Things We Love Cookbooks

Even in this digital age, chefs, home cooks and culinary educators still relish the visual excellence of a great cookbook in their hands. Keep these recommendations in mind for gift-giving or as a coveted addition to your own collection.

Cannelle et Vanille by Aran Goyoaga
Jamie Kirby, cookbook author and bookseller for The Kings English Bookstore, has cookbooks that cross her desk every day, so you may think picking a recommendation would be impossible. But Kirby enjoys cooking when it doesn’t feel like work so those are the books she gravitates toward. And it helps if the photography is stunning as well. “Aran is a stunning photographer, and it is an all-around gorgeous book,” Kirby says. “She is an exceptional cook; the book is suitable for both gluten-free friends and those who are not gluten-free.”
Sasquatch Books (2019)


Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons
With the amount of research Matt Caputo does for his job as Caputos CEO, you might expect him to recommend a book about cheeses or Italian meats. Although he has plenty of those in his library, this cookbook recommendation actually takes the reader on historical journey and includes some great recipes as well. “This cocktail book won a James Beard award, which makes it really special,” Caputo said. “Just the introduction of this book alone would give someone so much insight into cocktail culture, cocktails that were created here in America, but unfortunately Prohibition put a halt to that. At the time, creating cocktail bitters was a huge business. The book goes into the history, how cocktails came into being and how bitters were inseparable to them.”
Ten Speed Press; 1st edition (2011)


Cake Confidence by Mandy Merriman
When you are a personal chef like Lindsey Kaye and an expert at managing all types of dietary concerns, you want your baking experiences to be as successful as your cooking. “Her recipes are amazing; she has a cinnamon roll cake that I just made. It was so good!” Kaye said. “In this book, she explains everything, it is like a cake class in a book. She explains how to get the smooth sides and how to stack your cakes. There are four recipes per cake, and she makes it doable.”
Front Table Books (2019)


The Immeasurable Place by Blake and Lavinia Spalding and Jennifer Castle
As a culinary educator and co-founder of the Salt Lake Culinary Education, Diane Sheya likes cookbooks that have a story behind them, explaining what the recipes are about. Her recommendation is the second book by the duo who founded Hell’s Backbone Grill and Lavinia Spalding, which is filled with 70 recipes created at Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah. These women won the hearts of the small town early on, expressing their Buddhist beliefs and fostering connections from the land to the table. “That is what Blake and Jen are all about, the story behind the food,” Sheya said. “They grow over 60 percent of the produce that they serve in the restaurant, and they partner with local farmers for their meats and cheeses. They have created an amazing farm-to-table restaurant.”
HBG Press; 3rd edition (2017)

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