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Bookshelf

We have collected a fair few food related books over the years, these are a few of the best -  click on the images for more details about them. If you have any recommendations for books that you think should be on our shelf, then please email us... 




Some books are game changers. This is one of them. Diana Henry has produced a labour of love, a book that touches beautifully on the 2010+ zeitgeist of less meat, more veg, less processed food, more clean, healthy, tasty home cooking. As of April 2014, it's the most influential book we have.




Pushpesh Pant's 800 page India Cookbook, weighing in at 1.5 kilos, is a stunning set of recipes from all over the sub-continent. Mr Pant reproduces them in easy to follow instructions without dumbing them down. Many of our curries come from this fantastic tome.





This is the handbook from Stein's cookery school, and it is superb. He wants you to succeed with his fish recipes, so they are utterly foolproof; we very rarely have to mess about with them. He's also included some great step by step illustrated guides about fish preparation.




Like the McGee book, this provides the bigger picture about food; it tells you all about the history of the spice trade, the botanical details of each herb or spice, and also features some excellent recipes which showcase them.



More Indian cooking, this time just 50 regional dishes, though that's not to say this isn't a comprehensive book. Ms Panjabi writes well about Indian food,  and her recipes are well-designed and easy to follow. Her introduction talks about ayurvedic approaches to food, and is eloquent on how spices can combined.




Pretty much the bible for making ice creams, sorbets and gelatis, this book is not just chock full of superb recipes, but also has a huge amount about the culture and history of frozen desserts. Their G&T sorbet is to die for!




Vivek Singh is head chef at the very splendid Cinnamon Club, a high end London Indian restaurant. We've eaten there, and absolutely loved it, so we pretty much had to buy the book. It's superb, we've made quite a few of his recipes, (and Nik had a day of cooking lessons there!) and they have opened our eyes hugely to refined Indian cooking. 




What happens when you make meringue? What's in honey? How does the Maillard Reaction tie toast and steaks together? The answers to these questions, and many more, are all in this fascinating scientific dissection of just about everything that happens in your kitchen.




Another blast from the past, this time from the mid nineties, which also upped our cooking ambitions, once we got over the cranberries/creme fraiche/sun dried tomatoes overdose! There are some great recipes in this book that we still cook a lot.



Claudia Roden's Tamarind and Saffron is a fascinating book that not only includes some stunning recipes from around the Middle East, but also a quick precis of the history of the region's cuisine, and of Arabic food culture in general





It may be odd to mention a book that came out in 1974 here, but this is a great book, full of those basic recipes one should always have at one's fingertips, plus lots of great tips and tricks. Our bolognese is based the one on page 87.




A present from Nik's Mum, this is another great repository of old school cooking skills. Ms Allen runs the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland and knows her stuff, from cordials to seaweed, from beef stews to bread. Indeed, our basic white bread comes from this book, and very nice it is too.





Sri Owen really knows her spicing, and there are some great recipes in this book. Like Stein, we rarely make any changes to the recipes because they are so well considered. It includes classic dishes from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Burma.





Our desire to eat less meat and more veggies, yet still maintain a high level of excellent cuisine has been more than helped by this remarkable book. Vegan fine dining really is a thing, and this is a great resource for it...