We wrote our Xmas lists the other week and as usual mine was full of foodie books. I tend to take inspiration from books rather than try every recipe but some have become real favourites like “Jamie at Home” by Jamie Oliver; “How to be a Domestic Goddess” by Nigella Lawson and the fantastic bargain that is “101 Low-fat Feasts” by BBC Good Food.
The following are the top books on my list for 2009:The Big Fat Duck Cookbook (~£80!). I don’t think I need to say too much about the genius that is Heston Blumenthal. I’ve been a fan since his very early days and been lucky enough to visit The Fat Duck three times (see reviews on this blog). This book shows the story of The Fat Duck and the dishes that have made it famous. Incredible art from Dave McKean plus amazing photography makes this book the perfect gift for the foodie who likes to read about food.
Nigel Slater is a modern foodie icon. His simple but delicious food goes well with his really “comfortable” TV programs. I always like to watch this shows, even more so after reading his autobiography “Toast“. That is one interesting childhood! He’s a modern day Delia, you just trust his recipes will work although they usually tend to be filed under “comfort eating” rather than “healthy eating”! This book will be the perfect accompaniment to those of use who now have a weekly Veg Box delivered.
After a fairly public spat with his ex-friend and boss Gordon Ramsay, one of the most talented British chefs around brings us this strangely titled cookbook. It’s not just strangely titled, it includes a chapter dedicated to popcorn! It’s not all weird though, in with the strange there are ~150 recipes including the wonderful sounding monkfish with chorizo crust and spiced beans. I imagine this is for the enthusiast cook but I reckon there could be the odd dinner party “killer dish” in there which could have all your friends raving about it.
If you, like me, watched the marathon Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain TV series then you probably already have this on your list. Whilst the shows all stuck to the same format I looked forward to watching every one. When it was a county I knew I looked forward to seeing old favourites (Pakenham Water Mill, Suffolk) and finding out new foodie facts (Bury St Edmunds Purse – steak and cheese!). When I didn’t know the county the whole program was interesting and full of foodie facts. A sure fire winner for the British Food Fan!
With amazing timing, the autobiography of Keith Floyd came out a matter of days after his sad passing. Whilst Delia maybe was the first modern day TV Cook, Keith Floyd was the first to take cooking out of the kitchen. In various locations he would have a quick “slurp” then abuse the cameraman whilst cooking. Whether it was being told off by old women or cooking some strange whale meat Asian fusion dish by a fjord; his shows were always entertaining. A read foodie icon who led a very interesting life.
If you’re like us, a lot of your wine is bought from a Supermarket or high street off license. This is the book for you. Matt Skinner picks 100 wines we can all buy which are in the shops now. These types of “top 100” books are quite common. They usually cost £4-£5 and will cover wines for a specific year. Superplonk by Malcolm Gluck seems to have disappeared but Oz Clarke still releases a few. I chose Matt Skinner after reading his book “Thirsty Work” which gave a great overview wine from making it to the grapes used. He’s got a young attitude and although he is a little biased to Australian wines he picks a good selection from both the Old and New world. Great value book for supermarket wine lovers!
I hope you’ve now got some inspiration for Xmas books for the foodie in your life or maybe something to add to your Xmas list. All the links to Amazon.co.uk are affiliated which means whilst it costs you no more, if you buy the book after clicking the link we get a few pence of Amazon’s profits. 🙂