I know, I know. Earlier this year I said we don’t really use cookbooks for recipes anymore, what with the millions of recipes online.
But I also said we still love cookbooks — to read, to inspire us, to enjoy the beautiful photographs of food.
And now that gift season is upon us, I went looking for cookbooks that I would like to receive wrapped up with a big bow. I think you’ll want them, too. Or your aunt, the foodie, will. Or your brother who is taking classes at a culinary program. Or your best friend who lives for the next complicated recipe to tackle.
Unlike gifts of food, which are fleeting pleasures, the gift of a cookbook is a lasting thing. Whenever the recipient leafs through the pages, I bet they think of you.
All of the new cookbooks are available at Barnes Noble on the Plaza and most of them are available at Rainy Day Books.
The vintage cookbooks are a treasure hunt, Go to Amazon and put vintage cookbooks in the search window. Two other good sites arevintagecookbook.com and heirloombookcompany.com
. And you might look at Prospero’s Books on 39th street.10 New Releases
“The Art of Simple Food II” by Alice Waters. Clarkson Potter. A new Alice Waters cookbook is always a big event.
“Best Food Writing 2013,” Holly Hughes, editor. For 13 years Holly Hughes has been choosing the best food writing of the year. She is getting pretty good at it.
“The Thomas Keller Bouchon Collection” by Thomas Keller. It is 12 pounds of Thomas Keller, Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery packaged together. I took a photo sideways to show you how hefty they are. Beautiful, too.
“Cowgirl Creamery Cooks” by Sue Corley and Peggy Smith. Point Reyes, Tomales Bay and Cowgirl — they are some of my favorite places in California. The Cowgirl’s cheese is world class. So is their story.
“Daniel: My French Cuisine” by Daniel Boulud and Sylvie Bigar. The man is elegant and so is the book.
“Manresa: An Edible Reflection” by David Kinch with Christine Muhlke. This Los Gatos restaurant has quietly become famous, so famous other famous chefs call it one of the best restaurants in the world. The book is coffee table gorgeous as well.
“Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen” by Kay Robertson. Yes, I’m a closet Duck Dynasty fan. I bet someone one on your gift list is too.
“The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays” by Ree Drummond. A foodie marries a cowboy in Oklahoma and starts a popular blog. Television shows and cookbooks follow.
“Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, Roadside Restaurants of Thailand” by Andy Ricker and J.J. Goode. Pok Pok is the Momofuku of 2013. And Andy Ricker is the David Chang.
“Provence 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard and the Reinvention of American Taste” by Luke Barr. This is the book I hope I get in my stocking.5 Vintage Treasures
Any of Diana Kennedy’s books. For 50 years she has been writing about the regional cooking of Mexico and helping us understand it is a sophisticated and complex cuisine.
“Entertaining is Fun: How to be a Popular Hostess” by Dorothy Draper. The titles tell it all. This is a classic.
“Elizabeth David Classics: Mediterranean Food, French Country Cooking, Summer Cooking.” Published from 1950 to 1980. Three of her books in one volume plus a forward by James Beard.
“Pizza: A Global History.” This is just one of the fabulous Edible Series of books. There is “Hamburger: a Global History,” “Cheese: a Global History,” “Bread: a Global History” and more. The 2013 offering is “Salmon: A global History.”
“When French Women Cook: A Gastronomic Memoir” by Madeleine Kamman. This memoir mixes recipes and memories in a wonderful way.
Lou Jane Temple’s road to food has been a long and winding one. First as a rock n roll caterer back stage to the stars, then with her own Kansas City based catering company, Cafe Lulu, food writing, novelist, private chef. Lou Jane has written and had published nine culinary mysteries and one cookbook. She recently moved back to Kansas City and eagerly awaits the next chapter of her food career.