The Whole Fromage
What makes French cheese so remarkable? So many books have tried to make sense of it but this delectable narrative by Kathe Lison not only sheds light on the secrets of French affineurs, it takes you on an enchanting excursion through the country itself; exploring and experiencing the rich history and processes employed in creating the award-winning cheeses of France. From the last cheese-making burons in the pastures of Auvergne, up through the hills of Normandy, to the farmlands that keep cheesemaking traditions alive, this evocative story reads like a culinary roadmap of the French landscape and it’s the perfect gift for any and all cheese lovers!
Food: A Love Story
There are highbrow culinary tomes that can haughtily lord over a coffee table, or appear stacked in a neat shelf below well-loved mauviel copper cookware. This isn’t that book. This is a greasy-hamburger-with-a-side-of-fries-and-a-shake type of book. It is meant to be devoured, and, like junk food, it feels good going down. If you have a friend starved for a belly full of laughs (and who isn’t, really?), then comedian Jim Gaffigan’s “Food: A Love Story” offers a full value menu of good times and hilarious observations.
This seriously giftable little book of essays will make any home cook overjoyed. Waters, the California cuisine pioneer and owner of Chez Panisse, reveals tips and ideas for transforming your pantry into a magical place that makes every meal—even the most simple ones—ooze with depths of flavor. Charming pen and ink illustrations throughout make it an extra lovely present.
After falling in love with a celebrity chef and moving to D.C. to be with him, Alyssa Shelasky finds herself lonely—and hungry. Though surrounded by foodies, she can barely boil water without supervision, so sets out to conquer the kitchen and her anxiety about cooking. With recipes throughout, this young woman’s funny memoir is nourishing in the best way.
Make It Ahead
The desire to make beautiful, well-planned home-cooked meals can sometimes fall short in the face of the reality of our jam-packed daily lives. Reliable and delicious recipes that can be prepped in advance and on a customized timeline are thus the holy grail of home cooks. Who better to look to than the the inimitable Ina Garten? Chock full of time-saving tips, timetables, freezable recipes and more, this cookbook more than earns its keep.
A Table by the Window
Hillary Manton Lodge
Juliette D’Alisa is a longtime food writer who has grown up in the restaurant industry. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to partner with him on a new venture, she balks at the thought of leaving her career, but soon sets her journalistic mind to uncovering the secrets behind an old photograph she finds mixed in with her late grandmother’s recipes. Will digging in the past help her to navigate her future? Peppered throughout with recipes, this novel of renewal and self-discovery is mouth-wateringly delicious.
The Oz Family Kitchen
When we picture what life might be like in Dr. Oz’s household, we picture an immaculate, sterile environment where things are put back in their places and meals consist of boring organic and allergen-free ingredients. Lisa Oz shatters that idea in her new cookbook “The Oz Family Kitchen.” This beautiful volume boasts more than 100 simple, exciting and delicious recipes from the family’s collection, proving that meals in the Oz household are as tasty and eclectic as the ones at your favorite local eatery. This book also offers helpful advice on cooking healthy meals, pantry stocking and smart shopping, as well as healthy eating tips from the one and only Mehmet Oz, M.D. This gift is for anyone looking to make better choices in their diet without compromising on taste.
In the south of France in 1970, a meeting of the minds took place that changed the culinary landscape. The players were James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones. They ate, drank plenty of wine, and chatted about all things food and their resulting conversations had a huge impact on the culture of food and the way we eat today. A great gift for every foodie who loves a side of scrumptious gossip and a dash of drama.
Milk Bar Life
From Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar fame, this cookbook is a great gift for anyone who loves to have a little fun with their cooking. Tosi writes with humor and spirit (one chapter is called “The Freakin Weekend”) as she shares the savory side of her unique, delicious, and easy repertoire. Never fear, there are also enough sweets in here (did someone say cookies?) to satisfy any sweet tooth.
‘Tis the season…to shop for everyone on your list. And, we may be biased, but we think the best gifts to give—and receive—are books!
Read It Forward is making your holiday shopping a cinch this year. We’ve curated seven different gift guides chock full of books that will thrill everyone you know: the foodie in the family, the creative thinker, the fiction devotee, the adventurous spirit, the former class clown, the ultimate fan (of podcasts, history, rock ‘n roll…you name it) and the sci-fi lover who’s already purchased their movie tickets for Stars Wars: The Force Awakens. All you have to do is swing by your local independent bookstore and shop ’til you drop.
The Foodie loves a delicious read. Whether it’s a novel set in the restaurant world, a history of French fromage, a nonfiction account of the first “celebrity” chefs and their influence on dining, or the tastiest of all: a cookbook resplendent with glossy photos of mouthwatering dishes, these ten books will delight and inspire any home chef or food enthusiast.
Curated by the Read It Forward editorial team, illustration by Jane Mount of Ideal Bookshelf.