Tooting Mama’s cookbook gift guide. Cookbooks for Christmas 2018

Tooting Mama’s cookbook gift guide. Cookbooks for Christmas 2018

 Do you have a food lover in your life? Looking for a Christmas present for a budding chef? Need some ideas on what to buy for Christmas for a foodie? Look no further I have you covered with my personal curated list of cookbooks for Christmas 2018.

My curated cookbooks for Christmas 2018 list are all my personal choice of cookbooks by food bloggers, food writers, chefs. They have one thing in common a passion for cooking, food and flavour.

Cookbooks for chefs and food lovers this Christmas

1. Salt, fat, acid, heat by Samin Nosrat

I cannot tell you how much I love Samin Nosrat. I have devoured this book, and it’s brilliant for any budding chef, or food lover in your life.

What I love about this book is that Samin has distilled the elements that create great food. And by understanding the principles of salt, fat, acid and heat and how they apply to your food and cooking you will be able to create food that explodes with flavour. 

Samin now has a series on Netflix (I am hooked!), and you must watch it. But don’t watch it while you are hungry! And Samin is on one of my favourite podcasts talking food, feminism, and cultural appropriation. I just adore this amazing woman.

I’ve made a note of the beef short ribs, which I will be making and devouring soon. 


2. Simple by Ottolenghi

My most abiding memory of experiencing Ottolenghi’s food was sitting in his cafe on Upper Street eating a macadamia nut and caramel cheesecake, savouring every mouthful, hoping this experience would never end. The memory of the cheesecake lives on and on.

I love Ottolenghi’s food, I religiously read his recipes in the Guardian but always a feeling of despair takes hold as I read the list of ingredients to make his recipes. But now, with Simple, conjuring up the Ottolenghi experience has become so much easier!


3. My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Yes. I miss Paris. It might have been one of the most difficult things I have done. Upping sticks, following my husband and relocating and settling our family in Paris. One of the most enjoyable experiences you can have in Paris is to immerse yourself in their food culture. But now I am back in rainy, grey, London, My Paris Kitchen keeps the memory alive.

David is an American food blogger, the author of the eponymous blog, which I follow. Each week a recipe drops into my inbox, giving me a little taste of Paris.  I have tried his recipes – they are all excellent. And they work.

Remember those tahini cookies? That’s where I first read about putting tahini into cookie dough. David Lebovitz isn’t huge in the UK (I think he should be) but he’s a big deal in the US and of course in France.

4. Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perlman

Deb’s is another American food blogger who I follow. She makes the most amazing food out of her small New York apartment kitchen. Her blog has hundreds and hundreds of recipes and so many versions of the same things – probably at least 10 recipes for chocolate brownies. My favourite is the one with oozing salted caramel.

I am so delighted she now has written Smitten Kitchen Every Day, it deserves a place on any budding chefs or food lovers kitchen shelf.

5. A Table in Venice by Skye McAlpine

When Skye McAlpine, the blogger behind From My Dining Table, was creating this book her amazing images of food and Venice were flooding my Instagram feed. I felt I was there, being able to sit at the table and partake in the feasts that Skye was creating. I can’t help but covet her life, living la dolce vita between London and Venice.

This is a cookbook, is a compilation of Skye’s best-loved recipes, not food that you find in restaurants, but delicious food cooked within the home.

6. Asma’s Indian Kitchen by Asman Khan

Amsa is the chef-owner of Darjeeling Express in London. Her food is an expression of her royal Mughal heritage but simple food that is cooked in most Indian homes. And her cookbook reflects this.

The day she finished her PhD in British Constitutional Law she registered Darjeeling Express online and hasn’t looked back. She first started out with supper clubs, had a residency in Soho’s The Sun and 13 Cantons. And now has the women-only kitchen running Darjeeling Express.


8. Season: Big Flavours, Beautiful Food by Nik Sharma

Nik is the American blogger behind A Brown Table and Nik’s food is all about flavour. Take for instance his recipe for paneer, cauliflower and scallion salad. He’s not afraid to experiment with flavour. Nik brings together flavours from his cultural heritage having grown up in Mumbai and infused this with his life in America. His curry leaf popcorn chicken is on my list of things to make in 2019.

While living in Washington, studying for his masters, Nik started blog A Brown Table.  His blog caught the eye of the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and landed a regular column, and as they say, the rest is history.

9. Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook by Alice Waters

Two of my favourite food writers, David Leibovitz and Samin Nosrat are alumni from Chez Panisse, a legendary restaurant in Berkley, California. And heading up the restaurant is the legendary Alice Waters – a counterculture cook. Alice champions seasonal cooking made from local produce and according to the New York Times, she is credited with having changed the American palate.

10. #BakeForSyria by Lily Vanilli

This is a testament to the power of social media and using their influencer might as a force for good. Hackney-based baker, Lily Vanili teamed up with fellow food blogger and Instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy. This is the follow up to #CookForSyria. Both books aim to raise money for Syrian children displaced by war. And recipes are inspired by traditional Syrian and Middle Eastern food.

Cook books for Christmas 2018

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  1. December 14, 2018 / 12:31 pm

    Which one of these would get your ultimate recommendation?
    Michael recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      December 14, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Ooooooh! Hard one. Ok if pushed I think the Samin Nosrat book, Salt Fat Acid Heat, that book will give you a solid foundation in cooking. You’ll get so much out of this book. But I love the rest of them. ❤️

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