The pick of the bunch! The Top 8 cookbooks as voted by usJune 8, 2016
Cookbooks are lucrative territory for publishers, and so they churn out numerous publications each year. You’ve spent the time sourcing seasonal local ingredients, and so it pays to ensure your cooking guidance goes beyond glossy photos and provides the very best advice from the best cookbooks out there.
This list of our top 8 cookbooks, with a nod to local publications, will help you complete your kitchen bookshelf and keep your reputation as sharp as your chef’s knife.
1. Country Women’s Association Cookbook
Thanks mum! First published in 1937 and in continuous print since, received as a comingofage and it’stimetomoveoutnow gift by many. The starting point for a good basic repertoire.
Yotam Ottolenghi has made a huge mark on food trends and for good reason. Plenty focused on plants not to avoid meat, but to celebrate to glory of fresh, well prepared vegetables, and in the process make accidental vegetarians out of many of us.
3. Mr Wilkinson’s Favourite Vegetables
Produced by Matt Wilkinson of the Pope Joan café in Brunswick East, the vegetable led, yet not vegetarian, fare in this book tastes like you walked into an inner north community garden with a knife and fork and walked out with a big smile. All about fresh, seasonal and well prepared garden produce, possibly grown in your backyard.
4. Thai Food
As the story goes, David Thomson was originally commissioned for a short book on Thai snack food and instead spent years buried away working on this opus. This is one of the two Australian produced cookbooks to really make a mark globally, with the other being Stephanie Alexander’s effort below.
David Chang is not just known for his culture jamming restaurants, he’s also a notable communicator and spokesperson for a new generation of bold chefs. Not exactly aimed at the novice homecook, you might not cook from this book very often but you’ll learn volumes from reading this cookbook.
6. Heston’s Fantastical Feasts
You won’t know whether to put this book on the cookbook shelf or amongst the fiction. Even though the recipes themselves are challenging, by taking Heston Blumenthal’s scientific approach to menu deconstruction into the magical realm of fairy tales, this cookbook is the most fun way to learn about the basic science of food and cooking. One of the best cookbooks in terms of imagination.
7. The Real Food Companion
Matthew Evans left behind his Sydney based life as Australia’s top restaurant reviewer to produce his own food in the Tasmanian countryside. The notes in this book explain Evans’ philosophy for ethical, sustainable and tasty food, whilst the recipes convert you to the religion. Simple, approachable and easy to cook rely on fresh ingredients and recalibrate list of your comfort foods.
8. The Cook’s Companion
Just as David Thomson’s book accompanied Australia’s more refined appreciation for Thai food, with this book Stephanie Alexander guided our love for flourless chocolate cakes and revived our interest in classic cooking techniques. More technically demanding than most cookbooks, but a must have for homecooks wishing to push their skills and impress their dining companions. No kitchen bookshelf would replete without its bulky rainbow spine.
Now that you’re armed with the best cookbooks, go forth and start creating magic in the kitchen!