Cookbook Gift Guide for New to Advanced CooksDecember 8, 2016 by Jenny
This is the final gift guide for this year. Prior posts covered the Forty Best Cookbooks of 2016, cookbook suggestions for art and music lovers, cookbooks for entertainers and cookbooks for bakers. I hope these guides were helpful for your shopping or your collection endeavors. All gift guides can be found at this #hashtag link.
A few final reminders: be sure to enter all our giveaways; this post has been updated highlighting all the open contests with links for your convenience. There are many giveaways planned for the next few months. Remember as you do your holiday shopping using the Buy Book button (for any Amazon purchase) helps support our indexing efforts. Lastly, our life time membership contest is open for anyone who buys a gift certificate to Eat Your Books.
Today’s guide shares suggestions for various levels of cooks – from beginner, experienced to the more advanced – including a few offerings for dinner dilemmas.
Mad Genius Tips: Over 90 Expert Hacks and 100 Delicious Recipes by Justin Chapple and Editors of Food & Wine shares creative uses for some of our faithful kitchen tools. Justin is the Food & Wine’s test-kitchen expert whose job is to unlock genius hacks such as using a baking rack to weave bacon or skin hazelnuts. For each hack, there is a recipe or recipes to accompany it. This is the perfect gift for the cooks in your life – especially those that are new to cooking, college students, and those setting out on their own for the first time. Everyone needs to know how to weave bacon right?
Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell, is a New York Times’ bestseller and IACP award winner. Peternell wrote this cookbook for his son who was going off to college and it is has become a classic. In this title, we are provided the basic techniques and recipes needed for cooks of every level to gain ease and confidence in the kitchen. Twelve Recipes is a truly beautiful book that flows like a great novel with photographs that reflect the true comfort that the author’s food delivers – it is a must-have in anyone’s collection. I am particularly taken with one of the first photographs in the book – a shot of the chef’s cookbook collection.
École Ritz Escoffier, Paris: 100 Step-by-Step Recipes from the Ritz Paris Culinary School includes 100 recipes for meat, fish, vegetables, foie gras, pasta and rice, international dishes, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts. Each recipe is illustrated and includes clear explanations and a step-by-step guide. An homage to the prestigious school, which is still in its original home at the Ritz Hotel on the Place Vendôme, Paris, this beautiful book is more than a reference; it offers the savoir-faire and secrets of a gourmet chef who has inspired cooks for more than 150 years. This book is another title for the serious cook.
Institut Paul Bocuse Gastronomique: The definitive step-by-step guide to culinary excellence by Institut Paul Bocuse is perfect for professional chefs in training and aspiring amateurs. This is a comprehensive step-by-step manual covering all aspects of preparing, cooking, and serving delicious, high-end food. First, the book sets forth 250 core techniques in photographs then those techniques are put into practice in 70 classic and contemporary recipes. Over 1,800 photographs fill this essential guide for any serious cook who wants to tighten their game.
Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food by Ali Bouzari is a reference book highlighting each of the fundamental building blocks of food are fully explored to allow cooks a way to visualize and respond to what’s really happening in the pan. An ingredient is a tomato, a tortilla, or some tarragon. An Ingredient (with a capital “I”) is a recurring theme (or fundamental building block) that works behind the scenes in everything we cook. This is not a cookbook but a book that every cook should read. More information on Ingredient can be found in our article.
The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz is a stunning title with hundreds of fresh ideas and tips for using pantry spices, 102 never-before-published recipes for spice blends, gorgeous photography, and botanical illustrations. Lior Lev Sercarz founded his New York City spice shop in 2006 and has become the go-to source for fresh and unusual spices as well as small-batch custom blends for renowned chefs around the world. Understanding spices and how they complement ingredients and each other is an important component in a cook’s arsenal. This beautiful book is a wonderful place to expand our knowledge of spices to add flavor and vibrancy to our meals.
Updated 11/2020 To the above list I would add for new cooks:
- Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook by Carla Lalli Music
- Milk Street: Cookish: Throw It Together by Christopher Kimball
- How to Cook: Building Blocks and 100 Simple Recipes for a Lifetime of Meals by Hugh Acheson
- Jacques Pépin Quick & Simple by Jacques Pépin
- Always Add Lemon: Be a Better Cook – Food You Want to Eat by Danielle Alvarez
- Home Cookery Year: Four Seasons, Over 200 Recipes for All Possible Occasions by Clare Thomson
- Many members have recommended Ina Garten titles.
For more advanced cooks:
- The Artisan Kitchen: The Science, Practice, & Possibilities of Fermenting, Brewing, Bread Making, Curing by James Strawbridge
- Chi Spacca: A New Approach to American Cooking by Nancy Silverton
- Flavor for All: Everyday Recipes & Creative Pairings by James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
- The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking in 114 Essential Recipes by Nik Sharma
- Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave) by David Chang and Priya Krishna (see review)
- The Modern Larder: From Anchovies to Yuzu, a Guide to Artful and Attainable Home Cooking by Michelle McKenzie (see review)
- Three: Acid, Texture, Contrast: The Essential Foundations to Redefine Everyday Cooking by Selin Kiazim: I love a book that teaches you “how to cook” not just how to follow a recipe. Selin’s book does just that. Three looks at the magic elements that make a plate of food truly come into its own: acid, texture and contrast – the fundamental building blocks that will transform a modest dish into the star of the show. There are over 125 recipes to level up our cooking and open new doors to creating flavorful dishes of our own.
- Food52 Big Little Recipes: Good Food with Minimal Ingredients and Maximal Flavor by Emma Laperruque: This clever cookbook features 60 new recipes that’ll deliver wow-worthy results with just a few ingredients. Rigatoni with corn sauce & sizzled corn, Sesame chicken with artichokes & arugula, and Hazelnut cake with sour cream-chocolate frosting are a few standouts for me.
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