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Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding: Sweet and Savoury Recipes from Britain’s Best Baker, by Justin Gellatly, Fig Tree, RRP£25
Though the title of this one makes my teeth itch – what an awesome bit of hubris – it’s entirely deserved. Gellatly put St John restaurant on the map for its bakery several years ago and is now sharing some of his secrets. Beautiful photography by Andrew Sewell even does justice to the magnificence of his doughnuts.
Konditor & Cook: Deservedly Legendary Baking, by Gerhard Jenne, Ebury, RRP£20
In a world oversupplied with celebrity bakers Jenne has quietly developed a distinctive and winning style. Understated design and breathtaking photography communicate that style directly. Certainly one of my favourite baking books in several years.
My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, by David Lebovitz, Ten Speed Press, RRP£28/$35
Another book, by another American writer, about cooking in Paris? You think you know what to expect but Lebovitz has plundered the city’s ethnic influences and has come up with a string of fresh Spanish, Levantine, Moorish and Indian-inspired dishes. Ten Speed rarely fails to make its books stunning. This is no exception.
In the Charcuterie: Making Sausage, Salumi, Pâtés, Roasts, Confits, and Other Meaty Goods, by Toponia Miller and Taylor Boetticher, Square Peg, RRP£25/ Ten Speed Press, RRP$40
Excellently workable charcuterie techniques plus proper – not “dumbed down” – recipes for things such as cassoulet and “Chicken-fried” quail. Nothing ridiculously innovative here but it passes the toughest test of any cookbook – you want to cook and eat every recipe it contains.
The Recipe Wheel, by Rosie Ramsden, Ebury, RRP£18.99
These days, making beautiful books using illustration instead of food porn photography is a brave publishing decision. Building it around a kind of “mind-mapping” technique to create exciting new recipes from simple ingredients is positively audacious. If you love cookbooks as objects this is a beaut.
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