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Great English Language Cookbooks Published Outside the US

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In addition to many of those already mentioned my favourite non american english language authors are Darina Allen, Peter Gordon, Richard Whittington/Alistair Little, Frances Bissell, Tessa Kiros and Atul Kochhar(for Indian food).

Nothing to do with anything but I think Rick Stein's 'famous' dog was called Chalkie not Sparkie.


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Nothing to do with anything but I think Rick Stein's 'famous' dog was called Chalkie not Sparkie.

You are right, thanks for correcting me.

I'm somewhat amazed that nobody else has mentioned Delia Smith. She's been around a long time, but has kept herself pretty much up to date.

Gary Rhodes is another pretty good cookbook author in England.

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I was a little surprised to read this thread and not spot Mrs Beeton, very possibly the best-known cookbook ever published in English, though less so within the US. Notable for its eccentricities as well as useful content. Isabella Beeton's Book of Household Management, but everyone in the UK calls it "Mrs Beeton." Sometimes with a roll of the eyes, for, among the numbered recipes, Beeton's auntly quips on practical modern [1800s] living despite her rather short life (subject even of a British TV biodrama series). Continuously in print since 1861.

Beeton by the way is a de-facto "national" cookbook, representative of its place of origin (examples from other countries are Escoffier's, Boni's, Molokhovets's, Duch's, and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce Foods and Drinks Management Department's multivolume Famous Dishes of China.). The US (a younger culture by several thousand years) has had popular cookbooks, but nothing with the special iconic status of those I mentioned. The nearest, I believe, was Eliza Leslie's, which completely dominated the 19th century in ways no US cookbook since has done. It might have become a permanent fixture like Beeton, except for being displaced starting 1890s by the "scientific" Boston Cooking School Cookbook of Fannie Farmer, a book with much more system and science, though much less soul.

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The joys of cookbooks from the UK. :smile:

Today while passing the time in a long and boring medical procedure, I looked at my new potato cookbook, published in the UK. Wonderful photos, great recipes. However, although the staff helped me with gammon and lardons, and I already knew aubergine and courgette, asafoetida and pilchard had to wait until I got home and online.



learn, learn, learn...


Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I'm somewhat amazed that nobody else has mentioned Delia Smith.

My guess is that Delia was so ubiquitous and so dominant all the way from the late 70's to the early 90's, that no Brit would be surprised if she'd been published on Mars (and MaxH, we relied on Delia to read & translate that one for us. Eliza Leslie and The Boston Cooking School in the States, then. Thank-you. Noted).

For my part, I grew up in a house which in the 70's featured an ever-growing pile of a particular magazine/periodical - whose name escapes me for the moment (oh-oh, there's a pattern here - was it simply called 'Cooking' ?), with Marguerite Patten's name on them: "She was one of [Television's] first 'celebrity chefs', presenting her first television cookery programme on the BBC in 1947. She has sold 17 million copies of her 170 books, and continues to contribute to BBC food programmes to the present day." - They were good. More details here and here: "She has since written more than 170 books, including The War-Time Kitchen and her latest, Best British Dishes (Grub Street, £25)." - Daily Torygraph, December 2008.

Jumanggy & Darienne, thanks for your suggestions on Canadian cookbooks. The truth is that if I really want to confirm the name of that book, I can call up my friend and ask :smile:

I still hold to my comments about Amazaon, which I've loved and with whom I've done business since - when was it - 1995 ? 1996 ? They always made a great interface, and they've provided a real service in creating such a database of books, making it so searchable, and delivering great customer service, all in the comfort of your home and without demanding a premium. On a shallow level, it's a lot more convenient than finding books by browsing high street stores, spending endless hours queueing up and making out-of-stock enquiries, returning to pick things up, and finally lugging home masses of dead tree.

Again, what they don't do is let you discriminate easily - buying from them can be such a 'pig in a poke' experience. Absent extensive user recommendations for the title(s) you're interested in, you're at the mercy of the publisher's blurb, according to which every book in the universe is indispensable. For me, this is the one big hole in Amazon's business model. eGullet is a great resource for cook book information, so we're all lucky. But Amazon's accumulated a pile of cash - where's their investment in qualitative customer support ?

