Not Your Mother’s Cookbooks

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A recent Globe and Mail article, “Building the Ultimate Cookbook Library”, includes many of our favourites, and not surprisingly, most of them fall into the “For the Adventurous” category.

South China Seas carries the most eclectic and inspiring collection of cookbooks in town; books by top chefs, local & far-flung, cuisines from the entire planet, reference books, books for enthusiastic beginners and for culinary professionals, books that will change the way you think about cooking.

Here are some of the G&M picks:

Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller: “Perfect for experienced home cooks eager to shine up their skills with a little three-star polish.” – The Globe and Mail


Au Pied de Cochon: The Album by Martin Picard: “A psychedelic ride through the mind of Mr. Picard and his artery-clogging take on traditional Québécois cuisine.”  – The Globe and Mail


Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisineby Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala: “Mr. Vij and Ms. Dhalwala interpret the Indian kitchen with Canadian ingredients, so it’s the perfect introduction to the subcontinent for those with limited access to specialty ingredients. (Also see VIkram and Meeru’s latest Vij’s at Home.)


The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordi-nary Bread by Peter Reinhart: “Mr. Reinhart explains fundamental bread making concepts and then applies them in a series of otherworldly recipes, both savoury and sweet.”  – The Globe and Mail


Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop: “Ms. Dunlop spent years travelling throughout China to learn the secrets of its many regional cuisines.”  – The Globe and Mail. (Also check out other Fuschia Dunlop titles,Revolutionary Cook-book and Shark’s Fin and Sichaun Pepper.)


Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan: “This is one of the most enjoyable reads on this list. Mr. Chang proves ramen noodles and steamed pork belly buns can be refined cuisine.”  – The Globe and Mail

More great new arrivals:

India Cookbook by Pushpent Pant: Besides having a cool name Pushpent Pant is India’s preeminent food scholar. Over 1,000 recipes covering every aspect of India’s rich and colourful culinary heritage.


Coco is an exciting, unprecedented guide to the exceptional talent in the interna-tional restaurant world. Coco presents 100 of the best emerging contem-porary chefs from all corners of the globe.

Other interesting books:

The Arab Table focuses intimately on the foods of Arab countries such as Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria. It is a resource for learning about the traditions and customs associated with this time-honored cuisine.


Kaiseki, by owner/chef Yoshihiro Murata, is a cookbook and a work of art. This sump-tuously illustrated volume features the style of seasonal cooking that began as tea ceremony accompaniment and developed into the highest form of Japanese cookery.


1080 Recipes, from the publishers of The Silver Spoon, Spain’s best-loved cookbook, is the definitive book on traditional and authentic Spanish home cooking, contains 1080 recipes from all Spanish regions, covering everything from appetizers to stews, from vegetables to desserts.


Thai Street Food is a slimmer book, at 370 pages, heavy with glossy photos. It has a sampling of some of David Thompson’s favourite recipes (100 or so) along with an equal number of delightful full-page photographs of street life and street cuisine.


Creole contains 160 tasty and quick-to-prepare dishes that reflect the cultures of the many different nations and continents that have influenced Creole cooing, including Spain, France, India, and Africa, among others.