With so many amazing cookbooks released every month, it’s hard to know which ones to buy. Here are (SOME OF) AYDIE’s top picks for 2015 – just in time for some last minute Christmas shopping. If you’re still hunting for gifts, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful cookbook – especially for someone who loves to eat or cook.
DELICIOUS: FEEL GOOD FOOD by Valli Little (ABC Books)
There’s a global movement towards growing, cooking and eating food that nourishes and sustains. In FEEL GOOD FOOD, Valli Little brings her signature style to recipes that look and taste utterly indulgent, yet offer a balanced, more holistic approach to everyday eating and wellbeing. Add to this plenty of no-nonsense advice on essential pantry ingredients and cooking methods, and you have a cookbook that will inspire and delight, whether you’re grabbing breakfast on the run or entertaining a crowd.
FEEL GOOD FOOD is the tenth book from bestselling author and food director Valli Little, with the team behind one of Australia’s leading food magazines, delicious. Each recipe is brought to life with beautiful images shot by Jeremy Simons and acclaimed stylist David Morgan.
The price: $39.99
Perfect for: Home cooks looking for new ideas and healthy recipes. Valli Little’s cookbooks are always a winner with so many delicious recipes and inspiration for cooking at home.
NOPI: THE COOKBOOK by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully (Random House)
The blurb: NOPI: THE COOKBOOK includes over 120 of the most popular dishes from Yotam’s innovative Soho-based restaurant NOPI. It’s written with long-time collaborator and NOPI head chef Ramael Scully, who brings his distinctive Asian twist to the Ottolenghi kitchen. Whether you’re a regular at the NOPI restaurant and want to know the secret to your favourite dish or are an Ottolenghi fan who wants to try out restaurant-style cooking, this is a collection of recipes which will inspire, challenge and delight.
All recipes have been adapted and made possible for the home cook to recreate at home. They range in their degree of complexity so there is something for all cooks. There are dishes that long-time Ottolenghi fans will be familiar with – a starter of aubergine with black garlic, for example, or the roasted squash with sweet tomatoes – as well as many dishes which will stretch the home cook as they produce some of the restaurant’s signature dishes at home, such as Beef brisket croquettes or Persian love rice. With chapters for starters & sides, fish, meat & vegetable mains, puddings, brunch, condiments and cocktails, a menu can easily be devised for any occasion and purpose.
The price: $59.99
Perfect for: The adventurous chef. Nopi features recipes from Yotam’s restaurant that are no easy feat but will bring a sense of accomplishment (and deliciousness) if you attempt them at home.
DOLCE by Laura Savant (Murdoch)
The price: $39.99
Perfect for: Every sweet tooth – particularly those partial to Italian treats.
MKR: BEST OF THE BEST COOKBOOK by Seven Network (Hachette)
MY KITCHEN RULES, Australia’s most watched cooking show, has helped ignite the passions of millions of home cooks.Now, in one stunningly photographed and beautifully presented cookbook, you have the chance to make all your favourite recipes in your own kitchen. Plate up Veronica & Shadi’s Grilled Swordfish, Sammy & Bella’s Salmon Fish Fingers, Nic & Rocco’s Macarons Six Ways, Luke & Scott’s Zesty Prawn Salad, Dan & Steph’s Lamb Roulade with Smoked Carrots and Mint Pesto, Helena & Vikki’s Baked Moussaka or Jac & Shaz’s Red Velvet with Chocolate and Raspberries. With all the best dishes from the first six seasons of the show, you and your family can create your own instant restaurant, cook and compare your meals to your favourite teams’ and score the results just like Pete and Manu.
Perfect for: Lifelong fans of MKR or people looking for restaurant-quality recipes they can cook and serve at home. This book is filled with stunning photography and recipes you’ll actually want to try.
BROADSHEET SYDNEY AND/OR BROADSHEET MELBOURNE by Broadsheet (Plum)
Broadsheet is the go-to arbiter of taste when it comes to where and what to eat in Sydney. Here, for the first time, they present the recipes for their pick of the best dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner from its cafes and restaurants.
Alongside the iconic Sydney dishes from all of our top chefs are handy feature spreads from the experts on how to make the best coffee at home, poach the perfect egg, choose the best wine for your meal, and more.
