Author Archives: Duncan - admin

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The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf launched in late 2008, aiming to give lovers of culinary books access to thoughtful and honest reviews. Together with former co-editor Mark, we created what I think was a valuable (and attractive) site for the international foodie community.

Unfortunately, it has proven too difficult to keep The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf going, so this is the official and belated announcement of the site’s transition to being an archive of what we achieved from 2008 to 2013.

Please read the rest of this announcement and see a final list of some interesting books for this year.


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How did white bread, once an icon of American progress, become “white trash”? In this lively history of bakers, dietary crusaders, and social reformers, Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows us that what we think about the humble, puffy loaf says a lot about who we are and what we want our society to look like.


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Why make tofu yourself? Because experiencing tofu’s flavors and textures at its peak–freshly made, creamy, and subtly sweet–is the best way to explore this treasured staple. With minimal equipment required and Nguyen’s clear, encouraging step-by-step instructions, making soy milk and tofu from scratch is a snap for cooks of all levels.


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Much-loved author Tessa Kiros celebrates the heritage of Italy. This whimsically feminine book is a tribute to the women in our lives – mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers – and the important lessons we learn from them.


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Discover the flavors of Mexican street food in your own kitchen. Americans are having a love affair with the taco. What began as affection for the fast-food version—that hard yellow shell filled with ground beef and mysterious yellow cheese—has blossomed into an all-out obsession for the real thing


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The Aesthetics of Wine shows that discussing wine within the framework of aesthetics both benefits our understanding of wine as a phenomenon, while also challenging some of the basic assumptions of the tradition of aesthetics.


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This is the perfect holiday baking guide, packed with 72 seductive and decadent chocolate recipes. Offering perfect inspiration for chocolate lovers and holiday do-it-yourselfers, the book includes tips and advice on ingredients and cooking techniques, as well as on packaging and shipping holiday food gifts.


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Now Fergus Henderson’s books are joined together in a compendious volume. With a dozen new recipes on top of 250 existing ones, more than 100 quirky photos and exceptional production values, The Complete Nose to Tail is not only comprehensive but extremely desirable.


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Feast on the fabulous and the frozen in the comfort of your kitchen with melt-in-your-mouth boutique ice creams, vice creams and other guilty pleasures.


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Ben Shewry, from multi-award winning Melbourne restaurant, Attica, is one of Australia’s most significant chefs. Known for his foraging, Ben uses what the earth provides without exploiting its precious resources, and the artisan producers he champions are an important part of his food.


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A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours, from some of the world’s greatest experts. Using the most cutting-edge analysis and detailing almost 1,400 varieties, this beautiful book includes revelatory grape family trees, and a rich variety of illustrations from Viala and Vermorel’s seminal ampelography with century-old illustrations.


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In buying and using this guide (and it is a guide) you are choosing Man’s mastery of language over linguine, smile over sustenance. We have scoured the globe, from Sunderland to Majorca, to find the world’s best-named restaurants, bars and cafes.


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Following the record-breaking success of 30-Minute Meals, Britain’s most-popular cookbook of all time, Jamie Oliver brings us the even-better 15-Minute Meals. This book is completely devoted to what we are asking for – super quick, tasty, nutritious food that you can eat everyday of the week.


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Giovanni Pilu believes Sardinian cooking should involve fresh produce simply prepared, allowing the full flavour of the ingredients to speak for themselves. Pilu’s food is in his blood and close to his heart – and it is this food he shares with us in A Sardinian Cookbook.


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A Book of English Food is an elegant compendium of brilliant recipes adapted from the cookery books of the 1920s and 1930s by Arabella Boxer, the Nigella Lawson of her generation, whose food writing for Vogue made her the role model for aspiring cooks in the 1960s.


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Living gluten-free doesn’t have to mean going without. In this stunning book, New Zealand’s ‘Gluten-Free Chef’ Jim Boswell shows you how you can bring fun and flavour back into your diet.


