Whether you're buying gifts for a culinary novice or an expert, an ideal present is as close as the nearest bookstore. The Times' Food staff looked at a sampling of the cookbooks released in time for this holiday season and offers the following reviews to assist last-minute shoppers. Some of these books get down to the basics, some deal with ethnic cuisines while still others are as much a feast for the eyes as for the appetite. These--or the host of other cookbooks you'll find on sale at local stores--will not only delight the recipient but might ensure the giver some memorable repasts during 1988.
Salmon International Chefs' Recipes by Willy Wyssenbach (St. Martin's Press: $19.95 hardcover, 126 pp., illustrated)
All the research involving the merits of omega-3 fatty acid, that mysterious component of deep-water fish that seems to play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease, has brought a wide assortment of recipes for fish to today's kitchen. More cooks than possibly ever before are now experimenting with dishes made with creatures from the sea--chefs included.
Thirty-eight chefs from around the world have contributed their favorite salmon recipes to this pretty yet utilitarian cookbook. Among the chefs who have contributed recipes are Michel Blanchet, L'Ermitage; Pierre Baran, Le Cirque, New York; Andrew Pappas, the Post House, New York, and Steven Melina, Manhattan Ocean Club, New York.