Spoke to one of Chicago’s premier pastry chefs (and ice cream fanatics) Friday afternoon on business. Her pick for ultimate contemporary ice cream book was this: last year’s A Passion for Ice Cream by the legendary Emily Luchetti. Not having worked with either book I can’t offer an opinion, yet I have heard that A Passion isn’t as good an instruction book as A Perfect Scoop. The Luchetti book certainly is full of gorgeous photos and lots of ideas for ice cream cakes and other frozen desserts. Which may well be what makes it such an inspiration to so many professionals. But it’s important to remember here that top professionals look at cookbooks in a very different way than the rest of us mortals. That is, they look at them for the ideas the offer, not for the instructions they give. Most chefs worth their salt already have their techniques down pat, so when they look at a recipe they’re thinking: Ooh that’s nice, only I think I’ll swap out pecans for those walnuts, take away some of the cream and add an extra egg yolk. Plus maybe a little bourbon. Why not? For them, the wheels are always turning donchaknow. Not so much for all of us, who’d just be happy to turn out a decent batch of gelato for the 4th of July. I think I’ll go with Perfect Scoop for now.