Cookbooks make the best end of year gifts. Which one are you going to choose?
It’s just so hard to choose. We whittled it down to about 20 books that we absolutely love and then argued and back-and-forthed about our favourite ten. And it should be no surprise that each of us has a different top ten for 2015! This list is our consensus and we hope it will help you make the right decision if you’re buying a cookbook gift for a friend or for yourself. That said, there is rarely a wrong choice with a cookbook, we adore them all.
The Edible City Indira Naidoo is doing incredible things for the kitchen gardens of Australia (and the Wayside Chapel). Stories about people helping out and being helped, gorgeous green garden ideas and a terrific selection of recipes. A fabulous gift for anyone who wants or has a green thumb. We’ll start with the orange glazed carrots with cumin, mint and labne.
How Baking Works James Morton has written a very clever and appealing book covering all aspects of baking (love the chapter called ‘forebake’) and has done it in a simple way. This makes a fabulous gift for anyone who loves baking and is great for both those just starting out or anyone with experience. We’ll start with his version of caramel slice, the ultimate millionaire’s shortbread.
Margaret and Me Kate Gibbs has written a beautiful memoir about her and her iconic grandmother, Margaret Fulton. It is a wonderful read, and you’ll want to eat (and cook!) everything. Margaret’s tale of chicken soup delivered to a neighbouring family in the midst of a home birth is heartwarming. A great gift for anyone who loves stories intertwined with irresistible recipes. We’ll start with the hot butteries, a Scottish bakery item that is a buttery cross between a bap roll and a croissant.
The Healthy Life Young Sydney nutritionist Jessica Sepel is educating a generation of young people all about the joys of healthy living. This is a gorgeous book with some really lovely recipes which everyone can enjoy, whether on a health kick or not. Perfect present for anyone who is conscientiously craving a super healthy kickstart. We’ll start with the herb and almond crusted snapper.
Mr Wilkinson’s Simply Dressed Salads One of our favourite chef/authors is Melbourne’s Matt Wilkinson who has brought out a fabulous book to follow his previous fabulous book on veggies. We are big salad fans and this book is chock full of really delicious salad ideas. A great gift for any foodie or cook. We’ll start with the G & T drunken chicken with carrots and dukkah.
Nopi Yes it’s another book by our fave, Yotam Ottolenghi, this time with head Nopi chef (and Aussie) ‘Scully’. This book is a must for Ottolenghi fans who just can’t get enough of his recipes. It’s different to his others; the dishes are a little more refined, a little more restauranty and a little more Asian, and still really interesting and enticing. We’ll start with the tapioca with coconut jam and caramelised rum bananas.
Everyday Super Food With all the incredible work Jamie Oliver is doing for the health of school kids across the world, it’s no wonder that he is right into health and super food. The good news is that it is still a fabulous book with lots of really nice recipes. A great gift for anyone who is leaning towards healthy cooking, and a necessary gift for anyone who loves Jamie (who doesn’t ?!?). We’ll start with the chicken & garlic bread kebabs, blood orange, spinach and feta
The Great Australian Cookbook Helen Greenwood and Melissa Leong have put together this stupendous and stunning collection of recipes from chefs, cooks, farmers and providores across Australia. It is a feel-good book with the most spectacular artwork by Reg Mombassa and a diverse and super-interesting collection of unpretentious recipes. And yes, we are very proud to have contributed a couple of recipes. Check out this great video all about the book. It’s a brilliant present for overseas friends (it gives a wonderful snapshot of Australia) and for Australian friends who love to cook (and really want to know what Neil Perry cooks his kids for dinner). We love it! We’ll start with Peter Gilmore’s Korean Chicken Soup.
Falafel for Breakfast Michael Rantissi (with Kristy Frawley) has produced one of our favourite books of the year. We are big fans of his Kepos and Co and Kepos Street Kitchen restaurants and this is a book that conveys the warmth and love from his menus and everything he serves. Gorgeous photography by Alan Benson. This book is the perfect gift for anyone who likes to cook a little and eat a lot. It is all delicious. We’ll start with the cauliflower, raw tahini and zhoug salad.
Simply Nigella Nigella Lawson is back again with a book that will be walking off the shelves. We all know we can trust her recipes – they work – and there are so many in this one that are just simply delicious. We want to make quite a few of her dishes and it’s quite hard to choose where to start. We really want the drunken noodles but for some reason, we have chilli on our mind. We’ll start with the beef chilli with beer, bourbon and black beans.
And while you’re shopping, don’t forget these must-haves from our kitchen:
Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood and The Feast Goes On.
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