If the publishers are on it, and they usually are, then it wouldn’t have been missed that cookbook season is now upon us. Likely annual heroes like Jamie and Yotam have their new releases whilst Nigella, Mary and Nigel had a year off to release some of the more talked about titles for this years annual splurge.
From common “feel good about food” themes to “ditch the clean, eat dirty” to “let’s learn something new” you’re pretty much covered this year, which is a good thing. All featured cookbook are in publication now and available to buy!
Take for example the man from The River Cottage, Hugh Fearnley Whitingstall which is more the surname of an Olympic rower. The ex-carnivore championed the reduction of fish waste at the EU, something which elected officials couldn’t muster and is now on to his second vegetable based cookbook; River Cottage Much More Veg (Bloomsbury Press). This version is even more vegetables than his best seller – to date – and even goes as far as creating inventive meals for vegans.
Yotam Ottolenghi returns with his take on sweet foods, god bless you, Yotam. His TV appearance have seen him showcase a ridiculous rolled pavlova with berries and a flick through the pages makes you do a culinary Michael Palin without racking up air miles or the fear of flying. ‘Sweet’ by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh (Edbury Press) is out now, prepare for a taste sensation and ingredients that require Google Translate for appropriate pronunciation.
Nigella returns with more of that seductive food writing style that made us all a fan of new wave food writing in the early 2000s with How To Eat. Her stab at Italian cooking is a thing of controversy (our editor not a fan whatsoever) and sometimes her social media is designed to be more shocking than a Louis Theroux interview with Jimmy Saville… we do live in an attention economy after all. But she hits home with At My Table which you know is the tried and tested creations from a food writer that is as creative as Jane Grigson and as fascinating as a Fellini neorealism view into post-fascist Italy.
Of course, Italian food writing should be left to people that, lived it from infancy (in our humble opinion) as is there any man more passionate about it’s creativity than Giorgio Locatelli. He’s just got that, ‘thing’ where you know each recipe has had to be carefully selected and prepared so as to not piss off any Nonna, or court controversy in ingredient selection. Made at Home by Giorgio Locatelli (Fourth Estate) is capturing the spirit of Italy, the way his hair captures the spirit of every big haired Italian man. Bravo.
Sabrina Ghayour returns with her take on Persian food in Feasts; a welcome addition to anyone looking to take their knowledge of culture and cuisine to a different level with someone that has also worked extremely hard at transmitting a style of food to those who wouldn’t even consider Persian to begin with. Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour (Mitchell Beazly) is the third book from this food writer and we’d even recommend the first two because, they’re that good!
The Art of The Larder by Claire Thompson (Quadrille) is a recent publication that really asks you to start thinking about the kinds of things you’d find in a larder and ultimately reduce food waste which, as we all know, is a good thing. From buckwheat pancakes to nutmeg tea bread, our first impression of it is; if you organise your larder just right, you can make more than scrambled egg… and you definitely can with this book!
And what about any previous GBBO winners, will we get any joy from this previous bunch, or future ones if they’re good enough? We can’t answer the later but we think Stacey may prove to be a better writer than slightly scary contestant. Comfort by John Whaite is then the answer to our first question, but it feels more unfair to assert his skills to bakeoff when you actually look through this publication. It’s beautifully written, it avoids Ella and her clan of clean eaters – not a real thing – and gives you something called Lancashire Alligot… hello posh mash potato.
Publishers also have Christmas on their mind so the final suggestion is here to answer the question we’re all asking… “how much fucking food am I meant to serve?” (We are contractually obliged to swear once.)
Dinner & Party by Rose Prince (Seven Dials) should be treated as your future guide to any dinner party worth your time and effort, let alone Christmas. The way that all the food is treated and presented makes you think that you really can cater for 60, even if you’re going to breakdown mid preparation. The book is heavily influenced from flavours around the world but you get an understanding of how to throw a perfect dinner and party which, as we know, is always a scary proposition especially this time of the year.