British Columbia

Home cooking: 3 new cookbooks by Vancouver authors hit bookstores

Food columnist Gail Johnson breaks down this fall's must-have local culinary guides.

Food columnist Gail Johnson breaks down this fall's must-have local culinary guides

Pastry chef Betty Hung recently launched her first cookbook, French Pastry 101: Learn the Art of Classic Baking with 60 Beginner-Friendly Recipes. (Yinger Wong)

With new cookbooks coming out every year, it's hard to keep up with what to choose. One way to narrow things down is to look for homegrown talent.

Pastry chef Betty Hung is co-owner of Beaucoup Bakery in Vancouver. She recently launched her first cookbook, French Pastry 101: Learn the Art of Classic Baking with 60 Beginner-Friendly Recipes.

"I was excited about getting my hands on this book because of those keywords, 'beginner friendly,'" On the Coast food columnist Gail Johnson told host Gloria Macarenko.

"I'd venture to guess that a lot of home cooks are like me ... they're a little intimidated by the thought of executing French classics like chocolate ganache tart or Florentine cookies."

Pastry chef Betty Hung and her brother own Beaucoup Bakery in Vancouver. (Yinger Wong)

In her book, Hung offers simplified recipes, steps that are easy to follow and notes about which recipes are more challenging to master than others. 

Johnson says the book is a good gift for someone ready to graduate beyond chocolate-chip cookies or for those who want to bring a little taste of Paris to their home kitchen.

French Pastry 101: Learn the Art of Classic Baking promises recipes that take an hour or less. (Submitted by Betty Hung)

Insta-worthy

Cooking in Color: Vibrant, Delicious, Beautiful Food is a book of pretty but uncomplicated recipes by Adrian Harris and Jeremy Inglett, the duo behind Vancouver blog The Food Gays.

"[It] would make a great addition to a cookbook collection for those who are as serious about being behind the lens as they are facing the stove," says Johnson.

The cookbook is ideal for those who love taking pictures of their food and posting them on Instagram. Harris and Inglett share tips on how to improve food photography, including how to use props and camera angles.

Empowering cocktails

Free the Tipple: Kickass Cocktails Inspired by Iconic Women is written by Vancouver's Jennifer Croll.

The book contains Croll's 60 original cocktails, invented in tribute to influential women including artists, athletes, writers and activists.

"[It's] a must-have for anyone who's crazy about cocktail culture or who loves strong drinks and even stronger women," says Johnson.

Free the Tipple: Kickass Cocktails Inspired by Iconic Women is written by Vancouver's Jennifer Croll and illustrated by Kelly Shami. (Submitted by Jennifer Croll. )

Director Sofia Coppola is one of the influential women in the book. 

"Coppola deserves a drink as unapologetically girlish and shamelessly strong as her films. Prosecco gives a nod to her Italian heritage, elderflower liqueur lends a complicated sweetness, and gin, a lot of backbone," Croll writes in the book.

Listen to the full food column here:

With files from On the Coast and Gail Johnson.