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For those who are still looking for a great present for people who like to eat, I have summarized my current favorite list here. And best of all, the bookseller I trust, said that all books ordered by bookstores until Saturday, December 22nd through 17:45, will arrive on the morning of the 24th of December. In larger cities, the order deadline may even work later on Saturday.

Included are books that I brought back from my job travels last year or that have otherwise found their way into my kitchen. I have just noticed that all but a few exceptions are written by women. That makes me immensely happy, because I keep observing that in the food scene, women too often are not seen as to have a professional knowledge of cooking and eating. Clearly it’s time for a reality check!

1. I am Alison Roman’s fan since I saw her first on Bon Appetit. She now writes a biweekly recipe column in The New York Times. Her first cookbook, Dining In, is the best reason not to leave the house. Alison’s kitchen could also be translated as simple, umami and dirty. Or with: Olive oil, lemons, sea salt flakes, anchovies, tomatoes, market vegetables, the use of hands and a hot oven. Her Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies became an Instagram phenomenon in no time at all. Highly Cookable are also her recipes, made from rather fewer ingredients than too many, and photographed in great colors.

Dining In, published in English by Clarkson Potter, 304 pages for $17.34.

2. Incredibly beautifully designed colorful cooking and reading book by the artist Julia Sherman, with great recipes and conversations with creative VIPs like Laurie Anderson, Tauba Auerbach, Harry Gesner and Alice Waters. And even if the title is program, there are far more than (warm and cold) salads; Soups, drinks and desserts are also part of the party.

Salad for President, published in English by Harry N Abrams Inc., 272 pages for $ 23.79.

3. “Salt, fat, acid, heat” is the book that was missing in the cookbook market. It charmingly illustrated explains the few simple principles that give ingredients the essential flavour in cooking. For an interview Samin unfortunately wasn’t available last year, as she was already in the filming of her Netflix documentary series on cooking. Watch it! and get the book, it’s highly educating.

Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat. published by Simon and Schuster, 480 pages for $21,72.

4. A book about the restaurant with its nightlife as a bitter-sweet social cosmos. But also a coming-of-age story of a young woman in New York who fled the province in search of a job in upscale dining lands. A book about fears and desires, about loneliness and drugs, but also about pleasure, taste and sensuality, and the very special magic of hospitality and teamwork in the restaurant. The only downer: the depicted role models of women and men are unfortunately rather stereotypical and could have been worked out better. Still awesome New York reading for the holidays on the sofa.

Sweetbitter, published by Vintage, 356 pages for $14,34

5. I discovered this book first once again at Okka’s (as well as this great German weekend guide). The Danish chef and aroma expert Kille Enna presents seasonal recipes, each with a different blend of flavours. Hardly a cookbook has excited me that much by its very own approach to thinking culinary taste. What you might discover in the book only at second glance, but in my view is amazingly great: each aroma mix harmonizes with completely different ingredients as shown in a chart. This results in a wonderful range of favourite home recipes that can be seasonally modified. This is playing with flavours on master level!

My Aromatic Kitchen, published by Prestel, 288 pages for $32,80.

6. Same play on Aromas, but completely different concept. The German polymer physicist Thomas Vilgis has together with Thomas Vierich presented the second Aroma edition. This time the basis is vegetables, with a variety of recipes, stories, tips and tricks. The theoretical part has also been revised. Anyone who is interested in the chemical and physical contexts of cooking, as well as enjoys experimenting with culinary taste, is right here. Insanely great standard work for Flavor pairing. Unfortunately only in German (yet)!

Aroma Gemüse, published by Stiftung Warentest, 544 pages for 49.90 euros.

7. My most beautiful Ayurveda book. The recipes are wonderfully aromatic, based on the Ayurvedic principles (with great deductions for each dosha), and also seasonally sorted by year sign throughout the year. It is worth reading, many recipes are more elaborate and described in detail. In no other cookbook did I find the ayurvedic principles more plausible in the recipe design. It is beautifully photographed, comes in noble gold section and makes one really happy.

Ojas, published in English by Dovetail Verlag, 264 pages for $31,50.

8. The food at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco blew me away. It’s incredibly simple, tasty and concentrated, served dim-sum style on small plates. The just-published cookbook I had to have. It is a wonderful ABC of the State Bird Kitchen, with many basic recipes for broths, dashis, ferments, vinaigrettes, sauces, salty and sweet crunchy crumbs, powders and seasoning mixes. From these, you can put together fantastic little food like in a jigsaw puzzle, but there are also many recipe classics for small dishes from the restaurant. A great book that makes you want to cook and create recipe.

State Bird Provisions, published in English by Ten Speed ​​Press, 368 pages for $27,19.

9. Through Instagram, I’ve discovered this great cookbook of awesome women, whose subheading is “Recipes to Nourish Women” and whose earnings go entirely to “Planned Parenthood”. There is this beautiful statement by the artist Caroline Caldwell “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act”. Reflecting on the, not only in the USA, persistent, our society pervasive devaluation of women, this book is a good answer. Because when women support women, when women network, inspire and educate each other, I think a lot can be done. Although this book will not arrive in time for Christmas, certainly it will be in the new year still a pretty rad gift with your best friend.

Cooking Up Trouble, published in self-publishing, 116 pages for $ 30.

(Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, so if you buy something using it, I’ll get a mini-commission, and will probably buy another cookbook.)


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