by Yotam Ottolenghi with Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth, $65
The seventh cookbook from the chef-patron of the Ottolenghi delis and NOPI restaurant spells out - quite literally - the art of exceptional cooking. Each of the 130 dishes is categorised by one or more of the letters of ‘SIMPLE’. S – Short on time; I – 10 ingredients or less; M – Make ahead; P – Pantry; L – Lazy; and E – Easier than you think. So Sweet Potato Mash with Lime Salsa is ‘I’ (just 5 ingredients); Lamb Bake with Tahini Sauce is ‘M’ (prepare ahead); Chicken Marbella is ‘I, M and L’ – one to make ahead and just throw in the oven. Whatever your idea of no-fuss cooking, this is a kitchen must-have. Pure and simple.
by Lauraine Jacobs, $49.99, Potton & Burton
In Always Delicious, the doyenne of New Zealand food writing brings together 100 of her favourite recipes from column in the NZ Listener. A new cookbook is always a treat, but there’s something especially delicious about one that sings the praises of our homegrown produce and artisans. Lauraine’s latest offering is just that; she’s an ardent champion of the New Zealand food scene, especially small producers, regional specialty foods and farmers’ markets nationwide. The book is divided into six sections: sensational salads and vegetables, savoury dishes, fish, meat, sweets and desserts – all beautifully complemented by Liz Clarkson’s superb images. With notes on the best season to prepare each dish, this is a simple but sophisticated collection that embraces all things New Zealand. What’s not to love.
Paola Bacchia, $65
This Melbourne food blogger’s loving homage to the cuisine of her father’s homeland is steeped in local knowledge, tradition and nostalgia. Paola – who returns to Italy every year to reacquaint her palate - takes us along the Adriatic coast, chronicling the different eating styles along the way. “Vegetables dominate the traditional cuisine of the Gargano”; on the Conero Riviera “the food is richer than the more southern part of the Adriatic”. Dishes that reflect the diversity of terrain and ingredients include Beef Goulash Trieste Style; Tagliatelle with Porcini and Clams; Fish and Potato Stew; and Venetian Apple Cake. Bellisimo.
New York Capital of Food
Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup
Both cookbook and appetiser, New York Capital of Food leaves you with a distinct craving for a big juicy bite of the Big Apple. The collection draws inspiration from Duke Ellington’s song Take the A Train, about New York’s oldest subway line, whisking you off on a morning-to-night gastronomic tour – from breakfasts through to evening drinks at a rooftop bar. You’ll be tempted by the likes of Jewish Espresso Meringues, and iced Blueberry and Cream Cronuts so glistening they might have been buffed by a sidewalk shoeshiner. You’ll lick your lips over Tuna Pretzel Bagels and a multi-storey Pastrami Sandwich stack. You’ll drool over Colombian arepas, Asian risotto, Shakshuka and Pierogi. Nothing groundbreaking here… just good, hearty food with a lot of escapism thrown in. Bon appetit… and voyage.