Wednesday, December 5, 2012


We pick our staff favourites, in our own words
Some are new, some are classics, some don't even have a recipe in them!

The Iconoclast's Guide to FoodiesThe Iconoclast's Guide to Foodies  byAlexandra Parsons
An hilarious whimsical little book that pokes fun at foodies' foibles and their/our obsessions! Wonderful cartoons as well, a great gift. $16.95.

Edible Selby Edible Selby
by Todd Selby
Do you have someone on your list who doesn't need another recipe book, or someone who loves to read their cookbooks, or the armchair gourmet traveler? This is the book for them. Eclectic fun from photographer Selby, who has traveled the world to top restaurants, sought out foragers, chefs, producers and tells their stories in his quirky disarming style. Bonus: the book comes with fridge magnets! $40.00.

Canada's Favourite Recipes3Canada's Favourite Recipes 
by Rose Murray and Elizabeth Baird
Confession time Jennifer and I each have a recipe in this book, Jennifer's family recipe for Fruit Chili Sauce page 306, and Alison's Puckery Lemon Squares page 194, adapted from Emily Luchetti's Stars Desserts. Besides that though, Rose and Elizabeth have gathered wonderful recipes from their food travels within Canada and all the stories from friends and Canadians from coast to coast.

The Essentials of Classic Italian CookingThe Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
The original version of this book, The Classic Italian Cookbook, was one of the first cookbooks I ever bought for myself. It has the great recipes of Italian cuisine, but beyond that, Marcella Hazan explains things so well that she will make you a good cook, not just a good Italian cook. $42.00.

The Little Paris Kitchen The Little Paris Kitchen  by Rachel Koo
Like Chocolate & Zucchini, The Little Paris Kitchen celebrates classic French cooking while updating it as the same time. So this book is full of little surprises such as venison Wellington, chicken with lavender, and madeleines with a heart of lemon curd. Lovely photos and whimsical illustrations are the icing on the cake. $39.00.

The Kitchen Diaries IIThe Kitchen Diaries II by Nigel Slater
A Nigel Slater cookbook always offers a complete package: simple yet superb recipes, exquisite photos, fine writing. Wonderful though the recipes are, it is the writing, and the exploration of the factors affecting how an individual satisfies his palate from the weather to the colour of a fruit in the garden, or a particular mood which really captures interest in The Kitchen Diaries II. $43.99.

A History of English Food by Clarissa Dixon Wright
With a thoroughly intriguing section on medieval culinary history beginning in the 12th century, the time of Eleanore of Aquitiaine, Clarissa Dixon Wright immediately caught the attention of a medieval history buff. She continues on writing about Tudor feasts and makes her way to everyone's favourite - Delia Smith. The History of English Food is not bland or dull, but colourful weaved with influences from the Norse, the French and even the Romans. $59.95.

Jerusalem Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
After a dinner party with my semi vegetarian film crew from school, I discovered that even the pickiest of eaters gorged themselves on the flavourful and visually astonishing dishes in Ottolenghi and Tamimi's new book Jerusalem Just as proven in best sellers Ottolenghi and Plenty, you don't always require meat to make each beautiful dish feel substantial, although their meat dishes are too delicious for words. We like the Mejadra, the Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad and the Chicken with Caramelized Onions & Cardamom Rice. $39.95.

Cocktails with Bompas & Parr by Sam Bompas and Harry Parr
Cocktails with Bompas & Parr oozes with Wilde-esque humour and an over-the-top bourgeois aesthetic. There are cocktails for every temperament and situation from hangovers to grand parties, information on tools and basics along with terribly entertaining photography. Although there is no sign of my favorite cocktail, Tom Collins, that is easily forgiven and forgotten considering all the intriguing and delicious new and historical cocktail ideas they present. $25.95.

My Pizza My Pizza by Jim Lahey
After visiting his restaurant Co. in New City this summer, I haven't stopped thinking about the perfect pizzas we had there. I had the Stracciatella Pie with arugula and soft stracciatella cheese and was happy to see the recipe in the book waiting to be made at home. Lahey brings his easy no-knead method to pizza dough and walks you through the pizza making process step-by-step. $31.00.

Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Nation Madhur Jaffrey's Curry Nation
by Madhur Jaffrey
Jaffrey's recipes are delicious, simple, and they work every time. My favourite recipes so far are the mixed black dal and the onion bhajias. The book itself is beautifully designed with gorgeous photos of sari fabric punctuating each chapter. $39.95.

Chez Panisse Fruit  by Alice Waters
The gorgeous illustrations were what initially drew me in, but the information-dense descriptions of each fruit are what held my attention. In true Chez Panisse fashion, the book is a celebration of local, fresh produce with both sweet and savoury recipes. My favourite recipe, so far, is Pink Pearl Apple Galette. $41.50.

JOHN'S Picks
Vietnamese Home Cooking Vietnamese Home Cooking  by Charles Phan
I want this first for the food, Phan is after all the chef/owner of the acclaimed The Slanted Door restaurant in San Francisco - I want to eat everything - and second for the brilliant use of type and space in the layout. I could happily cook my way through this book. $41.00.

Leon: Naturally Fast Food Leon: Naturally Fast Food  by Henry Dimbleby & John Vincent
I like the eclectic and playful design of all the Leon books and this one for being perfectly balanced between quick, last minute preparations and low, slow cooking. It's also great for unique and classic flavour combinations. $32.99.

The Cook by Wayne Macauley
Twenty pages in and I had to stop, go in the kitchen and make something, and by the end of the book, I wanted right back out! Macauley describes the world of The Cook in incredible detail, nailing the highs and lows of working in the service industry in this deliciously dark satire. $22.00

Modern Flavors of Arabia Modern Flavors of Arabia
Suzanne Husseini
Not a vegan book but very easy to "veganize" many of the recipes. The hummus recipe resulted in the best hummus I've ever made at home. $29.95.

Vegan Indian Cooking
Vegan Indian Cooking by Anupy Singla
I really like that Anupy Singla makes Indian vegan cooking so accessible. She describes the ingredients well plus the dishes are deeply flavourful. $22.95.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread by Jennifer Katzinger
It is great to find gluten-free and vegan bread recipes in one book. Even if you don't fit into either of these categories, this book has recipes for using many of the less common flours such as teff, millet and garbonzo bean. $24.95.

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