The BBC Good Food cookery team know their cookbooks inside out, so here's their pick of last year's titles - a perfect present for the foodie in your life...
It's been a great year for food publishing, with fresh new chefs jostling for shelf space alongside household classics. Read on for the Good Food cookery team's favourite cookbooks from each category, so whether you love creating chocolate masterpieces or are looking for healthy inspiration, we've found a cookbook you'll cherish.
Good Food readers can buy all of these books at a discount. Simply call 01326 569444, P&P is free. Or buy online at sparkledirect.com/goodfood.
For perfect pastries
Pâtisserie Made Simple by Edd Kimber (£19.99, Good Food offer price £17.99, Kyle Books)
‘If you love baking, patisserie is the obvious way to extend your skills,’ says food editor Cassie Best. ‘Professional recipes can often be really complicated and impractical in a domestic kitchen, so it’s brilliant that Edd Kimber – winner of the first Great British Bake Off – has researched, simplified and brought them together in this beautiful book. It's on my list!’
Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour (£25, Good Food offer price £20, Mitchell Beazley)
‘For such a sophisticated cuisine, these recipes are surprisingly easy to make,’ says commissioning food editor Helen Barker-Benfield. ‘Created by supper club
hostess Sabrina Ghayour, they range from well-known favourites such as kofte and houmous to dishes I haven’t encountered before, such as sour cherry meatballs. There are ideas for midweek and special occasions too.’
Jamie’s Comfort Food by Jamie Oliver (£30, Good Food offer price £24, Michael Joseph)
‘Jamie is famous for his honest, gutsy cooking, and this collection hits the spot,’ says senior food editor Barney Desmazery. ‘From classics such as beef Wellington and fish & chips to more adventurous Vietnamese bun cha and Polish ielbasa sausage, there is something here for all tastes and skill levels. A hundred recipes, all lavishly photographed.’
Middle Eastern delights
Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi (£27, Good Food offer price £24, Ebury Press)
‘Ottolenghi almost single-handedly introduced the British public to the pleasure of Middle Eastern ingredients and cooking methods,’ says Cassie. ‘This book – which was pounced on by the Good Food team the moment it arrived in the office – is a worthy sequel to Plenty. It includes 120 dazzling dishes, organised by their cooking method.'
Honey & Co: Food From the Middle East by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich (£25, Good Food offer price £22, Saltyard)
‘Fresh ingredients, wild honey, masses of herbs and Middle Eastern traditions – this book really bombards the senses,’ enthuses Helen. ‘If you’re ever looking for new ideas for falafel, tahini, marzipan, grains and pistachios, this is where you’ll find them. Middle Eastern cooking at its most inspiring. Brilliantly useful and exquisitely designed.’
The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley (£25, Good Food offer price £22.50, Ebury Press)
‘The Hemsley sisters take a new approach to healthy eating,’ says Barney. ‘It’s about giving yourself a treat by eating beautiful, satisfying food. Behind many of the recipes is the “healthy gut” philosophy, which means they are gluten-free and low in sugar. A must if you want to improve your diet but lack inspiration.’
A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones (£25, Good Food offer price £22.50, Fourth Estate)
‘Anna has a very individual approach to vegetarian cooking,’ says Home economist Miriam Nice, ‘built on a combination of British, Californian and Scandinavian styles. The result is a collection of punchy, tasty and nourishing recipes that feel bang up to date – and work every time. If you need some fresh ideas, this book is the best start to 2015.’
Paul Hollywood’s British Baking (£25, Good Food offer price £20, Bloomsbury)
‘If you love Great British Bake Off – and who doesn’t? – this book is a must,’ says Barney. ‘It’s a grand tour of some of the best traditional foods of the British Isles, from Cornish pasties to Scottish oatcakes. You really feel that Paul has got to the heart of every recipe, and of course you know it will taste amazing and look just as good as the one in the picture.’
Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories by Daniel Doherty (£25, Good Food offer price £22.50, Mitchell Beazley)
‘Straight from the 40th floor kitchen of this buzzy City restaurant – the highest in the UK – comes this collection of fashionable but achievable food,' says cookery assistant Katy Gilhooly. 'Recipes include snacks such as pig's ear scratchings and fun condiments such as banana ketchup. If you're a fan of contemporary flavours, this is the book for you.
Chilli Notes: Recipes to Warm the Heart (Not Burn the Tongue) by Thomasina Miers (£25, Good Food offer price £20, Hodder & Stoughton)
‘There’s so much more to chillies than fiery heat,’ says Miriam,' and this book proves it, with its collection of imaginative recipes that run the gamut from mild to fierce. Look out for the Goan-spiced mackerel and Welsh rarebit & leek sandwiches. It includes an invaluable chilli hot list and plenty of quick recipes suitable for midweek.’
Best Ever Dishes by Tom Kerridge (£25, Good Food offer price £20, Absolute Press)
‘Tom Kerridge’s trademark is to take a familiar dish and transform it into something seriously special,’ says Barney. ‘This is one of those rare books where I want to cook every single recipe. These include chicken kiev and Kerridge’s signature lasagne, as well as more showy dishes inspired by his two-Michelin-starred pub in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.’
Chocolate at Home by Will Torrent (£19.99, Good Food offer price £17.99, Ryland Peters & Small)
‘I loved master pâtissier Will’s first book, Pâtisserie at Home, and his latest is another masterpiece,’ says Katy. ‘It is a serious book for those who are interested in chocolate, and it explains everything from the provenance of this luxurious ingredient to how to work it to perfection. Be sure to try the salted caramel millionaire’s shortbread.’
Do you have a favourite cookbook from 2014 and how many of our picks have you read? Let us know in the comments below...