These are the hidden gems of the 2021 cookbook scene


The new cookbooks were one of the things that brought us joy in 2021. The best are full of delicious ideas and, if you missed them, grab one now and browse its pages might be the way to go. more inspiring to start 2022.

Cookbooks have gotten really fun over the past 12 months. At first glance, Max’s picnic book from extraordinary sandwich maker Max Halley (co-authored with Ben Benton) doesn’t make much sense – it’s filled with wacky imaginary picnic menus for Mary. Berry, Hunter S. Thompson, Ringo Starr, and Debbie McGee. But take it a step further and it’s full of inventive picnic ideas that will blow your mind.

Rapper and presenter Big Zuu’s cookbook Big Eats has heart, punchy recipes, and lots of redhead (he’s the king of a good redhead), while TikTok chef Poppy O’Toole released his first cookbook, Poppy Cooks – a delicious, practical and uplifting manual for cooking excellent, reliable staples that will accompany you throughout life.

The collections of recipes are also increasingly accompanied by awareness. Ripe Figs by Yasmin Khan is as much a report on the refugee crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean as it is a cookbook. One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones focused on reducing kitchen waste and stretching vegetables to their full potential, while One Pot: Three Ways by Rachel Ama elevated vegan food and helped busy people maximize leftovers.

Some big names have taken it upon themselves to make home cooking comforting and easy too. Rome-based Rachel Roddy has solved many weekday dinner dilemmas with An AZ Of Pasta; Rick Stein explained what he eats on a daily basis in Rick Stein At Home; Gordon Ramsay translated his live locking cooks into a comprehensive family cookbook, Ramsay In 10; while legend Claudia Roden returned with the triumphant Med: A Cookbook.

Here are three other cookbooks you might have missed that are definitely worth your attention …

1. Sugar, I Love You by Ravneet Gill (Pavilion, £ 20)

For starters, we invite you to follow Ravneet Gill on Instagram (@ravneeteats), where if she isn’t pouring ganache from a height, she shares some lovely videos of her grandmother Biji. Sugar, I Love you is a technicolor sequel to his first cookbook The Pastry Chef‘s Guide, and it’s excellent.

Gill, a Junior Bake Off judge, shares stories from her life and her family alongside “knockout recipes to celebrate the sweetest things in life” – like her lemon and cherry pie (a riff on a pie she has eaten in an Italian airport), custard – filled brioche cubes (so elegant), and the most perfect Basque cheesecake (beautifully browned).

The recipes are endlessly fun, and Gill – who also runs the online cooking school, Damson Jelly ( – happily coaxes you into making everything from ice cream to soufflé. She is the definition of a rising star.

2. Your Izakaya House by Tim Anderson (Hardie Grant, £ 25)

Ten years ago, Tim Anderson won the MasterChef Award, and since then the Wisconsin-born chef has become a restaurateur (Nanban, his Japanese soul food company, has two outlets in London) and author of books by food. Your Home Izakaya was put together during lockdown (which he writes with emotion and wit in the intro), and it’s a guide to transforming your home into a social and welcoming Japanese-style ‘den’.

He describes ‘light and fresh’ dishes, as well as ‘bold and robust’ plates you can cook when friends arrive, paired with cocktails and sake (there’s a drinks section at the back). Familiarize yourself with the crispy cheese and onion gyoza, ramen egg potato salad, sake steamed clams, fish finger buns, sashimi and cabbage – and wow everyone. person coming to your door.

Anderson makes food incredibly exciting and entertaining – this just might be his best cookbook yet.

3. At Monica Galetti’s house (Aster, £ 20)

It’s a simple premise: Chef Monica Galetti’s favorite recipes for friends and family – and it’s done so well that a sense of calm and ease seems to permeate every page.

Judge and restaurateur MasterChef has broken the book down into relevant sections, such as “weekends,” “relaxing breakfasts,” and “the perfect Sunday,” and adds inspired twists to classics (like his Eggs Benedict with Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce) . She presents truly inventive and achievable dishes that take back her Samoan and New Zealand roots and make you wonder, “Why haven’t I thought about it?” “

The hot bread and butter pudding looks ridiculously good, we could eat the corn crumpets for days, and the Parmesan scone bread is such a brilliant idea. We can see this book becoming a household staple.

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