Constance Craig Smith nominates the best cookbooks of the year

RAMSAY IN 10 by Gordon Ramsay (Hodder £ 25, 256 pp)

RAMSAY IN 10 by Gordon Ramsay (Hodder £ 25, 256 pp)



by Rick Stein (BBC £ 26, 320 pp)

Rick Stein admits he rather enjoyed the lockdown and the chance it gave him to cook for his family.

This lovely book is packed with anecdotes and reminiscences to accompany dishes like seafood pancakes, slow cooked pork in milk and the hummingbird he had for his 60th birthday.

Lockdown, he says, taught him that food plays a huge role in ‘encouraging us all’.


by Gordon Ramsay (Hodder £ 25, 256 pp)

Can you really turn up perfect lasagna, curry or sticky toffee pudding in just ten minutes?

While Ramsay admits that he cooks faster than most, he shows that fast, delicious food can be achieved for everyone.

Based on his popular YouTube lockdown series, this is an excellent book for chefs in a hurry, and his list of ‘cheat’ ingredients, such as porcini powder (dried, ground mushrooms) is a revelation.


by James Martin (Quadrille £ 22, 224 pp)

SICILIA by Ben Tish (Bloomsbury £ 26, 304 pp)

SICILIA by Ben Tish (Bloomsbury £ 26, 304 pp)

James Martin calls butter ‘yellow gold’, and this rude self-indulgent book ranges from sumptuous snacks such as. a French toast sandwich – with a calorie-pounding half block of butter – for showstoppers such as fried crab with lime and chili butter and puddings such as brown butter cake with bourbon butter icing. But try not to use any butter substitute: ‘They are not a food,’ shudders Martin.


by Ben Tish (Bloomsbury £ 26, 304 p.)

After decades of Arab rule in the 9th century, it still reflects Sicilian cuisine with Moorish influences, with saffron, pistachios and pomegranates standing strong in the region’s dishes.

This happy book revel in the food on the Mediterranean’s largest island, from arancini – rice balls with saffron scent – to pasta with almond cream and fresh crabs, plus baked sweets and ice cream.

A refreshing treat.

SUGAR, I LOVE YOU by Ravneet Gill (Pavilion £ 20, 208 pp)

SUGAR, I LOVE YOU by Ravneet Gill (Pavilion £ 20, 208 pp)


by Ravneet Gill (Pavilion £ 20, 208 p.)

Pastry chef and Junior Bake Off judge Ravneet Gill advises readers to ‘sit down in the sugar and have fun’. This lively and colorful book contains unusual cakes, biscuits and puddings: highlights include miso, caramel and chocolate pie, Indian semolina shortbread and a cheesecake with white chocolate that does not need to be baked.

There are plenty here for baking beginners, plus more sophisticated challenges, such as intricate pastry.


by Rosie Reynolds (Hardie Grant £ 15, 160 p.)

If your heart sinks at the prospect of making yet another family meal, this is the book for you.

These recipes can all be quickly upgraded and offer ingenious shortcuts, such as a super-quick béchamel sauce, vegetables cooked with the skin on or smashed shortbread biscuits used as crumble topping.

Becoming a shortcut chef could be just the thing that gets us used to takeaways.


by Orlando Murrin (Ryland Peters & Small £ 18.99, 176 p.)

Most recipes are designed for four or six people, but this friendly, talkative book is aimed at those who cook on a smaller scale ‘in a mood of relaxation, fun and camaraderie’. Murrin, a former Masterchef semi-finalist, showcases modern European food with some Mexican and Asian influences.

From cowboy chili con carne to chocolate lava pudding, these are uncomplicated dishes that are just right for dinner à deux.

VIETNAMESE by Uyen Luu (Hardie Grant £ 22, 224 pp)

VIETNAMESE by Uyen Luu (Hardie Grant £ 22, 224 pp)


by Uyen Luu (Hardie Grant £ 22, 224 p.)

This charming book declares that the key to Vietnamese cooking lies in “balancing sweet, sour, salty, umami, bitter and hot”.

Few special ingredients are required – although good quality fish sauce is a must – and there are plenty of soups, vegetables, roasts, noodle dishes and salads that contain intense flavor but are not time consuming to prepare.

Vietnamese cuisine is happy and joyful, Luu says, and this book proves it.


by Rachel Roddy (Fig 25 £, 352 p.)

There are up to 600 different types of pasta, from the familiar ravioli and spaghetti to the more obscure rigatoni and cavatelli.

Roddy, who has lived in Italy for many years, includes 50 types of pasta and recipes for the sauces that work best with each.

This beautiful book, also a loving guide to Italy, its regions and culinary history, shows how versatile and varied pasta can be.


by Ed Smith (Quadrille, £ 25, 256 pp)

The city’s lawyer who has become a chef, Ed Smith, arranges his recipes to taste, from ‘fresh and fragrant’ and ‘chili and hot’ to ‘spicy and curry’ and ‘cheesy and creamy’. His inventive dishes, such as kohlrabi, sage and cheddar gratin or haggis wontons with chili oil, often require some skill.

