British Columbia

3 cookbooks with a B.C. focus you'll want on your shelf

With so many cookbooks coming out all the time, it can be hard to keep track of what’s out there. On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson has three new ones worth seeking out, all from B.C.

Fraser Valley favourites, simple recipes and culinary challenges abound in these 3 books

An example of muffins made from a recipe found in 'Whitewater Cooks More Beautiful Food.' (@whitewatercooks/Twitter)

With so many cookbooks coming out all the time, it can be hard to keep track of what's out there.

On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson has three new cookbooks worth seeking out — all from B.C.

She spoke to host Gloria Macarenko about the recipes and ideas in each book. 

Eating Local in the Fraser Valley

"Featuring over 70 recipes from farmers, producers, and chefs, this is by Angie Quaale. She runs a gourmet food store in Langley called Well-Seasoned. And she is also an elected councillor in the Township of Langley. On top of all that, she's a barbecue pit master and judge and a champion of all things local.

"This is her first cookbook and Gloria, in my books, she gets a blue ribbon for it. I love it!

"I can see myself keeping a copy in my car for impromptu or planned day trips around the Fraser Valley. Quaale shares some itineraries in it for self-guided tours, whether it's a brewery crawl, a family outing, or a pick your own berries trip."

"Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots With Parsnips and Chickpeas — which are drizzled with pomegranate molasses and sprinkled with feta — does that not sound fantastic? That dish was inspired by a visit to the Local Harvest Market and Anita's Organic Mill in Chilliwack."

Whitewater Cooks More Beautiful Food

"The Whitewater books remind me a little bit of the Best of Bridge series in that the recipes are really approachable. Truly, any home cook can pull these dishes off. Yet they're flavourful, and would work equally well for a family meal or if you're having company.

"Well, [author Shelley] Adams shares original recipes here, but has branched out beyond her own culinary creations here by sharing recipes from other British Columbians, including friends, her kids, and chefs from other restaurants she's discovered throughout B.C.

"There's a bowl by Amanda Skidmore, who's the chef at Yum Son, a Vietnamese restaurant in Nelson. The bowl has chicken, pork loin chops, and Chinese five-spice; it's a healthy, vibrant dish.

"Some of Adams' own dishes include sticky, garlicky black bean ribs — which apparently go beautifully with chilled sake — and one-pan gnocchi with mushrooms and pancetta. Again, these are simple, non-intimidating recipes for dishes that don't take hours and hours. Great for working parents or time-strapped professionals."

The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature's Edge

"This is a hardcover book that could double as a coffee-table book; it has gorgeous photos of the Wickaninnish Inn and Tofino. It's a retrospective of the history of the inn and the fine food the hotel serves at the Pointe Restaurant, which has always highlighted local seafood and other local, seasonal, fresh ingredients.

"This is a book for confident home cooks. There are dishes like crab cappuccino, which is basically an aromatic crab bisque topped with steamed milk. There's a recipe for smoked salmon macarons. Oyster coals get their name from the fried oysters' striking dark-grey coating of leek ash.

"There are non-seafood items as well, such as venison carpaccio, black-truffle gnocchi, and elk with celeriac bark."

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast

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