I think cookbooks are sometimes overlooked as Christmas presents. Maybe it’s the ‘domestic’ element of it? I’m not sure. I remember when the brevren were small, English Dad bought me a breadmaker for Christmas. At the time I was devastated and offended and saw it as insulting that he’d bought me something so ‘homey’ and boring. I don’t know what was the matter with me – I’d love it if he got me one now!! Anyway, if you’ve got a food lover in your life, here’s my top ten of some of the more recent books that have been released. I’ve reviewed some of them before, and have provided links to my reviews. I’ve also given you links for books on the WHSmith website where I can.
Allegra McEvedy’s Bought Borrowed and Stolen has become one of my absolute favourite cookbooks. I’ve reviewed it here so you can read all about it. A beautiful travel/cookery book written in a no nonsense style that is truly unique.
Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet – a perfect pressie for anyone who loves to bake. Dan’s friendly nature (he’s lovely on Twitter – look him up) comes across really well in this chunky book full of sweet treats. I know I’m probably silly, but how a book looks and feels is important to me and this one is gorgeous – I love to be able to flick through photos and pick something that takes my fancy. If you’re like me, you’ll adore Dan Lepard.
Jamie’s Great Britain – I’ve LOVED the series on the TV and this book is a really great accompaniment. Not only are there all the recipes from the series but tons more besides. I know Jamie has his critics but I absolutely adore his food – big flavours, creative combinations and no fiddly twiddly bits. The book is split up into nice easy sections – my fave being breakfasts (I’ve had a go at the Yemeni pancakes – they’re delicious) and mmmmm bubble and squeak with a runny egg on top. Heaven.
Donna Hay’s Fast Fresh Simple – Aussie Donna Hay’s book is absolutely gorgeous to look at and the recipes don’t disappoint either. I really like Donna Hay’s no nonsense approach to cooking, and her books reflect it really well. There are some fab shortcuts and inventive ways to get classic recipes on the table in half the time too. I love it.
One Sweet Cookie – Another really lovely looking book (making it perfect to be given as a gift, in my opinion) full of all sorts of yummy baking. The author, Tracey Zabar, herself famous as a jewellery designer, and stylist on Sex and the City, approached some of the most famous chefs in America (which is why you may not recognise some of the names) and asked them for their favourite baking recipes. The result is a treasure trove of amazing recipes.
Silver Spoon – Phaidon have recently published a new edition of this absolute monster of a classic cookbook. It’s got loads of new photographs and a really luscious red cover. Any foodie would be delighted to discover this one under the tree – everything you could possibly need to know about cooking Italian food.
Leith’s Cookery Bible – I was lucky enough to be given one of these after my recent trip to Leith’s. It’s another real weighty tome but it’s got absolutely everything in it – every recipe you can ever imagine co0king is laid out here, clearly and succinctly – I love the wine tasting section too. Really interesting. This would be a great pressie for a serious amateur cook. It really is a bible.
The Great American Cookbook – this one is quirky and fabulous. I adore it as much for the story behind it as for the actual recipes. Back in 1948, Clementine Paddleford set out on an epic journey to travel across the United States seeking out regional recipes, bringing them together in one enormous tome which was published in the 1960s. This reprint has all the spirit of the original and every truly great American recipe will be found nestling in its pages, from Creole cooking to New York cheesecake and Southern fried chicken. A fantastic read and a really great reference for any keen cook.
Next up will be my top ten Christmas books. Happy shopping!