"Dear Amazon, I'm looking for a book that does this..."


"Dear Customer, here are three to five recommendations, and some brief comments on their good and bad points"

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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I'm not sure about the 'worthy' part exactly seeing as I am quite new to the whole realm of cookery, but I do like the Sainsbury cookbooks.

Oh the Sainsbury cookbooks. My aunt used to bring over the in-store magazines for me when she'd come to visit my Mum. I used to dance around her suitcase waiting for them to be pulled out, along with a small bag of Thornton's fudge or chocolate eggs, depending on the time of year. Then I'd spend the next week or so, slowly melting each piece of candy in my mouth while turning the pages, sounding out exotic ingredients like "parma ham" and "punnets of raspberries" and "elderberry cordial" in my head. There was an issue with a recipe for a cheese croquette made out of a whole camembert, and a chocolate cake make by smushing a whole tray of Belgian chocolates into a frosting for a chocolate layer cake that I remember to this day. I wish I could get my hands on them now.

As for Canadian books - it's been a while since I looked at Canadian cookbooks, but I recall the the fine editors at Canadian Living publish a range of workable, basic cookbooks for the home cook. My mother tried a recipe a month from their magazines, and while the recipes worked, I can't remember any of them being standouts, flavour-wise. Then there is the low-fat, cutesy Looneyspoons and its successors, which I've never been able to get over the recipe names and ingredient substitutions long enough to cook from. I understand they're quite popular, though, and made the writers very wealthy women.

The only Canadian cookbook I've purchased is Vij's Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine (Douglas & McIntyre), which I bought after trying their amazing tamarind-marinated chicken recipe from the foodtv.ca site. It's not there anymore, but the recipe for beef short ribs in cinnamon and red wine is.

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Following from Dave Hatfield's comment, I'd agree that Gary Rhode's New British Classics was a very interesting book.

I've never really "got" Delia, but there's no denying her immense popularity.

Strongly agree with Blether about the problematic aspects of Amazon as a recommendation service. It can surprise you with things occasionally, but because general-population buying patterns don't necessarily translate into niche-area wisdom (because of expense, markets, distribution, availability, ...) it can be hard to find the most suitable things for you. The additional problems of fickle reviewing (one star because it took a week to arrive, five stars because the book's pretty) and some authors crowd-sourcing reviews on Twitter or their blogs mean that it's not always easy to work out the merits of a book. In part that's why I started The Gastronomer's Bookshelf with jumanggy, in the hope of having (hopefully) helpful and reliable reviewers and reviews independent of a commercial space.

-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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Singapore is buried treasure territory for cookbooks - it's largely replaced Hong Kong as the place to get good quality color printing, and since there are at least 4 distinct culinary traditions there, I always make a rush for the bookshops. One favorite, Norzailina Nordin's Sweet and Savoury Malay Kuih is still available second-hand on Amazon (though they miss-spelled her name, just to help us find it better).

Marshall Cavendish is a major Singapore-based publisher of local-interest cookbooks. Look for names like Norzailina Nordin, Terry Tan, Betty Saw (was betty Yew), Azrah Kamala Shashi, Martin Yan, Amy Beh (mainstay of Kuali, see below), the ubiquitous Chef Wan. Some of these authors are available through places like Amazon, some have gone on to publish with Asian-oriented US houses like Periplus Publishing.

The Star Kuali section is my favorite online resource for Singapore...not only recipes, but a good place to figure out which writers to follow up on.

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I agree with Dave Hatfield on Amazon.com. Live in Canada and see what you are missing. I am only sorry that I did not order more last year when we were in Moab. We have Amazon.ca in Canada and everything is probably twice the price and the postage is way up and the deals are way down...assuming that you can even get the title on the Canadian site.

As for Nakji's comments on Looney Spoons etc, I am mortified :wacko: to claim the same citizenship as the authors of those books. I got them out of the library to check on some aspect of the recipes...forgotten now...and gagged over the 'cutesiness' of page after page, recipe after recipe, line after line... The contents were lost to me forever.

