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FOOD - Books Feature!

Books for cooks

Volumes of food porn, kitchen science and gastronomic philosophy that earn their place on the shelf

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Momofuku Milk Bar, Christina Tosi (Clarkson Potter, 256 pages) Tosi pulls off the difficult trick of out-stoner-fooding her boss (David Chang, chef-owner of stoner-food temple Momofuku) with this gourmet assortment of haute-hippie chow: fruity pebbles marshmallow cookies, cereal-milk panna cotta, Ovaltine fudge sauce, a version of McDonald’s deep-fried apple pie and her famous and aptly named crack pie.

Home Made: The Ultimate DIY Cookbook, Yvette van Boven (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 432 pages) Dutch illustrator and caterer van Boven combines her talents in Home Made, and the payoff is exponential: a hand-illustrated compendium of how-tos for everything from baking cookies to making dog biscuits to building your own smoker that’s warm and delightful, never preachy or technical. The thread running through all of it is van Boven’s fierce devotion to the self-empowerment of making it from scratch.

Alice’s Cookbook, Alice Hart (New Voices in Food/Lyons Press, 192 pages) Hart gives Nigella Lawson a run for her money – like Lawson, she’s British, well-educated in non-culinary fields, well-connected and beautiful – with this slim volume of relaxed, easygoing weekend-in-the-country food.

Green gifts

Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes From London’s Ottolenghi, Yotam Ottolenghi (Chronicle Books, 288 pages) A vegetarian cookbook written by a non-vegetarian, Plenty is every vegetable’s best friend. It’s stuffed with inspired, vivid flavor combinations that will open the eyes and palates of anyone bored by the Moosewood-Madison-Mark Bittman grind.

The Hot Knives Vegetarian Cookbook: Salad Daze, Alex Brown and Evan George (Mark Batty Publisher, 128 pages) Brown and George, aka the Hot Knives, are hipster heartthrobs who know their way around the farmers market and the kitchen as well as the bong. Recipes (all vegetarian, some vegan) are accompanied by beer recommendations and (really great) playlists; they may be veg, but they’re not party-liners. Delicious and creative.

Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes From My Natural Foods Kitchen, Heidi Swanson (Ten Speed Press, 256 pages) Swanson’s ethos is a deeply pleasurable, ultra-nourishing one. Her simple-to-make recipes, comprising whole grains, heirloom vegetables and local dairy products, are quietly stunning crowd-pleasers.

Globe-trotting gifts

My Kitchen: Real Food From Near and Far, Stevie Parle (Lyons Press, 192 pages) Get this for your barefoot-backpacker friend, the one who’s full of stories about snapper grilled on the beach at Koh Samui or the best vada pav stand in Mumbai. Parle cooks in London but has eaten in Tokyo, New York, Sri Lanka, India, Morocco, Italy and points farther afield, all of which show up in his easy-but-glam recipes.

Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas From an Improbable Res-taurant, Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz (McSweeney’s, 224 pages) More a history-with-recipes than a traditional cookbook, MSF memorializes a quirky San Francisco pop-up restaurant, since closed. Published by the McSweeney’s publishing empire, this book is a just-do-it kick in the pants for anyone who’s dreamed of opening their own oddball establishment.

Do-good gifts

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