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After divulging the intriguing histories behind 50 iconic desserts, master pastry chef Pierre Hermé shares his tried-and-tested recipes for the great classics of French pastry and other definitive desserts from around the world—and then he reveals how to reinvent them.


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Iron Chef America winner, Anita Lo, offers her best fusion recipes with flavors from across the globe including over 100 recipes for the home cook. Lo creates food that breaks down preconceived notions of what American food is and should be.


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Pierre Hermé is universally acknowledged as the king of French pastry with shops in Tokyo, Paris and London. Now for the first time, all the macaron recipes from this most celebrated French pâtissier are published in English. Readers will appreciate the 32-step-by-step photo-illustrated instructions for making shells and fillings.


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Michelin starred brothers Jeff and Chris Galvin share their favorite cuisine – brasserie de luxe food of France in this star studded cookbook featuring 150 recipes from their collection of British restaurants.


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In the spirit of ‘head to tail,’ Jennifer McLagen is on a quest to reassert the role of scrap meat. Beyond cookbook, Odd Bits shares historic, religious and cultural roles of these forgotten meats.


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The matriarch of breads, Nancy Silverton, leads a team from her wildly popular restaurants Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in sharing their most popular recipes derived from authentic, yet not so conventional, Italian favorites.


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Dan Lepard’s innovative and earthy approach has made him the baker that every top chef wants in their kitchen. With this how-to-bake book you’ll be baking cakes, pastries, breads and cookies like never before. ‘Short and Sweet’ uses the newest flours and ingredients and has everything from updates on the classics to the latest in baking for intolerances.


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Remember jello shots of days of yore? They’re all grown up, and are sporting a sophisticated new look! “Jelly Shots” are classic cocktails reinvented as sassy, gelatin shots–perfect, jewel-like squares, sans cup, which any adult would be proud to serve at their next dinner party.


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Following her acclaimed Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume, Silvena Rowe turns her focus to the delicious small dishes that you would find in the bustling street markets of Damascus or Istanbul – koftes, falafels and pilafs – as well as delicious puddings such as vanilla baklava, and chocolate and pistachio mousse.


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Why do the world’s most delicious foods—from grilled meats and vegetables to deep-fried pickles and corndogs—taste even better served on a stick? This beautifully photographed cookbook by Matt Armendariz answers the question with dozens of quick and easy recipes for party food, street-fair food, junk food, and more.


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English food words tell a remarkable story about the evolution of our language and culinary history, revealing a collision of cultures from the time Caesar first arrived on British shores to the present day. Words to Eat By explores the stories behind five of our most basic food words.


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Claudia Roden brings her incomparable authenticity, vision, and immense knowledge to bear in this cookbook on the cuisines of Spain. In hundreds of exquisite recipes, Roden explores both the little known and the classic dishes of Spain–from Andalusia to Asturias, from Catalonia to Galicia.


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On-premise catering is an essential part of the fast-growing catering and events industry, and this is the only guide that covers all the essential skills and knowledge a professional needs to succeed in the field. This new Second Edition has been thoroughly updated and revised.


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Spirits of Just Men tells the story of moonshine in 1930s America. Charles D. Thompson Jr. chronicles the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935, which made national news and exposed the far-reaching and pervasive tendrils of Appalachia’s local moonshine economy.


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Offering “the hows and whys of successful cooking,” Cookwise tells you how and why things happen in the course of food preparation. The more than 230 outstanding recipes featured not only please the palate, but demonstrate the various roles of ingredients and techniques—making Cookwise an invaluable reference.


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There is a food revolution sweeping the nation, and meat is at the heart of it. This unique book—a guide, memoir, manifesto, and reference in one—shares everything one needs to know about well-raised meat, including how to perfectly butcher and cook meat at home.


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Making your own soda is easy and inexpensive. Some recipes show you how to re-create the flavors of favorite commercial soft drinks, and others show you how to use homemade soda in decadent desserts and adult cocktails. The delicious possibilities are endless!


