From recipes for kids to continent-spanning tomes, this year’s best cookbooks are sure to satisfy all appetites.
Don’t Worry, Just Cook: Delicious, Timeless Recipes for Comfort and Connection, by Bonnie Stern and Anna Rupert, Appetite by Random House, $30
Canadian culinary icon Bonnie Stern and her daughter, Anna Rupert, collaborated on their first cookbook during the pandemic – it fosters comfort and connection through food, with recipes, advice and short essays that are a joy to read and will make you a more confident cook.
Little Critics: What Canadian Chefs Cook for Kids (and Kids Actually Eat), by Joanna Fox, Appetite, $35
Whether you’re in charge of feeding young people or not, this is a wonderful collection of chefs’ cook-at-home recipes, including Nuit Regular’s mango sticky rice, pesto pappardelle Chuck Hughes makes with his kids on Saturdays, and the golu molu Aman Dosanj’s grandmother fed her as an after-school snack.
Make Every Dish Delicious: Modern Classics and Essential Tips for Total Kitchen Confidence, by Lesley Chesterman, Simon & Schuster Canada, $40
Montreal’s favourite food critic, Lesley Chesterman, has compiled her repertoire of classic dishes and fundamental techniques, from her best roast chicken to the most incredible pan of brownies. It’s a collection of foolproof recipes paired with invaluable cooking knowledge that will surely become a go-to kitchen resource.
New Indian Basics, by Preena Chauhan and Arvinda Chauhan, Appetite, $35
Though this mother-daughter duo are the founders of Arvinda’s Spices & Chai, the recipes in their beautiful, approachable cookbook don’t call for their own blends – there’s a chapter on making your own masalas, with recipes and culinary wisdom gathered over a lifetime of personal and professional experience in the kitchen.
The Year of Miracles: Recipes About Love + Grief + Growing Things, by Ella Risbridger, Bloomsbury, $40
This wonderful book is for people who, like me, keep stacks of cookbooks beside their bed for nighttime reading; a journey through a year of love, loss, cooking and healing through poetic short stories interspersed with watercolour illustrations and recipes for things like fried jam sandwiches and rhubarb custard cake.
I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To) – Low-effort, High Reward Recipes: a Cookbook, by Ali Slagle, Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed, $40
Slagle’s first cookbook is absolutely packed with wonderfully simple, inspiring, all-in-one dinner ideas, each on its own page (with a photo on the facing page), laid out in a way that prioritizes flexibility of measurements and ingredients – ”spoonable dairy” could be yogurt, crème fraîche or sour cream.
The Vegan Chinese Kitchen, by Hannah Che, Appetite by Random House, $40
Che dives into umami-rich zhai cai, plant-based Chinese culinary traditions that can be traced back centuries to Buddhist temple kitchens. Some dishes are naturally vegan – like flaky scallion pancakes – and others are meatless replications, like her spicy mushroom dandan noodles, that appeal to vegans and omnivores alike.
Food, Culture, Place: Stories, Traditions, and Recipes of Newfoundland, by Lori McCarthy and Marsha Tulk, Boulder Books, $39.95
Food ambassadors and storytellers McCarthy and Tulk have been hunting, foraging, fishing and cooking their way through the wild foods of Newfoundland for decades – here they bring readers on a year-long journey through the homes and landscapes of our easternmost province, helping keep culinary traditions alive.
Where the River Narrows: Classic French & Nostalgic Québécois Recipes From St. Lawrence Restaurant, by Jean-Christophe (J.C.) Poirier with Joie Alvaro Kent, Appetite, $45
This collection of beautifully photographed Québécois and French recipes celebrates intersections between the classic dishes of chef J.C. Poirier’s home province and France, drawing from the menu of his Michelin-starred Vancouver restaurant, St. Lawrence, and his kitchen at home.
In Praise of Veg, by Alice Zaslavsky, Appetite by Random House, $45
This 450+ page tome has been touted as the definitive guide for everyone – from vegans to carnivores – who are ready to expand their vegetable-based repertoire. You’ll be reminded of the many ways vegetables can (and should) be the star of your plate.
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