Top ten food books we always have on hand
Top Ten Food Books We Always Have On Hand:
For as long as we can remember, our kitchen has always been lined head to toe with cookbooks, food & travel books and food memoirs. Our Sundays would be spent digging out a delicious recipes from the old battered worn books and our dad would usually whip up a delicious rich casserole that would sit slowly bubbling in the back of the Aga for most of the day. It could be maybe followed by a tarte tatin with a creamy crème anglaise and as kids after feasting we would sit in ecstasy licking our lips and rubbing our bellys.
This is still an affair that lures us home on public holidays, and the indulgence changes with each season, depending on the bounty. We absolutely love love love cookbooks and reading about other people’s adventures and stories in food has always been an important and enjoyable experience for us. There’s always an opportunity to learn, or disappear in the pages of a book into the late hours of a Sunday evening.
We’ve compiled our top ten favourite food books, but despite our best efforts, we simply cant put these in order of preference, so here we go, in no particular order:
Dan Barber, The Third Plate:
Blue Hill at Stone Barns & The East Village NYC chef Dan Barber takes a forensic look at our global food systems. He dives deep into the world of what it means to produce sustainably, engaging with chefs, farmers and seed breeders the world over. A must read for those interested in the whole world of ethical food production! – Eliza
Lucky Peach Asia:
Everything David Chang does sparks an interest in us! From Momofoku to Milk Bar to the quarterly publication Lucky Peach. For years we drooled over the gorgeous graphics and gonzo journalism of that magazine and when it ceased to publish we were heart broken. A few months later Lucky Peach Asia was released! We praise this book for its pantry tips alone, but be ready because its full of simple, convenient and super tasty Asian recipes that will sustain you throughout the week! –Evie
Bar Tartine, a cult favourite and for all the right reasons. There’s very few kitchens I’ve walked into in the last while that didn’t have this book proudly on display. A pillar of San Francisco’s vibrant food scene, Bar Tartine incorporates age old techniques like curing, fermenting , canning and pickling along with wholesome recipes inspired from all over the world. This book is not for someone who enjoys a short-cut, its slow and technique-heavy recipes will draw out patience and skill, rewarding you with a virtuous, impressive larder fit for the latest brunch spot in town. – Eliza
Blood Bones and Butter, Gabrielle Hamilton.
A book to battle famous memoirs like Kitchen Confidential, except this book isn’t about booze, drugs or the dingy behind the scenes life of the NYC restaurant scene. Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in the East Village doesn’t do bravado, arrogance or glamour. She tells her story as it is, and the indirect journey she embarked on that lead her to opening up one of New York’s quaintest food lovers bistro. Her food experiences are encapsulated beautifully, never over romanticising, and never shy of getting down and dirty with the reader. An inspiring read, refreshingly different from many male orientated memoirs she shares the shelves with. –Eliza
Another Lucky Peach publication. This book is packed with quick and easy veg heavy recipes, sharp images and great graphics. It’s lovely to flick though and great to have on hand for those lazy days.
Anna Jones, The Modern Cooks Year:
Eat your way through the year, veg by veg, season by season. The pages of this book are full of inspiring dishes and really beautiful photography. Anna Jones creates a six season guide full of vegetarian recipes, curated playlists and tips on wonderful wild flowers to dress and style any dinner get-together.
We love the Leon fast-food concept. Taking inspiration from their Mediterranean heritage , the Leon crew are tipping away at revolutionising what we associate with fast-food. They have a collection of wonderful books too and we go to Veg the most regularly. with ideas for Breakfast & Brunch, Pasta, Grains & Pulses, Pies & Bakes, Rice & Curry and Kids while the second part, explores smaller plates with chapters on Grazing Dishes, Sides, and Pickles, Salsas, Chutneys & Dressings.
Nigella, How To Be A Domestic Goddess.
This book was given to Evie when she was about 10. A gift from our Dad, this book went on to inspire years of baking at home and in Country Choice. Everything from this point lead her to NutShed!
Everything I wasn’t to Eat, Jessica Koslow.
We first started following Jessica Koslow when she had a humble jam making business called Sqirl. She made jams the way our mom made them, borrowing from hedgerows from season to season. She quickly evolved and caused chaos in Silver Lake when she opened Sqirl La, the epitome of modern Californian cook. Taking inspiration from the founders like Alice Waters in Chez Pannisse, Jessica Koslow created a new and dynamic menu that was informed strongly by the near by Santa- Monica farmers market. Jam and toast was never the same again!
Garlic and Sapphires, Ruth Reichl:
The hilarious and informative adventures of The New York Times’ newest food critic in the 90s . Ruth’s sense of humour and love of great food brings us with her as she creates the many disguises and personalities that baffled some of New York’s most elite restaurants as she reviewed undercover. Changing the game and judging places on their service, sitting inconspicuously, watching with a close eye. Reichl also, for the first time ever takes the NY Times reviews out of the pressed linen and stiff atmospheres of NYCs French style Michelin starred fine dining experiences, and into the dingy and bullshit free eateries of places like Chinatown , Koreatown, the outer boroughs and hidden basements. She was the first person on the New York Times to review a sushi bar and from then on she lay the foundations for the type of food journalism that was to come after her. Take note bloggers, she’s the original.