Searching for the perfect cookbook for your favorite foodie? The task can be daunting as bookstore shelves and online stores brimmeth over with dozens of enticing books filled with culinary inspiration.
Lara Hamilton, owner of Seattle’s community cookbook store Book Larder, helps navigate the endless options with five gift-worthy cookbooks for holidays. From the seasoned baker to the armchair chef, every kind of food lover will find something to savor in these titles.
SLIDE SHOW: Book Larder's 5 gift-worthy cookbooks for the holiday
Jerusalem: A Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
(Ten Speed Press, $35)
Hardcover: 320 pages with 120 recipes
“With interesting, clean flavors, an abundance of vegetables and grains, and fascinating stories of the culinary scene in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, this book is irresistible. You’ll get lost in the photos, the stories of Jerusalem, and of course, the great recipes.”
Who it’s for: Culinary travelers and cooks looking to spice things up.
Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle
By Tom Douglas & Shelley Lance
(William Morrow Cookbooks, $35)
Hardcover: 400 pages with 125 recipes.
“The recipes are foolproof, the flavors both sweet and savory, and the “more” factor high. Whether you want to knock out some perfect cookies or bake a luscious layer cake, this book is for you.
Who it’s for: Bakers seeking sweetness from Seattle
By Julie Richardson
(Ten Speed Press, $24)
Hardcover: 176 pages with about 50 recipes
“It’s rare that I pick up a single subject book and think ‘I want to make everything here,’ but Julie’s book evokes that reaction. And everything I’ve tried from it so far, from the simple Blueberry Cornmeal Cake to the party-worth Pink Cake, has been marvelous.
Who it’s for: Bakers of all levels
Canal House Cooks Every Day
By Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer
(Andrews McMeel Publishing, $45)
Hardcover: 384 pages with almost 250 recipes
“This book features some of the best recipes from Hamilton & Hirsheimer’s Canal House journals as well as new favorites that they cook at their waterside atelier. The recipes are simple and the photos are light and gorgeous.”
Who it’s for: Seasonal cooks with many palates to please.
Kitchen Diaries II
By Nigel Slater
(Fourth Estate, $ varies)
Hardcover: 400 pages over 250 recipes
“The Brits are producing such wonderful books that I had to put one import on the list, and Slater’s is my favorite of the year. In the follow-up to his popular ‘Kitchen Diaries,’ Slater again gives us a monthly peek into his kitchen, with recipes for entertaining as well as the solitary meals we all enjoy once in a while.”
Who it’s for: Cooks who enjoy cookbooks that read like novels.
Book Larder, which opened October 2011 in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, offers a selected collection of new, collectible and imported cookbooks. With its shelves of gorgeous books and a state-of-the-art kitchen nestled in the center of it all, the bookstore serves as a cozy gathering place for author events, cooking classes and food-related discussions with local and visiting food authors.
Book Larder recently launched its online store, which sells signed, imported and collectible books, which Hamilton says has been in high demand by customers.