...taste your food; if you think it's good, you're not done, because it needs to be great.
—Executive chef Jeremy Langemann, Velvet Glove
Cookbooks are a tremendous holiday gift, as they really do work on so many levels.
For the expert cook in your life, the gift of a cookbook says, "I know you are an ace in the kitchen, and this dashing, massive tome is only going to inspire you further." While for your friends who can't break an egg it says, in the most civil way possible, "hey friend, you perhaps need to working on your cooking a bit more, so here is something to help you along with that."
That's why here at SCENE we've reached out to some of this city's best chefs for the cookbooks that have inspired their culinary endeavours.
These delectable recommendations are ideal gifts for the gourmand on your shopping list, with recipes that come chef approved.
The French Laundry Cookbook (Artisan)
Executive chef Jeremy Langemann of Winnipeg's Velvet Glove is a perfectionist when it comes to cuisine. His philosophy is "taste your food; if you think it's good, you're not done, because it needs to be great."
Keeping that in mind it is of little wonder that he recommends something from America's foremost chef.
"Right now, on my shelf, I do a lot of reference to Thomas Keller, like his The French Laundry Cookbook
," said Langemann. "I also subscribe to Art Culinaire
, a quarterly hardcover magazine featuring fantastic chefs, fantastic ideas, it's always trendy off-the-wall kind of stuff to keep you ahead of the books you can get..."
Art Culinaire (Culinaire Inc)
Even if some of Keller's recipes are a bit too advanced or time consuming, there are still a host of tips within French Laundry
that will help you understand the ingredients you are dealing with.
"His [Keller's] technique is great," said Langemann, citing tips like emulsifying butter with water to hold your meat at the proper temperature as something he has used professionally.
But if high-end nouvelle cuisine is not your thing, Langemann also recommends the classics from Canadian Living.
"For me personally at home right now it's The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook
, the special edition book," said Langemann. "I had the opportunity when I was in Jasper to work with Elizabeth Baird...and we got a gift from them of that book and I use it a lot. It has great pancake, waffle and cookie recipes and all kinds of holiday stuff in there."