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Onions to oysters: almost all recipes have a history

ODETTE BERY, the chef-owner of one of Boston's best and most unobtrusive restaurants, has written a book that's as much a lesson in cooking as a collection of fine recipes. It's called Another Season Cookbook (Globe Pequot Press, $14.95). The influence of her travels, her Paris culinary training, and her part-Indian heritage are all revealed in Ms. Bery's unusual combinations. Recipes from this seasoned cooking instructor are easy to follow, and her basic approach reflects the reputation she has for dedication as a perfectionist.

As Bery demonstrates at Another Season restaurant, as well as in her cookbook, her innovative approach to cooking results in an abundance of sophisticated dishes emphasizing fresh, seasonal ingredients.

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England, Scotland, and Wales are in the throes of a culinary revolution, says Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz in her book From the Tables of Britain (M. Evans & Co., $19.95).

Known for her Caribbean and Mexican cookbooks, Ms. Ortiz focuses on Britain, her homeland, and explains that recipes are lighter and more colorful in borrowing from other cuisines and adapting old favorites.

There are notes about many of today's chefs of country inns, hotels, and city restaurants, as well as pubs.

She also includes recipes for such hearty dishes as Sirloin Steak With Stilton Cheese, Salmon With Herbed Vanilla Dressing, Parsnip and Orange Soup, and Stilton and Pear Mousse.

The Elegant Onion. The Art of Allium Cookery (Storey Communications Inc., $6.95.), by Betty Cavage, is a book that includes more than 100 recipes from the author's childhood in England and years of living in Bermuda, as well as from her own onion patch in the United States.

Onions of various colors, plus leeks, shallots, scallions, and all kinds of alliums, are discussed briefly with background information. But most of all, this book has good, easy recipes, from Cheese and Chive Party Puffs to Onion Bread Pudding.

Oysters, the Connoisseur's Guide & Cookbook (101 Productions, $10.95), by Lonnie Williams and Karen Warner, is a small but excellent cookbook. It includes traditions of oyster cultivation and consumption in America, lore and history, and recipes.

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There are beautiful color photos of finished dishes, and black and whites of skipjack oyster boats, people tonging for oysters in Florida, and oysters off California shores.

Other regional information of gustatory interest is also included.

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