Well it’s that time of year again – cookbook buying season! Every year we compile a list of our newest favourite cookbooks that we use, and find valuable for the everyday home cook to be inspired by. The cookbook market is extraordinary and highly competitive – there are more cookbooks in bookstores these days than ever before. So we’ve broken it down here with a few of our favourites, from the novice to the advanced cook.
For the more advanced foodie
Larousse Gastronomique (ISBN: 0307464911)
Larousse Gastronomique is an undeniable encyclopedic source for the culinary world since its first publication in 1938. Find everything from cooking techniques, ingredients, and recipes to equipment, food histories, and culinary biographies. According to Julia Child, “If I were allowed only one reference book in my library, Larousse Gastronomique would be it, without question.”
This book is now updated to include more modern approaches to cooking such as sous-vide and molecular gastronomy. There are more than 3,800 recipes from around the world to choose from.
Fat by Jennifer McLagan (ISBN: 1580089356)
We like this book for its unapologetic stance on an art form of cooking that has been lost. Methods of cooking that are so delicious: confit and butter-poaching meat and seafood; using butter for old-fashioned classics like shortbread and pies.
McLagan breaks down the good fats and the bad fats, making us all want to enjoy food again and to win us back to a healthy relationship with animal fats.
For the home cook looking for inspiration and staple recipes, there’s Edna Staebler’s More Food that Really Schmecks (0-07-077392-0)
What more can we say about Edna Staebler’s books than that every household in Waterloo Region should have a copy. From her stories that make you chuckle, to her staple, tried and true recipes for everything from bread to bean salad, we use this book often and get hungry just leafing through it.
Edna never apologizes for eating more than one muffin at a sitting. This quote always inspires us: “Bread-making is a grand thing to do. Kneading is a kind of revelling: it makes one feel like a primitive, pioneer woman – unstarvable, self-sustaining and joyful … one of the great satisfactions of a lifetime.”
Dean and Deluca Cookbook (0679770038)
This book has taken us through many basic and then updated recipes of classic dishes. It has great international recipes for those looking to experiment (the Chicken Korma is unbelievable), but also breaks down simple cooking techniques, like how to properly roast a prime rib, for example.
Each recipe is described in perfect detail and we pick it up over and over again as a reference and inspiration.