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In 2019, we discovered dozens of great new cookbooks – but which ones made our ‘best of 2019’ list? Whether you’re looking for a Christmas gift for the food obsessive in your life or just want to add to your own burgeoning collection, we’ve selected a range of books each with a distinct offering. Read on to discover which cookbooks we loved this year.
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Veg by Jamie Oliver
Best cookbook for vegetarian cooks
Jamie makes vegetarian cooking easy, fun and accessible with more than 100 recipes that can be whipped up after a long day at work. There are bags of flavour in every one, with ideas from around the globe – and they’re all family-friendly, with plenty of satisfying stews, curries, pastas, pies, and traybakes, plus brunch recipes and a few quick sharing dishes, such as tacos or tortilla chips and dips for the weekend. (Michael Joseph).
Hunter Gather Cook by Nick Weston
Best cookbook for foragers
The ultimate guide to foraging and wild cooking, anyone aspiring to be a bit more like Bear Grylls will love this. Hunter, forager and chef Nick Weston lived off-grid in a treehouse to simplify his life and really get to know the wild ingredients he loved. In this book, he shows how to butcher, cook over fire and safely forage, and shares his recipes for dishes like rabbit quesadillas and venison carpaccio. (GMC Publications)
Midnight Chicken & Other Recipes Worth Living For by Ella Risbridger
Best cookbook for theraputic reading
This is so much more than a cookbook. After suffering crippling anxiety and trying to end her life at the age of 21, Ella began cooking, starting with a roast chicken, and discovered the healing powers of the kitchen. Beautifully written and restorative with comforting recipes and ways to find joy, you’ll want to read this yourself before you give it as a gift – maybe buy two. (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Aran by Flora Shedden
Best cookbook for bakers
At 19, Flora was Bake Off’s youngest-ever semi-finalist, and she now owns Aran Bakery in Perthshire, Scotland. This book makes a great gift for keen bakers, covering all the essentials and more – and there’s no fancy equipment needed. On the savoury front, there are breads, quiches and salads, and on the sweet, there are plenty of cakes and bakes, including her gran’s shortbread – a must for any Scot. (Hardie Grant)
East by Meera Sodha
Best cookbook for lovers of Asian cuisine
Meera’s cookbooks have all been huge hits, and East looks set to follow suit. Vegetarian and vegan Indian, Asian and Southeast Asian cooking is given a new lease of life with her modern, authentic and vibrant recipes. From pistachio, pea & mint soba noodles and mushroom bao to Sri Lankan beetroot curry and roasted paneer aloo gobi, there’s so much veg-packed inspiration here. (Fig Tree)
Signature Dishes That Matter
Best coffee table cookbook
Part cookbook, part travel guide, part historical record, this fascinating book charts the most iconic dishes from the past three centuries, from Mark Hix’s shepherd’s pie in the 90s to Bill Granger’s invention of now-legendary avocado toast in Australia. Read the stories at the front, then in the back, you’ll find all the recipes. Each dish is printed alongside a hand-drawn illustration, making it a stylish coffee table book, too. (Phaidon)
More foodie gift inspiration
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Which cookbook did you love in 2019? We’d like to hear your recommended reads in the comments below.
This review was last updated in November 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.