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Publishers Quadrille have produced a version of Eliza Acton’s famous Modern Cookery for Private Families, first published in 1845. Essential reading for anyone interested in food and history, so much of what Eliza Acton had to say is as true today as it was more than 150 years ago. Acton gives valuable insight into the Victorian kitchen, and her prose is a pleasure to read.


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This is the second feature article about the Great Food series from Penguin Books. This article reviews books by Claudia Roden, Dr A.W. Chase, Alexis Soyer and Colonel Wyvern. Slim paperbacks with pretty covers, the GREAT FOOD series is a hit with many food lovers. We asked our reviewers to have a look at a number of them and give their thoughts.


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Renowned for beautiful cakes, Miette is among the most beloved of San Francisco’s culinary destinations for locals and travelers. This cookbook brings the enchantment home, sharing 100 secret formulas for favorite Miette treats from chef and owner Meg Ray. More than 75 gorgeous color photos capture the unique beauty of Miette desserts and shops.


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This definitive cookbook contains over 75 signature recipes accompanied by beautiful photography. In this elegant collection of Italian cuisine, you’ll find delicious traditional dishes such as Bucatini with pancetta, Beef braised in Barola, Calamari stuffed with rice, parsley and garlic and Pistachio ice cream.


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Penguin Books has released a set of 20 books of writings by authors who penned their food wisdom anywhere between 400 and 20 years ago. Slim paperbacks with pretty covers, the GREAT FOOD series is a hit with many food lovers. We asked our reviewers to have a look at a number of them and give their thoughts. Part 1 features reviews of books by Alexandre Dumas, Samuel Pepys, Pellegrino Artusi and Alice B. Toklas.


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We are besieged with talk of crisis, meltdown, earthquakes, sink holes, global warming, bailouts, and more. Once you realize there’s not a whole lot of time left, grab a Bundt pan and whip up your own scrumptious Fallen Angel Food Cake–or one of the other 29 apocalyptic cakes in this irreverent cookbook.


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From the pure, radiant flavors of classic Blackberry and Spicy Pineapple to unexpectedly enchanting combinations such as Sour Cream, Cherry and Tequila, or Strawberry-Horchata, Paletas is an engaging and delicious guide to Mexico’s traditional—and some not-so-traditional—frozen treats.


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A book of groundbreaking and accessible contemporary curries, marrying eastern and western techniques and ingredients, that sit side by side with an awe-inspiring collection of classic regional curries, many never previously published.


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Ripe, seasonal fruits. Fragrant vanilla, toasted nuts and spices. Every luscious flavour imaginable is grist for the chill in The Perfect Scoop, pastry chef David Lebovitz’s gorgeous guide to the pleasures of homemade ice creams, sorbets, granitas and more.


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In this indulgent celebration of all things cocoa-based, Miss Hope presents 50 of her favourite chocolate recipes. Like the confectionery and chocolate Hope and Greenwood sell in their shops and through their website, everything in the book will recommend the use of the best ingredients, including fresh cream, butter and natural vanilla.


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Packed with expert information on every aspect of buying, preparing and cooking meat. Tim Wilson and Fran Warde have teamed up to create this comprehensive reference work and collection of recipes. For each type of meat, the book recommends the best breeds, advises which cuts suit which style of cooking and tells you what to ask your butcher.


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This work describes the lives, careers and significance of seven chefs and authors who had profound influences on the creation of American cuisine. A second section includes selected recipes from each author’s books, with notes to aid adaptation by the modern cook.


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Chicken coops have never been so chic! From organic gardens in parking lots to rooftop beekeeping, the appeal of urban homesteading is widespread. Chicken and Egg tells the story of veteran food writer Janice Cole, who, like so many other urbanites, took up the revolutionary hobby of raising chickens at home.


