#5. Leon : Naturally Fast Food. Naturally Fast Food is a book of two halves. The first half is Fast Food, which contains recipes for every occasion that take a maximum of 20 minutes to prepare: from a work day breakfast and children's meals to simple suppers and party food. The second half is Slow Fast Food which contains things that can be made in advance when you have time, to enjoy when you don't have time. With more than 200 recipes there is plenty in both halves for the experienced cook as well as the culinary adventurer in search of inspiration.
#4. Mark Bittman : The Mini Minimalist. This boxed set contains over 160 recipes ideal for the harried chef who is still interested in serving delicious meals. Mark Bittman, renowned for the quick and easy recipes featured in his weekly New York Times food column, prunes his collection in order to minimize the effort and ingredients required for each dish featured in this anthology. The ideal size and packaging for gift giving, this small slipcase set of cookbooks makes a thoughtful housewarming or holiday gift for the everyday gourmand or novice chef.
#3. Deb Pereman : The Smitten Kitchen. Deb Perelman loves to cook. She isn’t a chef or a restaurant owner—she’s never even waitressed. Cooking in her tiny Manhattan kitchen was, at least at first, for special occasions—and, too often, an unnecessarily daunting venture. Deb found herself overwhelmed by the number of recipes available to her. Have you ever searched for the perfect birthday cake on Google? You’ll get more than three million results. Where do you start? What if you pick a recipe that’s downright bad? So Deb founded her award-winning blog, Smitten Kitchen, on the premise that cooking should be a pleasure, and that the results of your labor can—and should—be delicious . . . every time. Deb is a firm believer that there are no bad cooks, just bad recipes. She has dedicated herself to creating and finding the best of the best and adapting the recipes for the everyday cook.
#2. Stanley Tucci : The Tucci Cookbook. There is some truth to the old adage “Most of the world eats to live, but Italians live to eat.” What is it about a good Italian supper that feels like home, no matter where you’re from? Heaping plates of steaming pasta . . . crisp fresh vegetables . . . simple hearty soups . . . sumptuous stuffed meats . . . all punctuated with luscious, warm confections. For acclaimed actor Stanley Tucci, teasing our taste buds in classic foodie films such as Big Night and Julie & Julia was a logical progression from a childhood filled with innovative homemade Italian meals: decadent Venetian Seafood Salad; rich and gratifying Lasagna Made with Polenta and Gorgonzola Cheese; spicy Spaghetti with Tomato and Tuna; delicate Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Rosemary; fruity Roast Duck with Fresh Figs; flavorful Baked Whole Fish in an Aromatic Salt Crust; savory Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole with Potatoes; buttery Plum and Polenta Cake; and yes, of course, the legendary Timpano. and drum roll please ~ no real surprise here ~ my favourite cookbook ever is also my top gift choice
#1. The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook: Heirloom fruits and vegetables, and more than 100 heritage recipes to inspire every generation Welcome to Beekman 1802, in Sharon Springs, NY--the historic home of The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge. Josh and Brent star in the popular show on Cooking Channel, and they have built a worldwide reputation for their goat's milk soaps and superb, artisanal Blaak cheese. Together, Josh and Brent have created a gorgeous cookbook that is “heirloom” in every sense of the word: they showcase heirloom fruits and vegetables; offer delicious heirloom recipes from farm, family, and friends; and include a section in the back of each chapter so you can personalize the book with your own treasured recipes--and create a unique keepsake to hand down to your family. From springtime pea pod risotto and summery strawberry shortcake to quick braised collards in autumn and yummy chicken 'n' dumplings for a snowy winter's day, this is simple yet luscious farm-fresh fare that everyone will love.