There’s nothing quite like the smell of a new book. Or a homecooked meal, constructed with the help of a new cookbook. What a lovely gift to give someone. And, for the less organised amongst you, a lovely gift you can order today from Amazon and have tomorrow. Christmas is a comin’ people!
Know a foodie? Stuck for Christmas present ideas? Got a space on your own recipe book shelf to fill? Feast your eyes on these…
This is probably my top pick from 2015. I love Gizzi’s attitude towards food – eat what you want, mix in some stuff that’s good for you and don’t buy into the fads – and her recipes are delicious. This is a really beautiful book to give someone too; the photography is vibrant and Gizzi’s commentary is relatable and friendly.
Korean Chicken (Gizzi loves her Korean influences!)
Ox Cheek Goulash
As readers of Plates and Places will know, Duck and Waffle is one of my top London restaurants. The food, the presentation, the view and the atmosphere all get a 10/10 from me, so I was pretty pleased to see head chef, Dan Doherty, put his name to this publication last year. Not sure you’ll heart the book? Consider Dan’s Instagram feed a free trial. I promise you’ll be clicking ‘add to basket’ in no time.
Duck and Waffle (well, duh..)
Crispy Pig Ears (pork scratchings for formal occasions)
Brownie with Peanute Butter Ice Cream and Marshmallow
Rosie Birkett, A Lot on Her Plate (£22.95)
I love Rosie. You might recognise her from Sunday Brunch, as she’s done a couple of segments for them (with my fave being the kebab revival!), but I started following her a little bit before then when she launched her blog, A Lot on Her Plate. I’ve also been to a couple of her residencies (with my fave being the one at Carousel when this very book I want you to buy launched). If someone you love likes rustic food that’s hearty and meaningful and lovely to look at, they’ll like this cookbook.
Mushroom Ragu with Truffled Polenta
Lemon Meringue Posset
The Hairy Bikers, Great Curries (£9.99)
Best.Curry.Book.Ever. If there’s someone on your list with a penchant for the local curry house, get them this. This book taught me to make my own curry paste and inspired me to make my own curry accompaniments and sauces, rather than buying them in. The recipes are simple, use easy-to-get ingredients and are really mindful of money.
Light Chicken Korma (there’s also a ‘full fat’ version, but seriously this tastes so good there’s no need)
The Very Best Mango Chutney
Perfect for the kind of cook who does nothing by halves: two meat, three chocolate or four cheese <insert dish here> – you know the sort. Mr Kerridge doesn’t scrimp on his ingredients lists but his recipes aren’t faffy either. Expect homecooked food with no frills, just lots of flavour.
Duck and Lemongrass Kebabs
She’s done it again! I’ve seen a few recipes floating about but am yet to get Nigella’s latest offering. I love the way she writes, the words she uses and her ability to make everything look and taste so bloody brilliant (and a bit sexy..) while remaining pretty darn effortless. The puds in here are to die for but if January Resolutions are calling, there’s some great super food fancies too.
A great coffee table book you can dip in and out of, Taste is full of foodie facts. Bursting with imaginative illustrations and information that’ll help you enjoy eating and cooking more, this is top of my Christmas list.
Olia Hercules, Mamushka (£12)
Not a cuisine I’d usually go for and most likely something a bit different for the foodies in your life, Olia’s book is an homage to Ukrainian food. It’ll no doubt surprise you / the lucky recipient when it comes to the staples of a Ukranian kitchen and the recipes are really easy to follow.
Anna Jones, A Modern Way to Cook (£9.99)
Often I get interested in a chef or food writer because of them personally and Anna Jones was no different. Anna started her foodie journey when she quit her office job to join Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen apprentice programme, spur of the moment style, and has since worked with some of the most fabulous foodies and brands, writing and making magical things – exactly what I want to do! But if you’re not a weird food-writer-stalker like me, no doubt you know at least one person who has barely enough time to sneeze let alone cook nutritious and tasty food and perhaps that person would like this book of quick recipes.
Happy book-buying and a very Merry Christmas!