It’s difficult to pick my favourite thing about Christmas Day; there's the “FARTER MIS-MAS HAS BEEN!”-stocking-opening-hysteria with the bambinos, smoked-trout-on-blinis-with-Bucks-Fizz-retro-breakfast-in-my-pyjamas-extravagance, and biggest-and-best-meal-of-the-whole-year-Christmas-lunch-face-stuffage… but curling up on the sofa to pore peacefully over a new cook book is definitely a highlight. A cook book is a really lovely present, not just for people who love to cook but for those who love to eat, as they are as much about looking at and reading about food, as they are about actually doing anything in the kitchen.
When it comes to choosing them, I am blindly loyal to Nigella and Jamie and will buy anything they publish without even a glimpse at a review, because they are GODS and that is that. Or I might have a particular need, for example at the beginning of last year I bought A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones for inspiration for Veggie January, and was so blown away by the deliciousness of ALL of her recipes that I now eat a lot more vegetarian food.
Around the same time, I decided to learn Filipino recipes in honour of my late mother (the very point of this whole blogging lark), and bought 7000 Islands; A Food Portrait of the Philippines by Yasmin Newman as my guide; a beautiful book all about the Philippines, its culture and containing hundreds of authentic recipes. Otherwise I go with my tummy, and whatever people are chattering about on the foodie grapevine. If you’re looking for Christmas gift inspiration for the foodies in your life, here’s my current cook book wish list…
- Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food, Nigella Lawson - GODDESS.
- Everyday Super Food, Jamie Oliver - GOD.
- A Modern Way To Cook, Anna Jones - her recipes are insanely tasty, and this book includes one for magic, one-pot spaghetti.
- NOPI: The Cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi - Mediterranean with an Asian twist. His London restaurants have the most beautifully displayed pastries you will ever see in your life.
- Our Korean Kitchen, Jordan Bourke and Rejini Pyo - my fellow mix-mix friend Zell taught me how to make delicious Korean kimchi fried rice, and now I want to eat ALL THE KOREAN FOOD. Check out her recipes at Zell's Kitchen.
- Momofoku, David Chang - Asian-Western (mix-mix!) fusion food.
- Tom's Table; My Favourite Everyday Recipes, by infectiously smiley lover of a scotch egg, Tom Kerridge.
- The Flavour Thesaurus, Niki Segnit - flavour matching bible.
- A Year of Good Eating; The Kitchen Diaries III, Nigel Slater - even though it can be annoying watching him on the telly feigning surprise at having a kilo of king prawns in his fridge, I cannot help but love him.
- Sunshine on a Plate, Shelina Permalloo - I loved her and her mango obsession on Masterchef, and wanted to try everything that she made.