No. I am not anti-Canadian. We just touched on two items which irritate me. :raz:



learn, learn, learn...


Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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If you're a fan of Paellas, I was in Spain a few years back and picked up "The Book of Paellas" by Josep Lladonosa i Giro, chef of the 7 Portes. There are a bunch of Paella and other rice dishes and I've gotten some great results.

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”

W.C. Fields

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I too am Canadian and never buy anything from Amazon.ca due to their pricing and expensive shipping charges. I have a niece who lives in the US and so I order from Amazon.com and have the items shipped to her. Same with orders from Jessica's Biscuit. But, back to the posted topic, I have a book called "The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook". This books details the origins of the recipes and I still make two of the recipes to this day - Tourtiere and Baked Beans. The copy I have of this book was printed in 1973 (Sixth printing).

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(...Eliza Leslie and The Boston Cooking School in the States, then. Thank-you. Noted).

Side note for those outside North America: Just as her Book of Household Management usually is called "Mrs Beeton," the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book was long better known as "the Fannie Farmer" in the US; after several editions the publisher changed the title accordingly.*

[What Amazon] don't do is let you discriminate easily ... where's their investment in qualitative customer support? / "Dear Amazon, I'm looking for a book that does this..." / "Dear Customer, here are three to five recommendations ...

Blether, you've hit the nail exactly. Even understated the situation, maybe. I too have found great convenience and value from Amazon, and posted Recommendations (mostly food and wine) since 1990s. Yet sometimes even vital publication details are missing. When I was reading through Patrick O'Brian's 20 nautical novels, which form a sequence, there was no hint of any kind on Amazon about the order of the novels -- just irrelevant pub. dates of the particular paperback reprints. And when academic friends revised a venerable textbook widely known under its original authors' names, Amazon offered no sort of link between familiar older editions and the new one under different authorship. The kinds of vital guidance you'd take as normal at an in-person independent bookshop.

* The "Fannie Farmer" is the longest-established mainstream US cookbook of the 20th century. After 40 years it got competition from what became the "other" most-popular 20th-c. US cookbook, the Joy of Cooking. They're different both in organization and genesis. The FF was more systematic, with many explicit tutorial sections for beginning cooks. Also, the FF evolved incrementally; early and late 20th-c. editions are clearly versions of the same book. The JOC was less a well-defined work than a "brand" for a series of almost independent texts. Originally family recipes from canned foods, printed for a local fund-raiser, a few years later it was unrecognizable, and a popular early-1940s edition is again very different from the 1960s, though by that time popular recipes were carried over in the revisions. The later editions also showed more life and wit than the contemporaneous FF.

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... Yet sometimes even vital publication details are missing... there was no hint of any kind on Amazon about the order of the novels -- just irrelevant pub. dates...

- nor do any of the cookbooks say 'American edition - volume measures'; 'UK Edition - weight measures in metric/imperial'. Now, if you buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, there's some element of faith. But when you buy English-language-versions through Amazon.co.jp, you're all out of luck.

(I've managed to avoid getting sucked into Aubrey-Maturin (makes sign of the cross). So far. (I did watch Master & Commander, which I enjoyed, though I was disappointed that they tried to 'heighten' the storm sequence with a lot of flash short-cutting that just made you feel remote from it, rather than letting some storm dynamics speak for themselves)).

Ahem. Cookbooks. I have ordered three Marguerite Patten books, so I can report when I have them. From Amazon.co.uk - the upside of the new financial order being that the pound has reached par with the Matabele gumbo bead. Yay ! MP always seemed more authentically British to me - Delia started doing things like putting garlic and tomatoes where they never had been. YMMV.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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There are quite a few Spanish books published in English. One I brought back from my 'practica' is Creative Basque Cuisine; Traditional and Modern. Part of the work from the Basque Culinary awards the 'Premios Pil Pil de la gastronomia Vasca' edited and compiled by J.L. Barrena.

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There are so many books, and so many interpretations of great.

There are bestsellers, now and in their own time.

And those books better known as classics than as currently useful.

There are the authors with names and faces known by the general UK public. (Nigella, Jamie, Delia, Gordon, Hugh F-W ...)

