Dreaming of heading to another city or country because of a chef or bartender who has made those places famous?
Portland, Oregon, chef Joshua McFadden’s vegetables at Ava Gene’s, the sweets at chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s London locations and the drinks of bartender extraordinaire Jim Meehan inspire people to travel for their food.
Can’t fit all those trips to famous foodie destinations into your 2018 plans or looking for a last-minute present? Get a taste of these famous restaurant chefs’ creations by putting their cookbooks on your last-minute gift list.
“The most successful chefs these days are the ones that have a story to tell,” says cookbook author Susan Puckett, who co-wrote “Turnip Greens & Tortillas: A Mexican chef Spices up the Southern Kitchen” with Atlanta-based Taqueria del Sol chef and co-owner Eddie Hernandez. Their book comes out in April.
“Their food and their menus are expressions of who they are, where they come from, and what they value,” says Puckett. who collaborated with noted Atlanta chef Steven Satterfield on his cookbook, “Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons.”
“Chefs’ cookbooks can (also) give curious cooks tastes of cuisines they may not be able to sample otherwise.”
The perfect gift for food explorers
We asked the book lovers at Goodreads, the Amazon-owned free website where some 70 million book lovers share reviews and learn about new books, to help us narrow down the list.
“Readers like being able to create a meal that not only rivals the food prepared at their favorite restaurants, but to also have those restaurant chefs giving them the secrets of their famous dishes,” says Elizabeth Khuri Chandler, Goodreads’ editor in chief.
“Taste is powerfully tied to memory, so it’s not a surprise that many of the reviewers (who’ve been to these places) write about attempting to re-capture a flavor of the city or the restaurant via these cookbooks,” Chandler says.
Choose your present by your loved one’s interests, or click through the gallery to read comments from Goodreads readers.
Picks for every kind of cook
Cooking Asian cuisine: 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die by Jet Tila
For the experimental cook: wd-50: The Cookbook by Wylie Dufresne with Peter Meehan
For the commune member: The Moosewood Restaurant Table by the Moosewood Collective
When a chef and perfumer collaborate: The Art of Flavor: Practices and Principles for Creating Delicious Food by Daniel Patterson and Mandy Aftel
For the lover of Burmese food: Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia by Desmond Tan and Kate Leahy
Beyond the average salad: The Book of Greens by Jenn Louis with Kathleen Squires
For the would-be scientist: Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
Jewish comfort food: Jack’s Wife Freda: Cooking From New York’s West Village by Maya and Dean Jankelowitz with Julia Jaksic
For the seasonal cook: Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden with Martha Holmberg
From sweet to savory: Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook Hardcover by Elisabeth Prueitt
For the bartender: Meehan’s Bartender Manual by Jim Meehan
For the baker: Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh
The must-read autobiography: Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook by Alice Waters