Gifts for the Christmas Cook
Whether seeking the perfect gift for the enthusiastic kitchen novice or the well seasoned foodie, it goes without saying that cookbooks can and will provide the answer for all tastebuds.
Taking you on a culinary journey with every flick of the page, this collection of cookbooks delves into the wacky, weird and wonderful aspects of global cuisine, from the chaotic streets of Ho Chi Minh City to the innovative elegance of hatted restaurant, Attica. Each read will fill you with a different take on food, wine and culture, perfect for inspiration to take into the New Year.
With ease and elegance in mind, read about it, drink it up, cook, eat and be merry.
Exotic, Elegant and Everything in Between – Your Culinary Christmas Wish List
‘The Food of Vietnam’ by Luke Nguyen, Hardie Grant Books, 2013
Recounting a journey of the intertwining elements of food and heritage, Luke shares his story of travelling through Vietnam, discovering and learning the art of culture told through the form of food. Throughout this book, family, tradition and the elements of technique fuse tightly together from Saigon to Sapa and the result is a feast of Southeast Asian flavours. Discover the delights of steamed mudfish rolls with pork and noodles and slow roasted goat with lemongrass, chilli and preserved bean curd – if it’s a culinary adventure you’re after, take to the kitchen with this cookbook and escape.
‘Salt Grill; Fine Dining for the Whole Family’ by Luke Mangan, Murdoch Books, 2013
One for the lovers of fine modern Australian cuisine, ‘Salt Grill’ highlights a selection of Luke Mangan’s most innovative creations, many of which you’ll spot on the menu of his Gold Coast restaurant. Offering simple twists on home favourites (think rum and raisin chocolate bread and butter pudding) through to untouched classics like lobster thermidor, Luke aims to keep this read at once family friendly and restaurant worthy. As an added bonus, signature Salt Grill dishes like liquorice parfait are also included, worthy of impressing your next lucky dinner party guests.
‘Recipes for a Good Time’ by Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate, Murdoch Books, 2013
Throwing the doors open to their award winning kitchens – Bodega, Porteno and Gardel’s Bar -rockabilly chefs and best mates Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate invite you in to celebrate good food, good friends and, most importantly, good times. All about enjoying the elements of food and friendship, this book puts a fresh new twist on the classic style of the 1950s, featuring a selection of the pair’s mouth watering signature dishes. Dust off your records, don your most festive apron and take to the kitchen with this retro beauty in hand; Porteno’s pavlova and banana old fashioned cocktails are just a taste of what to expect in this delightful read, making it a perfect gift for the ultimately hip foodie.
‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ by Margaret Fulton, Hardie Grant Books, 2013
When it comes to Christmas, you can’t beat the classics. This simply sumptuous cookbook is a bit like being fed by grandma, leaving you stuffed, satisfied and on a whole other level of comfort. Ideal for the festive season, Margaret Fulton provides you with the essentials of a classic Christmas feast, urging you to veer from corner cutting to take time and enjoy the process of planning a complete Christmas cooking experience. With all the trimmings, ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ highlights a selection of easy to follow recipes, ranging from finger food options like salmon and asparagus terrine, through to centrepiece worthy mains like the baked Guinness ham. With Christmas mince pies, pavlova nests and rich chocolate truffles to finish, this read will have you in the festive spirit in no time.
‘Simply Good Food’ by Neil Perry, Murdoch Books, 2013
One of Australia’s most influential chefs, Neil Perry proves that a happy cook leads to happy food with a selection of simple, produce driven recipes. Evocatively photographed and elegantly styled, this internationally inspired cookbook stresses the importance of fresh, sustainable ingredients to create a culinary masterpiece, proving that simple does not equal bland. Between the pages you will find a recipe for any sort of occasion, with 105 suggestions ranging from shared banquets to dishes you’ll want all to yourself. Delve to each corner of the globe with recipes like roast beef gorgonzola with horseradish potato salad, sweet and sour pork and Moroccan orange tart with mascarpone.
‘Origin; the Food of Ben Shewry’ by Ben Shewry, Murdoch Books, 2012
A must for the food aficionado, ‘Origin’ is not your average sit-on-your-shelf cookbook, worthy of a place of proud display. Gorgeous double spread photography and textured hardback binding evidently point to Ben’s passion for foraging and fine food, evident in an innovative recipe compilation. This book follows Ben’s story of life, from his upbringing in New Zealand to beginning his journey as a young chef. A back to roots recipe compilation is not for those with restricted time or reserved palates, shining in signature Shewry style with options like pig jowl, raw bug and radicchio heart, as well as the deconstructed violet crumble.
AGFG would like to thank Hardie Grant and Murdoch Books for giving us the chance to review these must-read culinary delights – Merry Christmas and happy feasting!
By Brittany George