With so many exemplary food authors coming to the Texas Book Festival this weekend, I reached out to a handful to them to learn more about their books and culinary vision, their writing process and other cookbooks they love. You can catch each of these authors at events around the Capitol on Saturday and Sunday. To find the full book festival schedule, go to texasbookfestival.org.

Einat Admony, author of "Shuk"

New York chef Einat Admony was born in Tel Aviv, but she found culinary fame in the U.S., where she runs Balaboosta, Kish-Kash and a budding falafel chain called Taïm. For her second cookbook, "Shuk: From Market to Table, the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking" (Artisan, $35), she teamed up with famed Israeli food writer Janna Gur, who founded the premier Israeli food and wine magazine Al Hashulchan. Admony, who answered the questions below, will be talking about the book at 1:15 p.m. Saturday in the cooking tent, while Gur will be leading a brunch at Olamaie at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. (Tickets to that brunch, $125, are available through texasbookfestival.org.)

What was the most meaningful cookbook from when you were a young cook?

To be honest, I didn’t need to use cookbooks growing up. I was lucky to learn about ingredients and cooking techniques from both my Persian mother and Moroccan neighbor, who guided my culinary education from a very young age. The integrity and variety of the ingredients available to us at the Israeli shuks made it easy to make incredibly delicious food with love and care, using varied traditions of my multicultural homeland. Eventually, I gained my own culinary intuition from so many years spent in kitchens, both in my childhood home and the professional kitchens in which I launched my career.

What is your favorite recipe in your cookbook?

Mafroum (beef-stuffed potatoes simmered in tomato sauce) is near and dear to my heart. It is my favorite comfort food I grew up eating alongside traditional hand-rolled couscous, and it was the inspiration behind my couscous restaurant, Kish-Kash, in New York. This makes a fantastic dinner main course, with or without the couscous. And Israelis love a chopped salad. We eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and they can be served alongside most things. One of my personal favorites is the chopped avocado, cucumber and kohlrabi salad in the book. It has both crunch and creaminess, and the sweet-spicy flavor pairs well with anything from schnitzel to grilled fish.

What was the hardest part of the book to finish?

The hardest part was deciding which recipes to include! The shuks provide endless inspiration, and there are many rich traditions in Israel that inform the cuisine — Persia, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen, Ethiopia, The Levant, etc. There are so many alluring, delicious and evocative recipes in my repertoire that I wanted to highlight that curating them was very difficult.

What's the biggest message that you hope readers take away from the project?

I hope readers are inspired by the vibrant culture of Israel, a melting pot of many cultures, much like the U.S., and become curious to learn more about them. And also see that the sourcing of quality ingredients is just as important as the time and effort you take in preparing a dish. When you have abundant, fresh produce and herbs at their peak, it doesn’t require much effort to make delicious food.

What's the one thing you wish you could tell yourself when you were at the beginning of your career?

Take good care of your body and your mind. The food industry can be extremely demanding, and caring for yourself first will make you a better cook and a better leader in the kitchen.

RELATED: Texas Book Festival: Sean Brock, Aarón Sánchez, Aaron Franklin headline food panels

Sean Brock, author of "South"

Few chefs have been as synonymous with Southern food in the past decade as Sean Brock, who kickstarted a culinary boom in Charleston that has made the city a destination for foodies across the country. Earlier this year, however, he left Husk, the restaurant where he earned a James Beard Award in 2010, to make a new start in Nashville, where he has plans to open a 10,000-square-foot, two-story complex dedicated to Appalachian food that will include both casual and fine dining spaces and a cocktail bar. This fall, however, he's busy promoting his latest multi-year project, "South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations" (Artisan, $40), a book that covers Southern cuisine in a way that few are better suited to do. I will interview him at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the First United Methodist Church, 1201 Lavaca St.

What was the most meaningful cookbook from when you were a young cook?

When I graduated high school and decided to go to culinary school I got a copy of "The French Laundry Cookbook." It’s safe to say that it blew my mind. I had never seen food like that before; this was way before the internet was full of food images. I memorized every page and could tell you what page number different recipes and techniques were on from memory. I even made one of the desserts verbatim for a school project.

What is your favorite recipe in your cookbook?

It's a recipe called “How to cook a pot of greens." I love narrative recipes and hope to write an entire cookbook that way someday. To get it right so that readers could follow me every step of the way, I basically talked through and recorded every single thought that entered my mind when cooking greens. It’s more of a personal cooking lesson than a recipe.

What was the hardest part of the book to finish?

The hardest part was trying to decide which recipes to cut. They say to "kill your darlings," but those were some darn good recipes and ideas. Hopefully I can remember to put them in the next book. If we hadn’t cut recipes and dishes, the book would have been so heavy you’d have had to hire someone to carry it for you.

What's the biggest message that you hope readers take away from the project?

Explore and be curious! I am still learning so much about the diversity of the South, and I love the feeling of not knowing everything. Stay curious!

What's the one thing you wish you could tell yourself when you were at the beginning of your career?

Spend as much time with your grandmother and all her friends as you can. They hold the wisdom and won’t be around forever. It’s your turn to pass on the traditions of our region, so get your notebook out and pay attention.

Tembi Locke, author of "From Scratch"

Tembi Locke is an actor who has appeared in dozens of TV shows and on Broadway, but her latest work has nothing to do with the stage or screen. For more than a decade, she was married to an Italian chef who was diagnosed with a rare cancer that led to a long illness. In her new memoir, "From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home" (Simon & Schuster, $26.99), she wrote about taking care of him during his final years while also raising their daughter. She's speaking in a conversation called Embracing the Journey: New Memoirs About Finding Healing and Home in the Capitol Extension Room 1.016 at noon Saturday.

