As a food blogger, I have purchased and been gifted many wonderful books over the years. Here is a list of my favourite cookbooks and books about food, currently on my kitchen bookshelf.
The Original River Cottage Cookbook, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: Whether or not you have watched the show River Cottage, you will truly appreciate Hugh’s adventures into the English countryside and homesteading life, along with many delicious, wholesome recipes that he developed along the way.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Volume 1), by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck: This is a bible of French cooking for North Americans, and I have learned so much from it. Some of the techniques are a little unnecessary with modern tools, but it feels amazing to cook from this book and feel connected to Julia Child’s French Kitchen.
Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking, by Darra Goldstein: Ever since my visit to Norway, I’ve been romanticizing about owning a little cabin in the woods and making tiny pancakes with smoked salmon all day. This book was a gift from my Finnish friend Kristina, and helps us both keep living the Scandinavian life in Toronto.
Inside the Test Kitchen: 120 New Recipes, Perfected, by Tyler Florence: When I met Tyler back in 2014, I discovered just how creative this entrepreneurial Food Network star chef was in real life, and this “notebook” of recipes really shows it off. The recipes are simple and fun, and makes you think outside the box.
Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, by Ina Garten: I honestly don’t know where I would be without her easy, perfect-for-a-dinner-party recipes. This was a gift from my friend Eric, who has a copy himself and makes a lot of the recipes regularly.
Appetites: A Cookbook, by Anthony Bourdain: If there was anything he held back on in his previous cookbooks, he certainly didn’t here. It’s exactly what you’d expect it to be and satisfyingly-so.
Natural Feasts, by Ella Mills (Deliciously Ella): This blogger-turned-author-turned-health-food-mogul makes plant-based eating look effortless and chic and has the recipes to go with it.
Super Food Family Classics, by Jamie Oliver: Jamie Oliver (with the help of his team) has written a lot of cookbooks over the years, but I particularly like this one (though I should warn it has zero cultural nuance). It’s a go-to for weeknight dinners.
Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain: I love him and his crazy ways. Published at a time when all the rest of the world was tuning into the clean cut chefs on Food Network, Bourdain had the guts to write one of the biggest restaurant industry tell-alls ever.
My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme: I’ll admit it. I read this book only after watching the movie, but now understand just how crazy and wonderful this woman must’ve been.
Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater, by Gail Simmons: Gail is not only a judge on one of my favourite shows (Top Chef), but her homegrown Toronto spirit shines so brightly in her writing. And for anyone who’s ever wondered how she ended up in the place she is in, read this to find out.
Benu, by Corey Lee: While technically a cookbook, no one expects you to actually recreate Chef Lee’s incredible 33-course tasting menu. It’s simply a beautiful and inspirational book, worthy of any minimalist foodie’s coffee table.