14 books for foodies on your holiday gift 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In her new cookbook, Indian-ish, Priya 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 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.
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.
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.
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.