Here are some great ideas to give at Holiday time for your favorite foodie.
LE LIVRE BLANC by Anne-Sophie Pic is truly a special volume from a female French chef who was awarded 3-Michelin stars. This is a gorgeous, special book that delves into the intricacies of French cookery. You will revel in the culinary indulgences and exquisite pictures that will make any Francophile ooh and ah at the delicious concoctions. It is truly food porn and geared to those who love French food and those who are sophisticated enough to produce these incredible dishes.
Another big coffee table, or should I say dinner table book, is THE GRAMERCY TAVERN COOKBOOK by Michael Anthony. Gramercy Tavern restaurant in New York City is an award winning institution in Manhattan from noted restaurateur Danny Meyer. Fans of this restaurant will be thrilled with the recipes that are gorgeously photographed and clearly explained. Seasonally organized, the recipes pay homage to fresh ingredients. Recommended more for the advanced cook who will relish not only the seasonality, but also the delicate presentation of each dish.
Another amazing volume is THE AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN COOKING SCHOOL COOKBOOK: Everything You Need to Know to Become a Great Cook by the Editors of America’s Test Kitchen. Wow. This 832 page hardcover book with 600 recipes and 2,500 color photographs gives new meaning to the word thorough. Now you can have fail-safe meals with the expertise of America’s test kitchens behind you. Everything I try from this The America’s Test Kitchens works! I love the thought, the care, and the step-by-step instructions that go into making each dish special and surprisingly easy. This book is perfect for the expert and the novice. It is a total winner!
Lucques restaurant in LA is one of our favorite eateries. Chef Suzanne Goin wrote a wonderful and very useful cookbook called SUNDAY SUPPERS AT LUCQUES: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table. I absolutely love the slow-cooked salmon in that winning cookbook. Now Ms. Goin has penned another book about her new restaurant called THE A.O.C COOKBOOK. This book is equally as intriguing as the first. Standouts include the speck with apples, apple balsamic, and arugula; sweet pea pancakes with Dungeness crab and red onion crème fraîche; corn, summer squash, and avocado with chili-lime dressing; and pink lady apple crostata with whipped mascarpone and Armagnac prunes.
Francophiles will also adore MEMORIES OF GASCONY by Pierre Koffmann. Originally published in 1990, Memories of Gascony went on to become a food classic. The new edition adds wonderful photographs and a complete redesign. The book is the story of how one of the world’s leading chefs first learned to love food. The book is broken down seasonally and includes many of the classics including terrine de canard (duck terrine); omelette aux oignons nouveaux (spring onion omelette); blanquette d’agneau (lamb stew in a white sauce); and tarte aux pommes (apple flan).
I normally don’t like celebrity cookbooks, Gwyneth Paltrow being the exception, but KITCHEN REVELRY: A Year of Festive Menus from My Home to Yours by Ali Larter is a surprisingly useful addition to a cookbook library. The actress Ali Larter loves to entertain. This book is the fruit (forgive the pun) of her kitchen labors and with entertaining tips and lovely photographs for easy recipes that are quite successful. Highlights from the seasonally organized book include pancetta gougères with tips on how to prepare them in advance; mahi mahi tacos with nectarine salsa; eggplant towers with yogurt sauce; and decadent brownies.
KEEPERS: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion is a lovely collection of favorite recipes from two smart working Moms who also happen to be culinary writers. The pair also offers invaluable advice on how to shop, organize your kitchen, and stock your pantry. The book is full of 120 appealing, satisfying recipes ideal for weeknight meals. There’s an array of master recipes for classic dishes with options for substitutions, updated old favorites, one-pot meals, “international” dishes, super-fast ones, and others that reheat well or can be cooked in individual portions.