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So you received a food processor as a gift and you don’t know what to do with it? The New Food Processor Bible promises to become dog-eared and food-stained within months. The recipes feature readily available ingredients, simple enough for the beginner and sophisticated enough for the well-seasoned cook.


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An inspiring collection of garden designs and recipes for the home gardener and cook. Based on the seasonal cycles of the garden, each chapter provides a new way to look at the planning stages with themes and designs. More than 100 recipes feature the food grown in each specific garden


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In his beautifully designed and illustrated cookbook to accompany a major BBC2, 4-part series, Rick has selected over 140 recipes that capture the authentic taste of Spain today. With over 100 location and recipe photographs, this is an essential book for food-lovers as well as a stunning culinary guide to a diverse country.


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First published in 1997, Malt Whisky has been published in six languages and continues to be a key reference on the subject of Scottish malt whisky. This brand new, fully revised edition is produced in a smaller format to allow the whisky enthusiast to carry it as a portable companion for reference when buying, tasting or visiting distilleries.


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What sets Bryn apart from his contemporaries is his passionate connection to the land. He is a successful modern chef who never lost touch with his roots. Hailing from Denbigh in North Wales, Bryn learnt to appreciate food and its origins from an early age, shooting and fishing with his father and uncle, and digging for potatoes for dinner.


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A stylish collection of easy to make, utterly delicious treats that taste as fabulous as they look. It offers decorating ideas for every occasion from birthdays and weddings to children’s parties and festive celebrations, as well as oodles of poodles for dog lovers, bootylicious shoes for fashionistas, and watering cans for those with green fingers.


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An exciting, irrepressible new voice in food, James Ramsden, the influential food blogger and pop-up supper club host aims to get his peers out of their culinary rut and experimenting with recipes that are delicious, unexpected and simple. James believes that cooking is most enjoyable when imbued with a sense of adventure and exploration.


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An established regional classic, Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens was first published in 1970 and became an instant hit, selling more copies than any cookbook ever published in the province. This fortieth anniversary edition includes an updated look throughout, and a new introduction from the author on the book’s incredible and long-lasting success.


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The legendary ‘el Bulli’ in Catalonia has attained a near-mythic reputation for culinary wizardry. But what actually goes on behind the scenes? What is the daily reality of life in the world’s greatest kitchen? The Sorcerer’s Apprentices tells first-hand the story of a young chef enrolled in the restaurant’s legendary training course.


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Gelatin is wobbling back into fashion, and Bompas & Parr are at the forefront of the revolution. Here they present the definitive book on the history, art, and science of gelatins – a fun, informative, and visually stunning package that covers such specialties as Henry VIII’s “jelly hippocras” and the fantastic forms dreamed up by the Victorians.


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Ken Hom is regarded as the world’s leading authority on Chinese cookery and here shares over 75 of his finest recipes, honouring the simplicity and freshness of Chinese food. This exquisite book will help you to recreate a classic oriental feast at home.


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In this compelling book the two old friends have embarked upon an amazing journey back to their homeland to reconnect with their culinary heritage, and reveal the very soul of Italian gastronomy. Containing over 100 mouthwatering recipes, this extraordinary book goes beyond the cliches to reveal real Italian food.


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Featuring more than 50 simple, authentic recipes, Tuscany is a culinary journey exploring local food traditions, producers, world-class wines, including Chianti, and ingredients such as truffles, artisan salami, and lardo di Colonnata (a type of preserved pork fat).


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Take an evocative journey into the diverse cuisines and culinary customs of regional Turkey. Food and travel writer, Leanne Kitchen, has roamed the country armed with her camera, keen sense of observation and passion for all things culinary.


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Martin Bosley is one of New Zealand finest chefs, and his eponymous, award-winning restaurant on the waterfront at Oriental Bay in Wellington is a must-visit for all who appreciate the work of chefs at the peak of their powers and creativity.


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The Nordic Bakery is a peaceful haven in the heart of London’s bustling West End. In the Nordic Bakery Cookbook, Miisa Mink allows you to create the irresistible smell of freshly baked bread and pastries in your own home.