What was the most meaningful cookbook from when you were a young cook and why?

My great-aunt Altha kept a book of recipes that had been compiled as part of her church's annual fundraising efforts. It had recipes from everyone in the community. Easy dishes, difficult dishes and dishes her East Texas community considered fancy, like Jell-O with whole pieces of fruit. What I especially loved were the stories of why a parishioner had chosen to include a particular recipe. Those stories were a glimpse into the lives of people I didn't know. And I loved it. 

What was the most meaningful part of this book to write and why?

The scenes with my mother-in-law at her table in Sicily were so meaningful for me to write. I felt like they were a way I could keep her close, learn more about her and have readers fall in love with her. One day, I hope that they will be among my daughter's favorite parts of the book as well.

What was the hardest part of the book to finish?

Writing about my husband's death. It was the hardest to start and the hardest part to finish. Something in my soul told me I might never travel into those memories the same way ever again.

What's the biggest message that you hope readers take away from the project?

That the world is bigger than any fences, borders or nationalities. That our shared humanity and our ability to connect happen when we push past our fears and lean into the most expansive parts of our hearts.

What's the one thing you wish you could tell yourself when you were at the beginning of your career?

There is no timetable. Your creativity will change and flow like a river. Try not to silo your creative aspirations; it's all, in fact, connected. Integrate and you will expand.

Emiliana Puyana, program manager of La Cocina food incubator in San Francisco

For "We Are La Cocina: Recipes in Pursuit of the American Dream," the small team that runs La Cocina, a San Francisco-based incubator kitchen, put together a collection of essays from some of the entrepreneurs who work in the space. At noon on Saturday in the cooking tent, program manager Emiliana Puyana and business owner Reem Assil will be demonstrating one of the recipes in the book and talking about this culturally diverse group of cooks. Puyana shared her answers to the following questions.

What was the most meaningful cookbook from when you were a young cook and why?

"Mi Cocina" by Armando Scannone. It's is probably the most popular Venezuelan cookbook of all time, and it lived in the kitchen of my home (and thousands of homes) growing up. I actually didn't get my own copy until I was an adult and moved out of my parents' house. I believe they gave it to me. If I remember correctly, they brought it with them from Venezuela to San Francisco one Christmas that we spent together here. Prior to my parents' arrival, my father sent me a ton of photos of a recipe for hallacas (a kind of tamal that is eaten during the holidays in Venezuela), and he wanted/needed me to get a head start on buying ingredients and prepping. It's a three- to four-day process, and in Venezuela, it's usually taken on as a family. I remember as a little girl in December coming home from school to find my parents (they have both always really enjoyed cooking) and both of their mothers in our kitchen preparing to make hallacas, which they would make by the hundreds. As an adult now, the book has become a key resource for me. It's a way to reconnect with my heritage and a reminder of just how important having recipes is. When I cook from that book, I get a tiny chance to go back to a country that I love, a country in turmoil, the place that defines me more than any other. It's a place I hope to one day be able to return to.

What was the most meaningful part of this book to write and why?

The stories of each one of the entrepreneurs. We live in a difficult world in difficult times. Inequities are everywhere. Writing this book is proof that when we work to provide equitable opportunities, people succeed. It's a testament to hard work. It's a celebration of the fight to overcome challenges and the impact that folks can have in their communities and so much more. Writing this book was a time to look back and a chance to map the path forward.

What was the hardest part of the book to finish?

Settling on which stories to tell. There were so many stories and recipes that we had to leave out.

What's the biggest message that you hope readers take away from the project?

That food is always prepared by a set of hands, and that when we take the time to value those hands, the food tastes better and we become better people and we can build communities that inspire change. I also want people to know that there is still a ton of work to do and that everyone can do that work.

What's the one thing you wish you could tell yourself when you were at the beginning of your career?

That food and cooking is just the starting point. It's a vehicle for much deeper and needed work. That simple actions can and do effect change.

RELATED: He’s known for brisket, but here’s how Aaron Franklin cooks a steak

Aaron Franklin, author of "Franklin Steak"

Aaron Franklin's second cookbook came out earlier this year, and unlike the first, which broke down his philosophy and technique for smoking meat, "Franklin Steak" focused on salting, searing, resting and cutting nearly a dozen different kinds of steak and other beef cuts. He'll be talking about this latest book at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Central Market Cooking Tent.

What was the most meaningful cookbook from when you were a young cook and why?

"On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee! The first food book I read! And really, I feel like I could have stopped there. I love that it's mostly science and doesn't have any recipes! A true reference book and also, a huge inspiration for "Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto" and "Franklin Steak"!

What is your favorite recipe in your cookbook and why?

We didn't really do many recipes, but if I had to pick an actual recipe, I would say the tomatoes. Sound silly, I know, but the idea of bright, fresh tomatoes with some salt and acid is the perfect complement to big juicy steak! But really, the salt timing experiments from the book stole the show for me. The benefits of an early salting make such a huge difference in texture and flavor!

What was the hardest part of the book to finish?

As usual, the recipes and cooking were super difficult due to scheduling...It's amazing how hard it is to set aside an afternoon to really focus on one thing!

What's the biggest message that you hope readers take away from the project?

That there is no hard right or wrong way to do anything...some ways might be better than others but if you are learning and making some food, it's a win!

What's the one thing you wish you could tell yourself when you were at the beginning of your career?

Just a general life goal: Stay humble, busy and thankful about everything...