- 1. Cooking: Simply and Well, for One or Many by Jeremy Lee
- 2. Ammu by Asma Khan
- 3. Motherland: A Jamaican Cookbook by Melissa Thompson
- 4. The Italian Pantry by Theo Randall
- 5. The Weekend Cook by Angela Hartnett
- 6. Breadsong by Kitty and Al Tait
- 7. Modern Pressure Cooking by Catherine Phipps
- 8. Butter by Olivia Potts
- 9. Hoppers by Karan Gokani
1. Cooking: Simply and Well, for One or Many by Jeremy Lee
The food world has been waiting a long time for Jeremy Lee – the much-loved head chef of Quo Vadis – to “go into print”, said Tim Hayward in the FT. “And it was worth the wait.” Cooking is a stunning collection of recipes designed for the home cook, written in Lee’s inimitable “voice and style”. What a generous, exuberant work, said Rachel Roddy in The Guardian. There are recipes for stews, soups, salads and puds; look out for a “dish of potato, butter and cabbage called Rumbledethumps”.
2. Ammu by Asma Khan
Asma Khan – founder of Darjeeling Express in London – is “one of the most articulate, powerful voices in the world of food”, said Bee Wilson in The Sunday Times. “And this book is her masterpiece.” Ammu (Bengali for “mother”) is a collection of the “glorious” recipes Khan’s mother prepared for her as a child in Calcutta, from vegetable dishes to “spectacular saffron-scented chicken biryani”. It feels like “turning the pages of a treasured family notebook”.
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3. Motherland: A Jamaican Cookbook by Melissa Thompson
As a child growing up in Dorset, the food journalist Melissa Thompson would connect with her father’s “motherland” – Jamaica – through the stories he told her about its food, said Diana Henry in The Daily Telegraph. When she finally visited the island, she too fell in love with its cuisine. Now, she has written her own Jamaican cookbook, which mixes classic dishes from the island with recipes inspired by its produce.
4. The Italian Pantry by Theo Randall
Although he is English himself, the former River Café head chef Theo Randall cooks some of the best Italian food I’ve ever eaten, said Diana Henry. Inspired by childhood holidays in Italy, his latest book is structured around Italian staples – tomatoes, parmesan, lemon, ricotta and so on – making it extremely “easy to navigate”. The Italian Pantry also “gets my nomination for cover design of the decade”, said Tim Hayward: “it looks like a giant tin of anchovies”.
5. The Weekend Cook by Angela Hartnett
Angela Hartnett is a successful restaurant chef, but she “also has a great home-cooking background”, thanks to her Italian grandparents, said Rose Prince in The Spectator. And her latest recipe book is a “terrific collection” based on the “non-cheffy” food she and her husband prepare together at weekends. Entirely free of foodie flourishes (not once are we instructed to knock up our own pasta), this is a wonderfully “honest” guide, said Tony Turnbull in The Times.
6. Breadsong by Kitty and Al Tait
Aged 14, Kitty Tait developed a depression so severe, she stopped attending school, said Bee Wilson. Nothing worked, until she tried baking. Her father gave up his job to bake with her, and together they opened a bakery in their hometown of Watlington in Oxfordshire. In this beguiling book, the pair tell the story of their joint venture, and share some very tempting recipes. “Much has been written about the therapeutic power of cooking,” said Delicious Magazine. “This book makes it real.”
7. Modern Pressure Cooking by Catherine Phipps
Pressure cookers have an old fashioned feel, said Rose Prince, but their benefits are hard to ignore, especially in a cost-of-living crisis. Using one will “shave three-fifths” off the time it takes to cook a beef ragù. And as this book shows, they’re great at all sorts of things, said Rachel Roddy: minestrone, dhal, a “four-minute pumpkin purée”. Catherine Phipps is an “expert advocate” who makes using pressure cookers fun.
8. Butter by Olivia Potts
“Butter is a mighty subject,” said Diana Henry, and it’s one that Olivia Potts – a barrister turned pâtissier – “knows more than a thing or two about.” Her delightful book is a “masterful” guide to the ingredient that makes “even the most complicated buttery confection seem possible”. Potts’s hollandaise recipe is “as close to fail-safe” as you can get, said Rose Prince. Also try her “gorgeous monte cristos – fried sandwiches that combine French toast with croque monsieur”.
9. Hoppers by Karan Gokani
Karan Gokani is the co-founder and creative director of cult London Sri Lankan restaurant Hoppers, said Delicious Magazine. And in this “exuberant book”, he reveals the secrets of the restaurant’s repertoire, from tamarind prawn curry to goat-stuffed roti. The scents of jaggery, coconut and dried shrimp rise enticingly off its pages. Sri Lankan cookery has a complex heritage, said Diana Henry: There’s a “lot to learn” in Gokani’s book – and many “glorious dishes to cook”.
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