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I live in Santa Fe, NM. Elevation here is 6500 ft, so I'm always interested in high altitude recipes, especially for baked goods. My DH and I feast on the many types of chile (local spelling) from the area.
My favorite general cookbook is The Best Recipe, from Cook's Illustrated. I love to read of their testing adventures, as they track down the best techniques and ingredients. My favorite fun cookbook is The Surreal Gourmet, Real Food For Pretend Chefs, by Bob Blumer. It's small book with hilarious illustrations by the author. And every recipe I've tried has turned out super.
I love all kinds of chile. Roasted green chile is a local specialty, and I can never have too much. Every fall, our family goes on a pilgrimage to the many roadside stands, searching for the perfect red and green chiles.
I also love ethnic food of all kinds.
My favorite restaurant in Santa Fe is the Counter Culture Cafe. They have a Chicken Thai soup to die for, fantastic cinnamon rolls, and the best cappaccino in town. In Costa Mesa (Orange County, next to Los Angeles), the Memphis Soul Cafe has a tiny menu of fabulously prepared Southern dishes, and funky 60's atmosphere.