Holiday gift guide 2014 best cookbooks © Will Travel for Food

My favourite 2014 cookbooks

I have been writing similar posts for the past couple of years and that’s because I am a cookbook addict and I believe cookbooks are great gift ideas for the food lovers on your list. In my opinion, they don’t even have to necessarily love cooking. As I don’t have much time to cook these days, I flip through these books as if I would great art books. Some of them – my favourites! – have more narratives than others and those I spend hours reading like I would great novels.

Here’s a selection of French and English food books that have become part of a new pile of books in my dining room.


Christelle Tanielian / Éditions La Presse
Christelle explores her mix of Lebanese, Syrian and Armenian origins in this book that celebrates getting together and sharing a meal. Her recipes are inspired by her backgrounds as well as her travels and adapted to local Quebec ingredients. The photography and styling, also by Christelle, is just stunning!

Catherine Lefebvre / ÉDITO
50 cabbage recipes, from kale to Brussels sprouts from my wonderful friend Catherine who will make you love everything Choux. A great book with delectable photography by Albert Elbilia (see next entry).

Boulange et boustifaille
Albert Elbilia / Les Éditions de l’Homme
Food photographer Albert Elbilia becomes an author in this gorgeous book about all things bread. If you are a bread lover, you will most certainly love this book. With the participation of chefs Stelion Perombelon and Eric Dupuis.

Street Cuisine
Christine Plante / ÉDITO
Love street cuisine? Enjoy the abundance of street food we had in Montreal this past summer? Christine Plante explores some of those trucks and shares some of their recipes.

25 verbes pour apprendre à cuisiner
Stelio Perombelon / Les Éditions de l’Homme
An essential book to have for chefs and serious home cooks. The book explores 25 cooking terms and proceeds to define them then illustrate the process with a recipe.

La cuisine de mon enfance
Lynne Faubert / Editions Transcontinental
A collection of childhood recipes from 10 of Quebec’s most celebrated chefs including Martin Juneau, Marc André Royal, Michele Forgione, Antonio Park and Gita Seaton.

best 2014 cookbooks © Will Travel for Food

Some of my favourite 2014 cookbooks


Thug Kitchen: Eat like you give a f**k
Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway / Sphere
The food blog sensation is now available in book form! Thug Kitchen is chock full of great vegan recipes with a side of cussing  that makes everything more real and more fun. Yes, cussing but it’s a great book, trust me!

Plenty More
Yotam Ottolenghi / Appetite by Random House
The much anticipated follow up book by the much loved Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi. Like its predecessor Plenty, Plenty More contains a multitude of vegetarian recipes illustrated by beautiful photographs. Plenty is one of my favourite books and I have a feeling Plenty More will also find its way to the top of my cookbook pile.

Never trust a skinny Italian chef
Massimo Bottura / Phaidon
This beautiful book published by Phaidon contains 25 years worth of recipes and stories from Massimo Bottura and his 3-Michelin star Osteria Francescana. A fascinating read!

Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes
Dominique Ansel / Photos by Thomas Schauer / Simon & Schuster
I love Dominique Ansel’s NYC pastry shop! It’s filled with a whirlwind of delectable French pastries from warm madeleines to great cannelés to the best kouign amann – aka DKA – I’ve ever had. The cronut creator’s shows you how to make some of them with this first book of his.

Jennifer McLagan / HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
From the author of Bones, Odd Bits and Fat now comes Bitter, an ode to that particular taste that puts so many people off but that I just adore. McLagan, one of Canada’s best cookbook authors makes a case for Bitter in this beautiful book.

Made in Quebec
Julian Armstrong / HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Read my full review here (including a recipe) of Julian Armstrong’s Made in Quebec, one of my favourite books of the year.

Sunday Suppers: Recipes & Gatherings
Karen Mordechai / Clarkson Potter
I have attended a Sunday Suppers event and have come away just as enchanted as the gorgeous posts on the SS blog make it seem. You can now bring some of that magic home with this beautiful new book containing Sunday Suppers’ founder Karen Mordechai’s recipes, photography and food styling.

Toronto Cooks: 100 Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants
Amy Rosen / Figure 1 Publishing
A great collection of 100 signature recipes from some of Toronto’s best culinary talent, with gorgeous photography to boot!

Butter Baked Goods
Rosie Daykin / Appetite by Random House
Old fashioned dessert recipes with a hint of nostalgia from the Vancouver bakery.

Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook
Rick Mast and Michael Mast / Little, Brown and Company
This book was published in 2013 but since I didn’t include it in last year’s guide, I am including it here. it is an absolutely gorgeous book and one of the ones I treasure the most. It’s filled with chocolate-laden recipes and outstanding photos and would make a great gift for anyone on your list.

quebec food magazine caribou

Quebec’s very own Caribou magazine {photo © Caribou}

Magazine subscription
Also consider getting your loved one a subscription to a great, independent, food magazine like Quebec’s very own Caribou or Rutabaga magazines. It’s the gift that keeps on giving all year long! I am a fan of The Art of Eating, Fool and Gather myself but if you need help finding the perfect one, here is a list by Saveur of 16 Great Indie Food Magazines.

All of these books are available on Amazon or at your favourite local bookstore.

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