Books·Holiday Gift Guide

14 books for foodies on your holiday gift list

A collection of the year's biggest cookbooks with a smattering of fiction and nonfiction for the foodies on your holiday shopping list.

If you've got a foodie on your holiday shopping list, check out this list of cookbooks, memoirs and books about food culture from Canada and beyond.

Kitchen Party by Mary Berg

Kitchen Party is a cookbook by Mary Berg. (Appetite by Random House, Lauren Vandenbrook)

Kitchen Party is the first cookbook by Mary Berg, MasterChef Canada winner and host of Mary's Kitchen Crush. The book includes over 100 of Berg's favourite recipes designed for big occasions, like a Mother's Day brunch or low-key bridal shower. Dishes include blueberry cheesecake French toast bake with apple cinnamon syrup, ricotta, roasted grapes and hazelnut tartines, and flank steak with horseradish cream.

Burdock & Co by Andrea Carlson

Burdock & Co is a cookbook by Andrea Carlson. (Appetite by Random House, Janis Nicolay)

B.C.-based chef Andrea Carlson is known for pioneering the 100-mile menu, creating dishes based on what's seasonally available in her region. Her cookbook Burdock & Co includes favourite menu items from her Vancouver restaurant, including buttermilk fried chicken and pickles, Arctic sourdough and staff party peach pavlova. Carlson draws from the bounty of the pacific northwest — its coastline, gardens, islands and farms — for this book.

Amá: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen by Josef Centeno & Betty Hallock

Amá is a cookbook by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock. (Raincoast Books)

Chef Josef Centeno is behind the celebrated L.A. restaurants Bäco Mercat, amá*cita, Bar Amá and the Michelin-starred Orsa & Winston. His new book of Tex-Mex recipes takes him back to the cooking of his great-grandparents, who settled in San Antonio by way of Mexico. Amá includes more than 100 dishes — from breakfast tacos to trés leches cakes and late-night nachos.

tawâw by Shane M. Chartrand with Jennifer Cockrall-King

tawâw is a cookbook by chef Shane M. Chartrand with Jennifer Cockrall-King. (Ambrosia, Hilary McDonald)

Shane M. Chartrand was born to Cree parents and raised by a Métis father and Mi'kmaw-Irish mother. He's spent his career exploring the diverse cuisine and stories of Indigenous peoples across Canada, culminating in this collection of over 75 recipes. The executive chef at SC Restaurant in Enoch, Alta., includes dishes like the award-winning War Paint alongside stories of his culinary and personal journey in tawâw.

Duchess at Home by Giselle Courteau 

Duchess at Home is a cookbook by Giselle Courteau. (Appetite by Random House, Susan Bell)

Giselle Courteau is the founder of the Duchess Bake Shop, an Edmonton staple known for its delicate French pastries. Duchess at Home is inspired by her French and French Canadian heritage and includes recipes for soups and stews as well as desserts like tarte au fraises. 

Modern Lunch by Allison Day

Modern Lunch by Allison Day (Appetite by Random House, Geoff Woodley)

In Modern Lunch, Allison Day champions the overlooked midday meal. With recipes like chicken and cucumber ribbon salad, Day offers exciting lunchtime options to enjoy whether you are at your desk at work or on a weekend picnic with friends. The Toronto-based cookbook author is also behind the award-winning blog Yummy Beet. Modern Lunch is her third cookbook.

Fraiche Food, Full Hearts by Jillian Harris & Tori Wesszer

Fraiche Food, Full Hearts is a cookbook by by cousins Jillian Harris & Tori Wesszer. (Penguin Canada, Janis Nicolay)

Close-knit cousins Jillian Harris, a lifestyle TV host, and Tori Wesszer, a dietitian, share the dishes that have fed their family for generations. There are over 100 recipes in Fraiche Food, Full Hearts, from snacks to meals for large gatherings, including west coast eggs benny, vanilla cherry scones and harvest kale salad.

Chop Suey Nation by Ann Hui

Chop Suey Nation by is a nonfiction book by Ann Hui. (Amanda Palmer, Douglas & McIntyre)

In Chop Suey Nation, Ann Hui drives to small towns across Canada and visits the family-run Chinese restaurants that dot the country. She also discovers her own family's secrets of working in the industry. Hui, a journalist with the Globe and Mail, begins her journey as an authenticity snob, but comes to appreciate the determination and enterprise of families across the nation.

Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan

Zaitoun is a cookbook by Yasmin Khan. (WW Norton)

Yasmin Khan travels through Palestine to learn about its modern-day cuisine, discovering dishes that have evolved for thousands of years with influence from Arabic, Jewish, Armenian, Persian, Turkish and Bedouin cultures. Zaitoun includes recipes for slow-cooked meat stews and mezze dishes created from the region's eggplants, peppers, artichokes and green beans.

Indian-ish by Priya Krishna

Indian-ish is a cookbook by Priya Krishna. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

In her new cookbook, Indian-ishPriya Krishna pays tribute to her mother's "Indian-ish" cuisine — unique dishes that reflect both their Indian and American heritage. A self-taught cook, Krishna's mother Ritu moved to the U.S. to work as a software programmer and invented recipes based on practicality, her Indian roots and her children's requests for American foods. Recipes include roti pizza, tomato rice with crispy cheddar and "Indian Gatorade." Krishna is a regular contributor to Bon Appetit and the New York Times.

Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski

Antoni in the Kitchen is a cookbook by Antoni Porowski. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, antoniporowski.com)

Antoni in the Kitchen is the debut cookbook of Antoni Porowski, food and wine guru on Netflix's hit show Queer Eye. He collects "healthy-ish" recipes — many of which contain less than five ingredients — that can be thrown together at the last minute, but still pack a punch. Some dishes include Malaysian chili shrimp and salty lemon squares.

Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl's new book is called Save Me the Plums. It's a memoir of her time as the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. (Michael Singer, Appetite by Random House)

Ruth Reichl is a giant in the world of food writing. Her new book, Save Me the Plums, chronicles her 10-year tenure as the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. Reichl brought a new perspective to the magazine that turned food writing on its head and she explains how being an outsider and a novice in the world of food writing was the key to reinvigorating and revamping Gourmet.

Coconut Lagoon by Joe Thottungal

Coconut Lagoon is a cookbook by Joe Thottungal. (Figure 1 Publishing)

Ottawa chef Joe Thottungal hails originally from Kerala in southwestern India, a region famous for its lush scenery and delicious cuisine. Thottungal, owner of the restaurant Coconut Lagoon, collects 80 recipes for home cooks, featuring authentic southern Indian dishes like mango pickle, dosa and malabar parathas. Coconut Lagoon is Thottungal's first cookbook.

Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen by Kim Thúy

Kim Thuy is a Montreal writer and is the author of the cookbook Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen. (Appetite by Random House, Jean-François Brière)

Kim Thúy, author of the award-winning novel Ru, is also a talented chef. Thúy offers a collection of flavorful recipes in Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen and profiles the women who raised her to love cooking and sharing meals. Her mother and five aunts each have their own unique story to tell about Vietnam and their connection to food.

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