Schell: Cookbooks that inspire creativity

Being a certified cookbook-a-holic, I having been gleefully pouring over the amazing selection of beautiful books that were published last year.

Thankfully, the cookbook world has kept its pages intact, so to say.  Numbers show that readers still prefer the hard copy of a cookbook to page through, drip butter on and show off on an open shelf—against the trend towards the digital book scene.  I think there are many of us that love a stained, dog-eared cookbook—it is a sign of a one that is well used.

Of course that doesn’t go for all titles, some are just too beautiful to mess up, and remain in the living room on the bookshelf to be admired without sticky fingers.

The restaurant cookbooks that have come out recently are really amazing.  I love books that contain the unique voice of the chef—swear words and all!  That with, of course, creative recipes and beautiful photography.  It may sound shallow, but how much fun is a cookbook without photos?  How are you supposed to compare your creation with theirs?

Here are a few of my favourite reads for 2013:

1.  Lately I feel the need to cook with as much wild game and/or friend-farmed (term I use for buying from a farmer that I know personally) products as possible.

Le Pigeon—Cooking at the Dirty Bird immediately appealed. A wild ride through the culinary journey of chef Gabriel Rucker at his now famous Le Pigeon restaurant in Portland Oregon, the dishes get the foodie heart beating fast.

Andrew (Andy) Fortgang chimes in with wine suggestions in a fun and easy way, telling readers not to stress, “if the wine is good and the food is good, you are going to be okay! So follow your gut…Or call me at the restaurant and I’ll give you a suggestion. I mean it.”

LOVE it!  Chef Gabriel says: “The number one thing to remember when using this book, or cooking anything, is to have fun.”

This is the new generation of chef and restaurant team—they are fun, they are hip they are mavericks and you would die to be their friend.  Further enticement: Page 84: Chicken-Fried Quail, Eggos, Foie Maple Syrup.

Continued next week with Duck, Duck Goose—Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Ducks and Geese, both Wild and Domesticated by Hank Shaw and others.

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