Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman wrote the great cookbook How To Cook Everything which I recieved as a gift last Christmas. I like it because the recipes are simple, the food is good, and Bittman's style encourages variations and experimentation. Almost ever recipe is followed by a few alterations, substitutions and additions. It's great for someone who wants to break out from just following instructions.

I just found out that he's got a TV show.

It's How to Cook Everything: Mark Bittman Takes On America's Chefs. On the show, famous chefs make their signature dishes, while Bittman tries to match it with a home-cooked version. It'll be out on DVD soon. I may have to pick it up.