora of black & white photos with very direct, concise directions. I love my copy and refer to it often when doing a preparation I haven't tackled in a while. It really helps me set my mise en place. It also contains some interesting gems with napkin folding, paper pastry bag folding, freezing bottles of liquor in ice, and a few of the more rare ways of butchery... like my personal favorite, boning out a trout through the belly and removing the spine so you can stuff the tail through the mouth. I've done it with petite rouget before, and I'll tell you, it makes for quite the show.
The cover of the book also inspired my first culinary-themed tattoo. I figured everybody's been getting pig tats lately. I opted for the lobster to define that I am not a simple pig cook (just ask my wife, I ain't no cheap date). After the number I've killed, hopefully the lobster gods will take pity on my soul once they've seen the respect I've given them thus far.