I.can’t.walk.past.a.bookshop. If it’s a cookery book shop (err, Books for Cooks here in Melbourne) its a done thing that I am going to walk out with an armload of “books I’ve always wanted”.
I generally buy books for ideas feather than recipes, because I like to think that cooks have put out their much-tested recipes to inspire us, not for us to parrot copy and Instagram our perfect rendition of someone else’s idea. The above books are just last week’s haul, with only Pitt Cue really a restaurant recipe book. If there’s a BBQ book you want to buy, this is a stellar choice. The Herve This science tome and Flavour Thesaurus are also pretty much up there with the Larousse Gastronomique and Harold McGee bibles that should be the very first cookbooks you buy.
Also in the post this week, Pete Goffe-Woods’ new book chronicling his amazing foodie life thus far (there are probably enough anecdotes for a few more books!) Its so awesome to see the familiar style of recipes, and my favourite – Monkfish with Black Bean dressing – some recipes just haunt you forever. Also in there the tale of our lunch in Budapest – probably the first time I realised why all the fuss about food and the ultimate meal…comparable to when surfers talk about forever chasing that wave that you can never anticipate. I’ve yet had a more memorable meal encompassing the perfect setting, food, service and attention to detail and food and wine matching.
Finally Sean Brock’s much anticipated Heritage. I’ve followed his food for a while now, and this book doesn’t disappoint. I’m a huge fan of his culinary philosophy, underscoring all the influences contributing to American cuisine, and the tricky question of what really defines America’s culinary heritage. With some really original cooking.
And so many more. I’m currently practically studying Dan Barber’s The Third Plate, another philosophy that makes so much sense, and will post about that soon.