This is a barrier which can either stand in your way forever, meaning you never learn to cook like the competition chefs you know you can better on the television, or you can read up about it, so you can at least sound professional when you first enrol.
There are so many cullinary experts, writing in so many niches, it may be difficult to know which suits you best. The only way to find out is dive right in. The Evening Standard has produced a best of list of 2011 cook books. If there’s room in someone’s sack for one more present, perhaps you can point them in this direction…
Get your mince pies around this, for starters.
What can be more festive than a book containing Christmas recipes? For a mere £12.99, of which a portion is being donated to the National Grocers Benevolent Fund, Caravan have published ‘The Ultimate Festive Feast’. As the name suggests, its brimming with seasonal recipes with contributions such as Mary Berry’s chocolate roulade and tit-bits from the Frying Scot himself, Gordon Ramsey.
Spry’s coronation chicken streets ahead
For value for money, £30 will not buy you much more than The Constance Spry Cookery Book. Reprinted again, for the umpteenth time since it was first released in 1956, this encyclopedia of recipes could keep you in the kitchen forever. With a strong Gallic influence, Spry and co-author Rosemary Hume (accreditted with inventing coronation chicken) put together a tome worthy of its half a century plus legacy.
Jamie Oliver gets back to gastro basics
Jamie’s globetrotting menu may not be what you’d expect to see at his parent’s gastropub but, what the heck, it’s Jamie Oliver at his best. Influences from the Yemen, Guyana and the Med may not endorse the Great British Pub Menu, but well worth £30 for Jamie’s Great Britain, from Penguin.
If you’ve ever thought your cullinary expertise could conjure a cook-book then take a leaf from Claire’s Kitchen.
Claire Caminada has taken contemporary recipes and added her own twist to give them a uniqueness you won’t find anywhere else, especially not for less than the £16.95 price-tag for this collection she’s taken from her kitchen into print.
There are many more cook books in the extensive article, including Italian cooking from Alvaro Maccioni, food meets physics when Heston Blumenthal experiments with cooking in a whole new way, choices for those with a sweet tooth in Fiona Cairns’ Cake Book and Vegetarian delights in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day!