Does your gift list include someone who loves to cook? If so, you can’t go wrong with a carefully chosen cookbook. Yes, I know you can find most any recipe you need online but most of us who enjoy cooking also love good cookbooks. More than a simple collection of recipes, cookbooks offer so much more. In fact, some of us read them like we would a novel. Here is my 2020 gift guide for the cook in your life.
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Cookbook Gift Guide
Classics and Old Favorites…
Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 volume set) – Julia Child
The perfect gift for Julia Child fans and lovers of French cooking, the serious cook will be delighted to receive this beautiful two-volume set.
Julia Child once wrote, “If I were allowed only one reference book in my library, Larousse Gastronomique would be it, without question.” That’s good enough for me and this one is on my own Christmas list.
Essential for home chefs, here is the great basic American cookbook—with more than 1,990 recipes, plain and fancy—that belongs in every household.
Mastering the Basics…
Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition – Irma S. Rombauer
With more than 20 million copies in print, this is considered by many to be the “Bible of the kitchen”.
I listened to the audio version of this and it was truly enlightening. I consider myself an experienced cook but I still learned a lot from this book. It’s one I want to add to my collection and I am certain it will soon contain lots of bookmarks and dog-eared corners.
Instant Pot –
If your gift recipient has an Instant Pot, consider one of many IP cookbooks available. You can find one for any cuisine you desire but if you are looking for one with a wide range of recipes you can’t go wrong with this one. The author writes for The New York Times and her recipes are well-tested.
Air Fryer –
Missing restaurant food? Recreate favorites like a crispy Monte Cristo sandwich under the guidance of this cookbook.
Southern soul food and vegan aren’t terms you usually hear together. The author of this cookbook grew up in Atlanta and has made the food of her childhood vegan. Quite a feat!
New Cookbooks This Year…
Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook – Ina Garten
I think we can all agree that 2020 has been the most compelling reason to up our comfort food game. Thank goodness Ina Garten took on the task! This is another one on my personal Christmas list.
The Mexican Home Kitchen – Meli Martínez
One of the things I’ve truly missed during this time at home has been the pleasure of sitting in a Mexican restaurant enjoying delicious food (that someone else cooked!) and a margarita. I do make tacos almost every Tuesday but I’d like to branch out. This is another cookbook on my personal wishlist.
In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean – Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen
This is the cookbook I wish I’d had at the beginning of the pandemic. In “Julie and Julia” fashion, I can imagine myself spending the year cooking through the 75 recipes while relishing in the story telling. Spices fascinate me and the sources of these recipes hail from eight African nations: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea (the backbone of the spice trade).
And finally, how about a beautiful stand for that new cookbook? This one combines the beauty of a cherry wood base with the practicality of an acrylic shield.
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