There are the currently fashionable. Often associated with the book-of-their-latest-tv-series.

And there are those authors with a principal career in daytime low-budget tv. Ubiquity being their sp, if not their usp.

There are the great restauranteurs. And the books of the great restaurants.

And yes, there is often a considerable cross-over between several of these categorisations.

However, there are books that deserve to be called 'great' despite only incidentally, if at all, meeting those criteria.

So, what treasures deserve to be spoken of in the same breath as Jane Grigson's Charcuterie? (and for that matter any of her other works - I don't think anyone has mentioned Mushrooms or The Vegetable Book)

Great for their timeless (or at least non-trend-following) and well-presented content.

I'd suggest a few that seem to have stood the test of time (for a little while at least!)

Erlandson's Home Smoking and Curing

Roger Phillips' Wild Food

Davidson's North Atlantic Seafood (and maybe his Oxford Companion to Food)

The Roux brothers' Patisserie

Lepard's Handmade Loaf (Art of Handmade Bread) and hopefully his upcoming (but delayed) British Baking

Bull's Classic Bull (I think the original gastropub cookbook)

There are others that I could add, like Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken & other stories, Alastair Little's Simple Food and even Nico Ladenis' My Gastronomy - but I'm trying to keep it terribly short, books that are recognised as being quite simply outstanding in their field and yet under-publicised outside that niche.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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  • 3 weeks later...

... I have ordered three Marguerite Patten books, so I can report when I have them...

A Century of British Cooking - a very interesting read, with commentary followed by a selection of recipes, for each decade of the 20th century. I'll be taking a couple of ideas from this one (and referring to it for one or two 70's classics, British-style), but what marks this one out is the historical aspect, and its having enough non-recipe content to be a good read. I don't take her commentary on the last couple of decades as definitive, but found the material from 1910 - 1970 fascinating (I was born in the 60's, myself).

Best British Dishes - chosen for being published in 1988 and readily available. Authentic and packed with recipes - 2 or 3 on most pages. As a recent cold-pork-pie-building initiate, I notice she includes a recipe for this, which Delia never did. She does more 'from the ground up' stuff and less 'oh, here's a way to make British food that's semi-meditteraneanised (and yet consume more cream than you can poke a stick at)' like Delia does. (I'm, harsh on Delia probably more through familiarity than anything else - 'Complete Cookery Course' is probably my most-stained food book). Good details on roasting, a selection of baked goods - comprehensive. This book would work as the only British-food book in a collection.

The Basic Basics - Jams, preserves and chutneys - theory & background as well as a huge range of recipes - including of course the old-fashioned British quince, damson, greengage, gooseberry and the rest, as well as more tropical fruits. Jellies, marmalades, fruit butters, cheeses & curds; syrups, juices and coulis; diabetic preserves; crystallised fruits; a comprehensive chapter on pickling; ketchups and vinegars; and chutneys, yes, including Apple Chutney made just the way I remember doing it from a now long-lost recipe. I'll be making that. And mango chutney - another cause for celebration, for me; I think too I'll be trying orange & lemon chutney. This book is definitely a keeper. All recipes have American measures as well as British.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm rather surprised at the "negative" reviews on amazon.co.uk on Patten's books. It seems to me the reviewers were desperate to declare that Britain today is a very different place from even a decade or two ago in culture manifested in food, and want to paint much of Patten's recipes as stodgy anachronisms that better belong to museums. Much of what we would call "anachronisms" often make comebacks down the line, and in Britain's Antipodean offsprings, even the most snobbish foodies like Peta Mathias will never brush old-fashioned cooking off as museum time wraps in such casual manners (of course, this correlate saying by many Britons that these "white" former British colonies seem intent to keep more of the post-war British culture than even Britain itself - I wouldn't go further than this remark).

With regards to NZ's cookbooks, many aren't particularly "must" especially as most do have Australian analogues and most would be very similar to British or Australian cooking except adapted to NZ contexts. I would recommend A Cook's Bible (Pengiun, 2007) by Lesley Christensen-Yule and Hamish McRae for a modern NZ How-to-cook book. Alison Holst is the old-end cooking authority, and I recommend her signature books The Best of Alison Holst and Alison Holst the Ultimate Collection.

