Working through a cookbook is a great way to advance your skills and impress your family and friends with new and exciting dishes.
And these days, there’s an incredible variety of choice. Every celebrity worth their salt has published one – or several – of their own, and there are dozens of cookbooks that specialise in everything from vegetarian dishes to international cuisines.
If you’re looking for a challenge in the kitchen, then we’ve got 5 of the best cookbooks to test your skills and push you to the next level. Many of these are the very same ones professionals at the top of their game use, so next time you’re ready to whip up a feast, why not try…
The French Laundry Cookbook
Chef Thomas Keller’s cookbook spills many of the secrets from his namesake restaurant in Napa Valley. The French Laundry has been lauded as one of the most exciting places to eat in the United States, and inside the pages of this beautifully laid out cookbook you can find 150 recipes as delicious as they are challenging.
Find the French Laundry Cookbook online at Amazon
The Big Fat Duck Cookbook
Heston Blumenthal’s Big Fat Duck Cookbook traces the history of his restaurant from its inception right through to its third Michelin Star, sharing 50 of his signature recipes along the way. What makes Blumenthal perhaps so impressive is that he is self taught – and he imparts his wisdom, and obsession, with food through each recipe in the book. A great read and an excellent guide for the home cook who loves to get creative.
Find the Big Fat Duck Cookbook online at Waterstones
Noma: Nordic Cuisine
Award-winning head chef René Redzepi of Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant has been widely credited with reinventing Nordic cuisine and showing the world that even the simplest ingredients can be made special. This book delves into the story behind the restaurant and its mastermind, Redzepi, sharing 90 of his most interesting – and challenging – recipes. If you’re looking for recipes on the cutting edge of fashionable food, this book is for you.
Find Noma: Nordic Cuisine online at Amazon
The Flavour Bible
If you’re more interested in creating your own flavourful recipes than learning someone else’s, the Flavour Bible is an indispensible resource. Its authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg interview some of the most imaginative chefs in the industry and offer insightful tips about how to be creative with flavour and make the most of ingredients by bringing food right back to basics and exploring what it means to chew, taste and enjoy a dish.
Find the Flavour Bible online at Amazon
On Food and Cooking
Harold McGee’s food guide is a classic, and even 30 years after it was first published is still on the essential reading list for the professional – and amateur – chef. It’s best described as cooking science – rather than offering a prescriptive guide full of fool-proof recipes, this book takes a close look at where our food comes from, what it’s made of and what happens to it when it cooks. For those who love to eat and prepare food, this guide is as delightful and fascinating as any read could be.
Find On Food and Cooking online at Waterstones
So tell us: what are your favourite cookbooks?