From Scandinavian baking and German food history, to behind-the-scenes photography and home butchery, the food books of 2014 were an eclectic bunch. Here’s a round-up of some of the best.
By Yotam Ottolenghi
The eagerly awaited follow-up to 2010’s Plenty, Plenty More might have an obvious title, but its suggestions for cooking vegetables are rather less obvious. This colourful and beautifully simple book explores a range of techniques you may not have considered - think blanched, braised, simmered, cracked and raw - for a host of ingredients, from beetroot and carrots, to lentils and nuts. Ottolenghi’s honest enthusiasm shines through every page, and the photography looks good enough to eat. Find out more about the book here
Eating With The Chefs
By Per-Anders Jorgensen
Per-Anders Jorgensen is the Swedish photographer and founder of the brilliant ‘Fool’ magazine for food obsessives. Here he takes us behind the “immaculate kitchen walls” of 18 of the world’s best restaurants - from Spain’s Mugaritz to Denmark’s Noma - to shed light on the daily meals shared by chefs and staff. Not only is the book packed with beautiful photography, but it also has 50 recipes of pared down dishes designed to hit the spot on any busy service. Find out more about the book here
Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking
By Rawia Bishara
Tanoreen, a cult Middle Eastern restaurant in Brooklyn, is the brainchild of Palestinian chef Rawia Bishara, who grew up in Nazareth before moving to New York. Part cook- book, part memoir, this richly illustrated book takes us on a journey of Levantine cuisine, from traditional standards like hummus and baba ghanoush, to more modern fusion dishes such as beef-baked spaghetti and Brussels sprouts with panko. Peter Cassidy’s photography is beautifully evocative.
Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef
By Massimo Bottura
“The book is about my passion, the evolution of my ideas; the food but also art and music,” says modernist Italian masterchef Massimo Bottura of this fascinating look at one of the world’s best restaurants. True to his word, Never Trust A Skinny Italian Chef is a playful insight into the mind of the genius behind 3-Michelin star Osteria Francescana in Modena, as well as dishes like ‘Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart’. But it’s also about Bottura’s pledge to bring Italian food into the 21st century. To find out more about the book, read here an exclusive interview with Massimo Bottura
The Meat Hook Meat Book: Buy, Butcher and Cook Your Way To Better Meat
By Tom Mylan
Tom Mylan’s Brooklyn butcher’s shop filled a meat gap in a food community seemingly preoccupied with organic pickles, local jams and ethically sourced chocolate. In this book, you’ll see how Tom and his friends got The Meat Hook off the ground, but you’ll also learn how to source and butcher your own meat, and how to cook it. Needless to say, this is for confirmed carnivores only. You can purchase the book here
Beyond Bratwurst: A History of Food In Germany
By Ursula Heinzelmann
There’s much more to German food than sausages and sauerkraut, as German cook and food writer Ursula Heinzelmann reveals in this fascinating tome. From the impact of politics on the food of east and west Germany, to the rise of much-loved German brands like Dr Oetker, Heinzelmann delves into the evolution of German food. She is interested in why Germans eat what they eat today, and this thorough, well-researched and beautifully illustrated book is a fine attempt at providing the answers. You can purchase the book here
Scandinavian Baking: Loving Baking at Home
By Trine Hahnemann
What Danish chef and food writer Trine Hahnemann doesn’t know about Scandinavian baking can be written on the back of a grain of flour. Here she offers us a contemporary take on some traditional recipes that encapsulate the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ or cosiness. These recipes were designed with home baking in mind, so although they’re not meant to be clinical and precise, they are meant to be delicious, warm, welcoming and full of love. You can purchase the book here
Making Bread Together
By Emmanuel Hadjiandreou
Ryland Peters and Small
These step-by-step recipes for all kinds of bread - from sourdough and pitta, to fruity buns and rolls - would be useful for most adults, but this book is aimed primarily at children. Whether it’s explaining what flour is, or why we use yeast, it’s always crystal clear, easy to follow, and never patronising. Just the thing to set your little ones on a path to bread- baking glory. You can purchase the book here
A second season of 'Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy' is in the pipeline, but where will the affable American actor and food lover go next? Nobody knows. But Fine Dining Lovers has some ideas in this tongue-in-cheek series guide. Take a look.
Ramadan is the holy month of Islam, observed by millions of Muslims around the world. People refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, but when it's time to break the fast there are plenty of dishes to enjoy. Here are 20 of the tastiest to try.
As England gets ready to reopen its restaurants on 12 April for outdoor dining after the lockdowns, restaurateurs and bar owners respond to the new legislation with some exciting pop-ups and creative al fresco dining solutions. Find out more.