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This is the innovative, fun and utterly delicious cookbook from London’s premier supperclub. For a fixed price and a bottle of wine, people all over the world are sitting down in the homes of strangers to enjoy a lovingly prepared, restaurant-quality dinner. Supper Club is homage to the secret restaurant phenomenon.


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Celebrated chef Guillaume Brahimi creates exceptional food for friends in some of Australia’s most beautiful houses. Join Guillaume as he opens the doors of seven private homes and his two internationally acclaimed restaurants, Guillaume at Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House and Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne.


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A six-volume 2,400-page work that reveals science-inspired tech­niques for prepar­ing food that ranges from the oth­er­worldly to the sub­lime. The authors have achieved astound­ing new fla­vors and tex­tures by using tools such as water baths, homog­e­niz­ers, cen­trifuges, and ingre­di­ents such as hydro­col­loids, emul­si­fiers, and enzymes.


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From the award-winning food editor of The Washington Post comes a cookbook aimed at the food-loving single. Joe Yonan brings together more than 100 inventive, easy-to-make, and globally inspired recipes celebrating solo eating.


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Caffeine is one of the most widely taken psychoactive drugs on earth. This book asks how and why we have come to prefer the infused beverage as one of our most popular drinks and how our chief indulgence and symbol of “the good life” has become a source of full-bodied ethical, aesthetic, and environmental philosophical debate.


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Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper—from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.


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The potato—humble, lumpy, bland, familiar—is a decidedly unglamorous staple of the dinner table. Or is it? John Reader’s narrative on the role of the potato in world history suggests we may be underestimating this remarkable tuber.


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Who doesn’t love the traditional twice-fried potato, our hot and salty friend? This innovative cookbook offers recipes for every kind of fry imaginable, from Parmesan to pesto to sweet potato fries. Try something as familiar as Drive-in French Fries to those as exotic as Pataje Oorlog, a Dutch dish with three different sauces.


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At the time of her death in 1992, Elizabeth David was working on this epic study of the use of ice in food and drink, the ice-trade and the early days of refrigeration. The manuscript was edited by Jill Norman and published posthumously in 1994.


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The masters featured in The Fishmonger’s Apprentice teach old-world, classic skills to the modern food enthusiast. Through extensive, diverse profiles of experienced experts plus tutorials, the reader gleans insider access to real-life fishermen, wholesale markets, fish buyers, chefs, and other sources


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Annia Ciezadlo spent six years living in Baghdad and Beirut. She broke bread with Shiites and Sunnis, warlords and refugees, matriarchs and mullahs. Day of Honey is her memoir of the hunger for food and friendship—a communion that feeds the soul as much as the body in times of war.


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In his relentless yet good-humored pursuit of clarity, Caro takes us to the streets and meets the activists for and against the production of foie gras. Can foie gras survive after 5,000 years? Are we on the verge of a more enlightened era of eating? Can both answers be yes? Our appetites hang in the balance.


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Jamie Oliver goes back to basics in the kitchen to revolutionise family meals. Jamie believes this is his most people-friendly book yet. In ‘Family Tree’ he takes recipes several different ways, giving you confidence whilst at the same time hoping to get you hooked on learning more.


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This is a funny, engaging, and downright joyous examination of the whole world of beer and brewing. Your guide, Charlie Bamforth, presents the most compelling social history of beer ever written: where it’s come from, where the brewing business stands now, and what the future holds.


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How the British Fell in Love with Food is the sort of book you could either read from cover to cover, or simply pick up casually from time to time to read a chapter or two. The articles from members of the Guild of Food Writers, many award-winners, provide an interesting historical perspective on modern food history in Britain, combined with a fair range of recipes. The book is not without a few quirks, not least of which the choice of period (mid-70s to 2010). The book only includes works by the Guild’s writers, as it was published to celebrate the Guild’s 25th anniversary.


