For someone who loves to cook I don’t seem to have many cookbooks, but what I do own I read like paperback novels. There are the classics (Joy of Cooking), the nouveau classics (Bon Appetit, Jamie, or Canadian Living‘s “tested till perfect” series), and the niche of restaurant owners and bloggers turned recipe auteurs (Rebar: Modern Food, or the recently purchased Super Natural Cooking come to mind). The online treasure trove of recipes available for print cuts down on the obsessive purchasing of more books than my shelves can support. However, the abundance of creative and clever cookbooks and entertaining guides is starting to become too difficult to resist. I can’t pass a bookstore without leafing through Amy Sedaris’ I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. I mean, you can actually learn a thing or two from this very cheeky guide to hostessing.
Some other flights of artistry that come to mind:
Canadian illustrator and food blogger Pierre Lamielle’s quirky Kitchen Scraps is stuffed full of illustrations straight out of a Roald Dahl-Quentin Blake oven. Each recipe is matched with a tale bound to spark your culinary imagination.
Heston Blumenthal’s The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is both autobiography of one of America’s most revered restaurateurs and a full-on love letter to the cookbook fiend. I don’t think I could actually cook a single thing out of this 10-pound volume with my regular kitchen gadgets, but the daydreaming that ensues from flipping through this beast is just as rewarding. (I must warn it is a wallet wounder).
Jennifer McLagan’s Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient has topped many a hit-lists for her detailed research paired with gorgeous recipes to highlight the role of fat in our diets, and the fantastical ways in which it can be used in the kitchen.