Australia's equivalent to Alison Holst is Margaret Fulton. Her Margaret Fulton's Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery is very similar to Stephanie Alexander's A Cook's Companion, except feeling more European and pre-Pacific Rim food and more old-fashioned. Alexander's book feels more of the post-2000 while Fulton seems to be rather late 1980s.

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Out of interest, Leslie, is Stephanie Alexander's book popular in New Zealand? It's ubiquitous here, and deservingly so.

My apologies in advance for chirping in here.

Alexander's book is indeed very heavily promoted and popular here whether at Borders, Whitcoulls or even boutique specialist independent bookshops. When I bought the title last year, a gentleman passed by and commented, "This is a very, very good book. It's a shame that it is so pricey!". My guess is it is among the top 3 or 4 of the non-NZ cookbooks sold in this country. (The others titles seem to be constantly changing between Marie Claire cookbooks, what's-published-thiis-month-from Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay or Rick Stein, Australian Woman's Weekly cookbooks, and perhaps a couple of other Australian cookbook authors like Neil Perry or Bill Granger)

The book can be readily used in the NZ contexts since a lot of food styles are virtually identical in NZ. Seafood may pose some difficulties though: the fish is different in NZ shores. Still, I would dare say it is quite difficult at times to state it isn't a NZ cookbook!

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10 Australian cookbooks that everyone else around the world should track down:

1. The Cooks Companion by Stephanie Alexander. It's been well discussed here.

2. Becasse by Justin North. North is a New Zealand born, Sydney chef, who trained under Raymond Blanc. The beauty of this book is that the chapters are based on an ingredient. There is an essay about the supplier of each ingredient, and then a series of recipes. It's a gorgeous book, and the dishes are amazing.

3. Thai Food by David Thompson. It's the Bible of Thai food, and looking at the thread on "Thai Street Food", I figure that most of you know about this book anyway. But for those of you who don't, it's fair to say that this is the bible of Thai cooking.

4. French by Damien Pignolet. Pignolet's philosophy on food is similar to his late friend, Richard Olney. This is a gorgeous book, and whilst many of the recipes will be found in European books, people will still find it interesting to see how traditional French food is put into an Australian context.

5. Ezard by Teage Ezard. A few people will cringe at the word, "fusion", but this is this book covers. Ezard does a wonderful job with his recipes, and the stories behind them.

6. The Food I Love by Neil Perry. I find this an outstanding day to day cookbook with recipes that range from the simple enough for family dinners to sophisticated enough for dinner parties. I don't think I've ever used a Perry recipe that didn't work. The only grating thing about the book are his all too regular namechecking of companies he has consulted for.

7. Est Est Est by Donovan Cooke and Phillipa Sibley-Cooke. Good luck in finding a copy, but if you do, you will be rewarded by some eye opening dishes by the Marco Pierre White trained Donovan Cooke. But the real joy is in Sibley-Cooke's desserts with her mastery of flavours, plating, and colours. No-one I know has ever eaten a Sibley-Cooke dessert without finishing with wide eyed awe.

8. The Botanical by Paul Wilson. Wilson is one of Bourdain's favourite Melbourne chefs, and in this book, we're talking bistro food of a very high standard. For overseas readers, they will get an insight into some of the produce that is available to Australian restaurants.

9. Arabesque by Greg and Lucy Malouf. I honestly believe that if the Maloufs lived in the United States, they would be revered as much as Paula Wolfert is. Arabesque is the Malouf's A to Z of Middle Eastern cooking. Arranged by ingredients, he discusses each item before presenting a number of recipes featuring them.

10. The Lake House by Alla Wolf-Tasker. This is the story of a woman with a Russian background, who builds and opens a restaurant in the countryside where there was no established tourism industry. And yet, she succeeded. It is a story of Wolf-Tasker's life and the restaurant plus her Russian influenced recipes.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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A few of the non-American titles in my cookbook library that I use (many of these I bought secondhand or came from family in England so I’m not sure if they’re all still in print):

The Cookery of England - Elisabeth Ayrton

Naparima Girls' High School Cookbook – A fantastic resource on the cooking of Trinidad & Tobago and a must have for fans of Caribbean food. You can get this one on Amazon I think.

