And *drrrrumrrrrrrooooolllllllll* – the concluding part of my favourite food books mini-series. I heartily recommend them all, so go on, strain your cookshelf, and fill your January with joy and cooking.
This year, several bloggers were published (including myself), I’ve included my favourite books from those bloggers that published here. I have included Scandilicious in an earlier part of my round up, Sig would be here otherwise.
I’ve also included a chef and restaurateur, who is really well known for his restaurant, Ottolenghi, and books, but less well known for his blog. His books are really terrific and need no promotion from me having won awards and gracing bestseller lists. It is lovely though, and I do highly rate it, so it is here.
I have also included Jake Tilson, who isn’t a blogger but I know him from twitter so…. at a (large) stretch, it all kind of ties in!
Cooking Without Recipes is a generous and charming book that takes apprentice and novice cooks through everything that they would need to know in order to feel comfortable cooking in their kitchen. Philip describes essential tools, pots, pans and knives, essential ingredients and then describes how to cook from scratch. It has a mine of tips and information that even advanced cooks will appreciate and is a lovely read too.
This isn’t Jake Tilson’s first cookbook, but it is a cookbook with a twist. Jake had a fear of fish his whole life, and set out to resolve this by cooking and eating fish from Venice to Tokyo. The result is a feast for the eyes and the imagination with beautiful recipes and stories. His strengths as a designer make it an even lovelier tome.
Kirsten’s supper club, The Underground Restaurant, is well known in London and beyond. It has been mentioned in the press in Ireland as well as many times in the UK, and I am sure in other places. She was one of the pioneers of the supper club movement in London, and weekly runs a themed night from her home. In her book she shares the menus and recipes from these nights with lots of great stories and also plenty of tips for the aspiring supper clubber. It has a beautiful cover too.
Disclosure: James has also been published in the New Voices in Food Series but independently of me.
This book is a lovely collection of recipes, perfect for the new cook who wants to experiment with bright culinary ideas in their kitchen with clear instruction. It’s also great for regular cooks who want some new ideas to try. I really want to try the Moroccan Shoulder of Lamb – Nigel Slater did and he loved it so much, he included it in one of his December recipe columns in The Observer.
Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi
When I first moved to London it was the Middle Eastern food that first grabbed my attention (along with the terrific curries available). I worked in Kings Cross for 5 years when I still had a day job, and was thrilled to discover Ottolenghi nearby on a lunchtime wander. I frequently treated myself to a take away lunch from there on pay day. I was overjoyed when I heard he was writing a book. The resulting book is wonderful and really inspiring. A modern classic, it is a must for all serious cooks (and maybe not so serious too :)
I bake but it isn’t a passion of mine and I do it infrequently. I am utterly at home with, and in love with savoury. So I was surprised when I was smitten with Edd Kimber’s baking book, The Boy Who Bakes. I shouldn’t say surprised, Edd has a lovely blog (he was a blogger before TV star, having won The Great British Bake Off the year before last) and I love his writing. The point is, even for non-bakers like me, this is a gorgeous book that will encourage you to bake, and you should buy it.