Cookbooks are the perfect gift that keep on giving. But with so many cookbooks on the shelves, how do you know which one to give to the chef or budding cook in your life? It’s one of the most published genres of books in the world, which makes me happy, since there IS always something new to look at, and makes me sad, since I know my addiction to cookbooks doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. That being said, there is a huge difference between a great cookbook and a so-so cookbook, so I hope I can help folks out a bit who are choosing. Some of the big books that caught my eye this year:
At Home with Lynn Crawford, by Lynn Crawford of Food Network fame, and owner/chef of the restaurant Ruby Watchco in Toronto.
The AOC Cookbook, by Suzanne Goin, who owns a flight of popular restaurants in California.
Feast, Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, by Sarah Copeland, a very attractive vegetarian cookbook, which is important to me since you don’t have ‘protein’ starring in the photos.
And speaking of vegetarian, out this year is Moosewood Restaurant Favorites – 250 of their most requested recipes. Molly Katzen, who got her start at Moosewood, has a new cookbook out as well.
I also polled my Facebook friends for some tips since I can’t spend ALL my time on line and in bookshops and they helped out, here are the most popular books they mentioned: Butter Baked Goods, The Book of Kale, Smashing Plates – Greek Flavours Redefined by Maria Elia, and anything by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi is still hot! Especially Jerusalem. My CBC Radio food columnist colleague Khalil Aktar recommends Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok, and a fun one I took for a spin last night called Mug Cakes. These are cake recipes you make in a mug, then divide between 2 mugs, then cook separately in a microwave for about one and a half minutes, then voila! Cake. It sounds crazy but it really works.
Lots to choose from this year from local authors. Joe Wiebe’s Craft Beer Revolution, Bill Jones’ wildly popular Deerholme Mushroom Book, On the Flavour Trail from the Island Chefs Collaborative and Cocktail Culture by Shawn Soole and Nate Caudle. Happy shopping! (all the links here lead to amazon.ca if you like to shop that way for a discount, and a small percentage of each sale ends up in my pocket so I can continue to fund this blog. Thanks in advance.) ***Update! One BC book I forgot to mention here but mentioned on the show was Had A Glass, by James Nevison, Top 100 Wines Under $20. Great value for your gift giving dollars!