Anyone who knows me will know I’m a massive food geek. I spend my time reading food articles or blogs, keeping up with current trends, creating my own recipes or reading cookbooks. When it comes to vegetarian food I’m proud to say I know a fair amount about it. However, I’m still no expert and I’m constantly learning new things. That’s the beauty of it: I’m becoming more knowledgeable day by day.
So keeping that all in mind it’s no surprise my favourite type of book is indeed a cookbook. Whilst others may be caught up in some hard core fiction or reading a celebrity’s autobiography, I’m reading a cookbook cover to cover. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good fiction book too but cookbooks are the most important to me. In fact, I’d argue they are the most important to all of us without us even realising.
Now, I know you think I’m mad right now and I completely understand. Talk to me 5 years ago and I wouldn’t have been reading cookbooks and especially not cover to cover. I used to do what everyone else does when they get a cookbook, gloss through it to find recipes I liked the look of and then make said recipes and possibly make them again if they were good. Who can be bothered with all the introduction, equipment lists etc.? Oh how wrong I was.
My fascination with cookbooks started in sixth form. I’d always been some form of foodie but I had begun thinking about food more due to my declining health. I spent long periods of time alone during the day and so found solace in researching different food blogs and articles on the internet. This lead me to discover the first cookbook I had ever properly bought for myself.
Deliciously Ella was the book and I remember reading it cover to cover fascinated by her food ethos. Whilst her book is now by no means my favourite I still appreciate that book as it begun my ritual of reading cookbooks.
Technology will never replace a book as far as I’m concerned. I love the feel and smell of a new book in my hands and physically turning the pages one by one. I don’t feel connected to a book on a screen; it doesn’t feel quite right.
So why should we read cookbooks in their entirety? The cookbook takes you into the world of the author. It shows you what happened for them to make this book. It shows you why they made it. It shows you their passions and dislikes; their little anecdotes about recipes; the recipes which are so much more than a few ingredients; their personal tips for easier/original ways to cook a certain ingredients. And that’s only some examples. Like any other book, there’s a whole heap of information for us to read but in this case we gloss over it.
And why the hell are cookbooks the most important book? Food is our fuel to live and honestly why not spend more time thinking about it? Reading a cookbook can give you so much insight into different ideas of enjoying the food we eat. Who doesn’t want that? But then again, as much as cookbooks are practical books they are not just that. They contain history, politics, culture, relationships, art and so much more. And there are cookbooks for everything right? For me, there are tons of vegetarian cookbooks I love but you might be a meat eater who loves pasta? I’m pretty sure there’s a cookbook for that. A cookbook can bring people together. Make a recipe from one and cook it for your loved ones.
A cookbook is so much more than a book.
I don’t normally like recommending cookbooks as a lot of my choices are very personal to me. However, I’ve written out a list here of my all time favourites which I’m hope will be of some help to you if you’re after a new read. These books to me don’t only contain neat recipes I make time and time again but have also become part of what I consider my identity. I follow a lot of what they practice in my everyday life.
David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl are my definite favourite authors. Their recipes and photographs are everything I aspire to one day create so it’s safe to say they are my idols. They have 3 kids whilst cooking amazing nutritious vegetarian meals and have now released 4 books in total. Incredible right? The Green Kitchen, Green Kitchen Travels, Green Kitchen Smoothies and Green Kitchen at Home. Honestly, these are my favourite books. Great recipes, photography and funny anecdotes.
Anna Jones is the true definition of a modern vegetarian and all the recipes she’s created are far from the boring, traditional vegetarian food we all know. Her book, A Modern Way to Eat, was the second cookbook I bought for myself and the poor thing is battered now from how much I’ve used it. A lot of her recipes are staples I make day in day out so I can’t recommend her two books highly enough.
I don’t have Izy’s first book, Top with Cinnamon, however I recently bought her second book A Savvy Cook. This book has quickly become one of my staples and I can’t recommend it enough. I especially adore her multi grain pancakes with some yoghurt and maple syrup in the morning. This is book is 100% a must buy.
Sarah Britton’s book contains both mine and Gareth’s favourite cake ever so doesn’t that say enough? No, but honestly her book contains brilliant recipes and you can honestly tell she’s passionate about what she creates. I’m looking forward to her next book but unfortunately it’s not yet released in the U.K.
As I’ve said, Deliciously Ella is where this all started so I’m grateful for that. My personal favourite is her latest book Deliciously Ella with Friends as to me it feels like a more grown up, inventive version of her other books. However, all of her books are interesting and have some great recipes.
And on that note, I’m happy to announce that I’ll be releasing a collection of cookbooks within the next few weeks! They’ll be available to buy as ebooks and paperbacks. I’m super excited about this as have been working on them for months now and they’re finally ready to be released. So, keep your eyes peeled. And for now here’s a sneak preview of the covers.