Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Cookbooks to give this year

Infuse your loved one's bookshelf with a little Toronto flavour

A COOKBOOK, by Matty Matheson

Abrams Books, 304 pages, $25

Matheson might officially be Toronto’s biggest culinary export — when was the last time you saw a Toronto chef on Jimmy Kimmel? In his debut book, the Dead Set On Life and It’s Suppertime host (and former P&L chef) packs in colourful tales of his years grindin’ it out in kitchens like Le Select and La Palette (including almost burning a kitchen down), plus recipes that leap from East Coast family faves to French classics to the now-infamous P&L Burger.

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Firefly Books, 256 pages, $19.95

This handy guide to oysters written by the pub’s owner, champion shucker Patrick McMurray, will soothe the ache of losing his Leslieville pub Ceili Cottage. With an expert’s keen nose, McMurray compares the flavours and finer points of more than 50 different varieties, explains the best way to crack, dress, cook and serve the little guys, throwing in drink pairings and a guide to some of the best oyster restaurants worldwide for good measure.

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THE LAST SCHMALTZ: A Very Serious Cookbook by Anthony Rose and Chris Johns

Appetite by Random House, 280 pages, $40

Through his restaurants Rose & Sons, Fat Pasha and Schmaltz Appetizing, Toronto restaurateur Anthony Rose has spent years infusing classic Jewish nosh with a healthy dose of irreverence. You’ll find all of that writ large in The Last Schmaltz, in which Rose offers up classic recipes like Rose & Sons’ patty melt while describing his first forbidden taste of bacon and taking credit for the Great Cauliflower Shortage of 2016.

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THE NOMA GUIDE TO FERMENTATION, by Rene Redzepi and David Zilber

Artisan / Thomas Allen & Son, 456 pages, $60

NOMA chef Redzepi and Toronto-born Zilber, the head of the famed Copenhagen restaurant’s fermentation lab, offer this useful crash course for cooks hoping to invite some friendly microbes into their cooking process. Zilber and Redzepi offer best practices for fermentation, recipes for variations like black garlic balsamic and hazelnut miso, uses for your creations, and tips and tricks on how to create your own fermented recipes.

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SHIP TO SHORE: Straight Talk From The Seafood Counter

Anansi, $34.95

The city’s food scene lost one of its most beloved figures in January when Honest Weight’s John Bil died at age 49. Before his passing, he poured a lifetime of passion and knowledge into Ship To Shore, which takes readers through the finer points of ethical sourcing, handling, cooking and (obviously) eating for over 50 different types of sea creatures. It’s a comprehensive guide, written with heart, that any seafood lover will treasure.

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STEAK REVOLUTION: All Cuts, All Ways, Perfect Every Time by Rob Firing

Harper Collins, 256 pages, $32.99

In this hardcover volume (with a preface by meat mogul Peter Sanagan), Toronto food writer and steak expert Rob Firing outlines everything from the difference between grass- and grain-fed steaks to the finer points of grilling, reverse-searing, carving, and much, much more.

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VEGAN COMFORT CLASSICS: 101 Recipes To Feed Your Face, by Lauren Toyota

Penguin Canada, 240 pages, $29.95

These days, there’s a decent vegan recipe for pretty much everything. Adding to the ever-growing canon of animal-free comfort eats is former VJ, YouTube personality, and onetime NOW cover star Lauren Toyota, who’s veganized party munchies like hot buffalo chicken dip, comfort-food heavy hitters like monte cristos and bacon mac and cheese, and concocted left-field desserts like raspberry Funfetti Pop-Tarts.

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WILL TRAVEL FOR BEER: 101 Remarkable Destinations Every Beer Lover Should Experience, by Stephen Beaumont

Octopus Books, 224 pages, $21.99,

Toronto-based drinks writer Beaumont rounds up the ultimate beer bucket list for suds lovers In this sharp-looking, carry on-sized guide. On the itinerary: A German biergarten in Bangkok, the world’s northernmost craft beer bar in the Arctic reaches of Norway, and a brewhouse-turned-inn in Milwaukee. 


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