OTTOLENGHI TEST KITCHEN: SHELF LOVE by Noor Murad and Yottam Ottolenghi (Ebury £ 25, 257 pp)

OTTOLENGHI TEST KITCHEN: SHELF LOVE by Noor Murad and Yottam Ottolenghi (Ebury £ 25, 257 pp)

Crave is the book for confident chefs who are eager to try something new.


by Noor Murad and Yottam Ottolenghi (Ebury £ 25,257 s.)

Famous for its love of esoteric ingredients, Ottolenghi insists that Shelf Love only uses those that are likely to be found lurking in your store closet. As always, he has an original way with legumes, vegetables and grilled meats, and there is also a selection of sumptuous candies.

With tips on replacing ingredients and how to prepare dishes in advance, this is Ottolenghi’s most welcoming book to date.


by Claudia Roden (Ebury £ 28,320 s.)

In her latest book, the great food author Claudia Roden, now 85, flaunts the cuisines of Italy, France, Turkey, Egypt, Spain and Morocco. Five years in the authorship is With both a beautifully produced cookbook and an engaging travel diary.

The root dishes are positively bursting with spirit and color, and from her spicy saffron rice to a classic French lemon pie, this is the sunniest of books.


by Anna Jones (4. Estate £ 26,336 pp)

Anna Jones’ stylish vegetarian food has given her a devoted following.

These fresh, appealing recipes, such as halloumi, lemon and caramelized onion pie, green pepper and pistachio risotto or an excellent baked dahl, can be cooked in a single pan, pan or tray.

Here, great emphasis is placed on reducing food and plastic waste: This, she says, is ‘a way of eating that will help the planet’.

VA VA VOOM VEGAN CAKES by Angela Romeo (Ryland Peters & Small £ 16.99, 144 p.)

VA VA VOOM VEGAN CAKES by Angela Romeo (Ryland Peters & Small £ 16.99, 144 p.)


by Angela Romeo (Ryland Peters & Small £ 16.99, 144 p.)

Making a melted cake without eggs, butter or milk is quite a challenge, but this delicious book shows how it can be made.

It is packed with more than 50 vegan cakes and pastries, from rose petal chocolate cake to a gin and tonic baking bag, and there is a recipe for egg-free meringue with aquafaba, the liquid from chickpeas, instead of egg whites. A book to please even non-vegans.


by Nigel Slater (4th property, £ 30, 512 p.)

Reading Nigel Slater is like meeting an old friend; few chef writers draw you into their lives in exactly the same way.

This masterful book, a collection of his most commonly cooked recipes, is stuffed with clever ways of chicken, easy stews, healthy salads as well as classic puddings.

Nothing here is too complex as Slater’s mantra is “let’s just make something good for dinner and have fun”.


by Matt Tebbutt (Quadrille £ 22, 224 pp)

Chef Matt Tebbutt, presenter of the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, believes that weekends are all about casual meals, whether it’s brunch, a family barbecue or a cozy Sunday lunch.

His recipes include many different cuisines, so you’ll find stuffed Alpine-style bread, American Cobb salad, Cape Malay lamb curry and apricot Linzer tortillas. This is fun, casual cooking for people who enjoy experimenting with different flavors and flavors.

FINCH BAKERY by Lauren and Rachel Finch (DK £ 20, 239 pp)

FINCH BAKERY by Lauren and Rachel Finch (DK £ 20, 239 pp)


by Lauren and Rachel Finch (DK £ 20, 239 pp)

The Finch sisters, stars on social media who run a bakery in Lancashire, created their name with delicacies like candy floss cake, red velvet sandwich and their famous layered cake glass.

Their debut book guides you through creating cakes with eye-catching icing and fun flavor combinations – lemon and blueberry blondes, anyone?

A cookbook for young bakers who want to make Instagrammable cakes.


by Kathy Slack (Ebury £ 25,287 s.)

Kathy Slack is a food writer and avid vegetable grower and manages to combine both her passions in this lovely book with chapters built around everyday products such as courgettes, beans, kale, tomatoes and pears.

From peas and paneer curry to beetroot cheesecake with green sauce, the recipes are bubbling positively with freshness. An inspiring guide for anyone who wants to get more fruits and vegetables in their diet.


by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich (Pavilion £ 26, 243pp)

The authors run Honey & Smoke, a popular London restaurant that specializes in grilled Middle Eastern food, and believes that grilling gives the food a unique flavor intensity.

Chasing Smoke is not only an eye-catching original cookbook, but also a travelogue that takes in the cuisines of Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Greece.

The recipes are clearly explained and although they may sound exotic, they do not require too many smart ingredients.

To buy any book on these pages for 10% discount visit www. or call 020 3176 2937


Leave a Comment