Caribbean Cookery - Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz

The Frenchwoman’s Kitchen – Brigitte Tilleray

Normandy Gastronomique – Jane Sigal (published in the UK, I think it’s part of a series but I only have this one)

The German Culinaria series is wonderful, though some volumes are better than others. It’s been translated into English but the books are very expensive and can be hard to find. Worth searching out though.

Funny that Marguerite Patton is mentioned here. I’d never heard of her but bought one of her books this summer. It’s called The Invalid Cookery Book (And for Children with Dainty Appetites) and it’s hilarious. I hope never to be an invalid in England.

My husband was in NZ a few years ago and picked up a few of the Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks. Most of them are really pedestrian, boring and not worth a second look. But the Malaysia and Vietnam volumes are very good.

I know we’re talking about English language books, but if you can read Italian, look for Il cucciaio d’argento. It’s been translated into English but as I’ve heard the English translation is not very satisfactory. I don’t really speak much Italian but do okay reading cookbooks, recipes, menus, etc.

Regarding Amazon in the US, I’m a big fan. It’s been my experience that they’ll ship almost anywhere in the world (though I can’t say how much it might cost to ship to any specific country, could get expensive). Otherwise, I wouldn’t have any books or DVD’s (we’re located in the BVI and can’t buy things like that here).

I’ve also had good luck ordering with Amazon UK. I ordered all the Harry Potter books from them because they’re edited for the American market and I prefer to read them as they were written. Apparently Americans would not buy a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone but would rush to the bookstore if the philosopher were a sorcerer. Sort of off topic, but it might explain why none of Nigella’s recipes that I’ve tried ever work. I used an American edition of the book and maybe someone got the conversions wrong. Or maybe it's just her recipes.

Abigail Blake

Sugar Apple: Posts from the Caribbean


"Sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone." Big Night

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I've done a dis-service to a book I do find myself referring to several times a year (from which I have however quoted in other threads), Meg Cowie's Traditional Scottish Food, published by Chambers and now out of print. It's authentic and reasonably comprehensive, if somewhat brief, on the core traditional preparations. I understand Nick Nairn has published some good modern Scottish cookery books - did you mention him, Dougal ? I forget (I'll look upthread in a minute). I haven't seen any of them and I'm interested to hear from anyone who has used them or can recommend other Scottish titles.

Also, have we had any Irish cookbooks mentioned ? Or Welsh ?

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think anyone has mentioned Anna del Conte yet. She is Italian, from Milan, but has lived in the UK for many years (since the 1950s I think). Her books are very good. I have her 'Gastronomy of Italy' and 'The Food of Northern Italy'. Several of her books are no longer in print in the UK which is a great shame.....I'm thinking particularly of 'Entertaining all'Italiana' and ' Secrets from an Italian Kitchen'. A 'best of' collection was published in 2006 which included recipes from both these books.

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  • 7 months later...

Anna del Conte: I have 'Entertaining all'Italiana' and can definately recommend it. The copy I have has no photos, but the descriptions are fantastic.

Elisabeth Luard: Nobody mentioned European Peasant Cookery?!? This is a great book, and I love leafing through it despite the lack of pictures. I've cooked a few things out of it and never had any problems.

Darina Allen: The Forgotten Skills of Cooking I have purchased and drooled over this, but not yet cooked anything out of it (the shame!). Lovely pictures, a few unusual (to me) treatments and recipes and some really good explanations and descriptions. I know that I will be going back to this book again and again. And maybe one day I'll even make it to the cooking school...

I also second the Stephanie Alexander and Charmaine Solomon cookbooks. I have Charmaine Solomon's vegetarian cookbook. The recipes on the 'western influences' side of the book are a bit dated, but the 'eastern influences' recipes are excellent.