Featured cafes, restaurants and bars include:
* Kitchen By Mike * The Grounds of Alexandria * Three Blue Ducks * Pinbone * Da Orazio * ACME * Longrain * Icebergs * Moon Park * Spice Temple * Cho Cho San * Porteno * Mr Wong * Mamak * Billy Kwong * Gelato Messina * Fratelli Paradiso * Sadhana Kitchen * Bourke Street Bakery * Café Sopra *
Broadsheet is the go-to arbiter of taste when it comes to where and what to eat in Melbourne. Here, for the first time, they present the recipes for their pick of the best dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner from its cafes and restaurants.
Featured cafes and restaurants include:
* The Premises * Chez Dre * Supernormal * Huxtaburger * Mamasita * Pope Joan * Chin Chin * The European * The Everleigh * Cumulus * Tonka * Izakaya Den * Town Mouse * Vue de Monde * Dainty Sichuan * Ladro * The Estelle * Pierre Roelofs * Burch & Purchese * Gerald’s Bar *
The price: $49.99 each
Perfect for: Sydneysiders/Sydney lovers and/or Melbournites/Melbourne fans who love finding new places to eat. These books are great not just for their recipes but for heaps of venue inspiration too.
THE COOK AND THE BAKER by Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa (Murdoch)
Who can resist exquisite hummingbird cake, delicate red velvet cake or decadent chocolate salted caramel brownies? Remember the pleasure of an after-school indulgence of Louise cake, peanut butter cookies or a crispy sausage roll?
In this mouth-watering collection of foolproof recipes, the geniuses behind busy cafe/bakery The Cook and Baker provide everything you need to take your home baking up a notch. Crowd-pleasing creations that cater for modern tastes but stay true to the nostalgia of your childhood. Slip on an apron, preheat the oven – your household is in for a treat.
The price: $49.99
Perfect for: The avid baker or aspiring pastry chef. This book contains many tasty recipes you’ll want to make for
yourself your family and friends.
ADAM LIAW’S ASIAN COOKERY SCHOOL by Adam Liaw (Hachette)
More than just a recipe book, it will teach you about the ingredients and techniques of the Asian kitchen for a complete understanding of how you can create authentic Asian flavours. Each chapter in this beautifully designed and exquisitely photographed cookbook is a lesson that will improve your cooking, with practical recipes designed to try out your new skills.Adam explains the heart and soul of Asian cuisines through hundreds of tips and insights and the kind of small wisdoms passed down from generation to generation that you would never find in a recipe alone. With his help, it won’t take long for homemade Dumplings, Pad Thai, Crispy Skin Chicken, Lemongrass Beef and Green Tea Ice Cream to become your new everyday family favourites.If you love Asian food, this is the cookbook you need in your home kitchen.
The price: $49.99
Perfect for: Anyone who loves eating Asian food and wants to learn how to cook it for themselves. There’s plenty here to get you started or to inspire you to cook your own Asian food at home.
RIVER COTTAGE: LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury)
The blurb: We all occasionally suffer a guilty conscience about those languishing ingredients that stay untouched in the fridge or cupboard for days: the bendy carrots, the wilting salad, the foil-wrapped roast chicken, the rock-like bread and that little nugget of Cheddar…
In this new pocket bible, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall offers nifty and creative ideas to transform leftovers into irresistible meals. Hugh starts by giving practical advice for cooking on a weekly basis with leftovers in mind – helping to save money and avoid waste – and provides tips on how best to store your ingredients to make them last for as long as possible. Hugh then gives handy recipe templates that can be applied to all kinds of leftover ingredients, and provides simple and flexible recipes. He shows, for instance, how you can transform leftover meat into Chilli beef noodles, Stew enchiladas, Spicy chicken salad with peanut butter dressing; surplus root vegetables into Roast root hummus, Quick lentil and parsnip curry and Beetroot and caraway seed cake; spare eggs into Hazelnut roulade and easy Macarons. He also gives ingenious ideas for Christmas leftovers, shows how to assemble a delicious meal in under ten minutes, and how to make simple store-cupboard suppers.With more than 100 recipes, gorgeous photographs and illustrations, this is the ultimate companion for everyone’s kitchen – and you’ll never be bored of leftovers again.
The price: $45.00
Perfect for: Fans of River Cottage or frugal home cooks. There are plenty of clever recipes in here that use up leftovers or things you might have otherwise thrown in the bin.
This list could have gone on forever, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Which cookbooks were your favourites this year? And which cookbooks are you hoping to be unwrapping this Christmas?