I see no-one's mentioned Bill Granger. I put him into the same category as Donna Hay and the Marie Claire books: great pictures and styling, simple recipes. The Marie Claire books are quite good, but it's the Bill Granger ones that I send overseas because they seem a bit more 'Aussie'. I don't like Donna Hay as I find the instructions too vauge and the proportions a bit off. Savory dishes are okay-ish, but baking recipes drive me mad: as far as I'm concerned a recipe for donuts needs to have clearer cooking instructions than 'fry in hot oil'. But then I have to admit that I'm generally disgruntled when it comes to Aussie home baking recipes - must be my North American background! And I've never warmed to Margaret Fulton's books either - a victim of changing tastes.

As far as Canadian stuff goes, what about Madame Benoit? My mother had all of her cookbooks, and I have a couple now but don't use them. Again, changing tastes. But I should try her tourtiere recipe (add it to the list...).

Finally, I think someone upthread mentioned NZ's Cuisine magazine. It is is hands-down my favourite food mag, when I can find it (really should get a subscription).

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Go to Amazon.com for Michel Bras' Essential Cuisine and you can pay either $410 new or $449 used.

Now go to Amazon.fr for Michel Bras' Essential Cuisine, édition en langue anglaise (English version) and you can pay 56 Euros plus 10 Euros shipping and have it delivered within three weeks for the going exchange rate, which currently puts this at $82.50. Mine came to me for under $78 when the Euro dipped under $1.19.

Now this becomes a title worthy of attention at an affordable price.

And if I had the energy I'd buy 10 and sell them on Amazon.com for $300... such a bargain!

Edited by Really Nice! (log)


I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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      Say you were rounded up with a group of folks and either had a skill to offer in exchange for a comfy room and some other niceties or were sent off to a slag heap to toil away in the hot sun every day for 16 hours, what 3 books would you want to take with you to enable you to cook and bake such fabulous foodstuffs that your kidnappers would keep you over some poor schlub who could cook only beans and rice and the occasional dry biscuit?
    • By mixmaster b
      I am interested in getting some cookbooks that cover the basics of pastry and baking--not bread, necessarily, but dessert, cakes, cookies, etc. I searched a few other cookbook threads but did not have luck on finding books on pastry.
      My interest is in fairly classic French and European style baking, and I need a book that covers technique. Pictures would also be much appreciated--I like both the step by step pix or great pictures of the end product.
      Right now, I have Desserts and Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme. (I love these and have had good results from the recipes, but feel I should start with a more classic approach.) La Varenne Pratique has provided some good starting points, but I would like to find a book with more focus on baking.
      I was thinking about the Payard book. Any comments? Suggestions would be much appreciated! In case it applies, I am a home cook and am slightly more skilled than a total beginner.
    • By liuzhou
      Congratulations are due to Fuchsia Dunlop, whose "Food of Sichuan" has just been published in a Chinese language version - a rare honour here. I've ordered a couple of copies as gifts for local friends who loved the Engish version, but struggled with some language issues.

    • By Brooke Dojny
      Fried Clams (From the New England Clamshack Cookbook)
      Serves 4 as Appetizer.
      Reprinted with permission from The New England Clamshack Cookbook by Brooke Dojny, 2003

      Vegetable Oil or solid white shortening for frying, such as Crisco
      2-1/2 pt shucked, medium-sized whole-belly soft-shell clams
      1-1/2 c evaporated milk
      1-1/2 c yellow corn flour
      3/4 c pastry flour, cake flour or all-purpose flour
      tartar sauce
      lemon wedges

      1. Heat the oil or shortening over medium heat in a deep fryer or heavy, deep pot until it reaches 350 degrees F.
      2. Rinse the clams gently if they are muddy, and dry on paper towels.
      3. Pour the evaporated milk into a large bowl. In another large bowl, stir together the corn flour and pastry flour.
      4. Using your hands, drip about one third of the clams into the milk, letting the excess liquid drain off. Dredge the clams in the flour mixture, using your hands to make sure each clam is evenly coated. Transfer to a colander or large strainer and shake gently to remove the excess flour.
      5. Slide the clams into the hot fat and deep-fry until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the size of the clams. (Cooked clams can be kept warm in a slow oven while you finish the remaining frying.)
      6. Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.
      Keywords: Seafood, Appetizer, American
      ( RG468 )
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