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Christmas and 2011 are rushing towards us and as it’s a time of gift giving for many people (regardless of faith), we’ve prepared a list of interesting books as gift ideas for you. It’s been a busy year for co-editor Mark and me, so our apologies for bringing this feature to you a little later than intended.

We present a range of interesting, popular, excellent and/or quirky books, in no particular order, in order to stimulate your appetite and imagination.

Best wishes to all our readers for the holiday season and 2011! Now click through to see our list of books…


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Here’s our second extract from the much acclaimed Noma, which we have also reviewed here recently. We hope you enjoy René Redzepi’s Poached Duck Egg and Oysters, Raw and Cooked Vegetables.


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In the first of a new type of content on The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf, we bring you a recipe from the much acclaimed Noma, which we have also reviewed here recently. We hope you enjoy René Redzepi’s Potato Crisps with Anise and Chocolate.


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It’s time for our first giveaway on The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf! A copy of Momofuku, from New York’s popular restaurant of the same name. Get your entry in before 12noon GMT February 07, 2010. (Read the full announcement for details.)


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Approximately one year ago, co-editor Mark and I launched The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf to help foodloving bookloving gastronomes navigate the sea of food-related books out there. Neither of us remembers exactly when we pressed the decloaking button, so what better than a combined one-year anniversary announcement and Christmas/end-of-year greeting for 2009? This final Year-end Countdown feature also contains some personal perspectives on books good and bad.


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Life is Sweet is about making various types of confectionery at home, traditional and modern. The authors are the owners of the Hope and Greenwood confectionery shops in London and are experienced sweet makers. The recipes include a wide range of cooked and uncooked sweets, from rich dark truffles and chocolate with chilli and lime to marshmallows, nougat, toffee apples, old fashioned ‘pulled’ toffees and salt licorice. If you enjoy astonishing your friends with new home cooked goodies, this is a book to add to your bookshelf.


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Hilary McNevin’s Guide to Fish is a handy, modern reference for Australian consumers. Not only does it provide helpful information about sustainable species, buying and cooking tips, but also a great range of interesting, tasty recipes for each of the fish presented. Although you could always wish for more detail, this book achieves what it needs to within its clean, compact format.


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Welcome to the new look of The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf! We hope you like it. If you notice any problems, just send us a message from the contact page.


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It’s 43cm long, 33cm wide, 8cm thick, weighs about five kilograms, has 534 pages, and was one of the most anticipated cookbooks in 2008. From the silver embossed slipcase to the photography and artwork, the writing and the feel of the paper, it would be hard not to notice and admire the Big Fat Duck Cookbook on the shelves of a bookstore.

On initial impressions, perhaps like the restaurant itself, the book appears to be an intimidating creature. Open it and you will be hit by Heston Blumenthal’s passion. Inside is the story of Blumenthal and his restaurant, the recipes and stories behind many of the dishes from the Fat Duck, and a series of essays explaining the science behind the food. Beyond the science, there are journeys into food history, philosophy, personal anecdotes, humour, and the sheer dumb luck that can trigger a great idea. It is a dizzying amount of information in one book. But for those who have read Blumenthal’s previous books, his newspaper columns, or seen his TV show will know that he has a gift for explaining complicated concepts in terms that the layman can understand.


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In Kim Sunée’s coming-of-age-memoir, she travels the world and uses food to find herself and the home she never felt she had. Sunée’s narrative is an intensely honest, earnest telling of her story, with a poetic, yet unfussy writing style. Trail of Crumbs details Kim’s life, from early memories of her childhood abandonment in Korea, to her adoption and upbringing in New Orleans, to her travels around the world. Most chapters conclude with a few recipes, appropriate to the setting. The recipes don’t necessarily inspire the reader to jump into the kitchen, but they are a nice touch and complement Kim’s journey in this heart-warming story without a classic happy ending.


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Any comprehensively stocked kitchen will have many scented ingredients in the spice rack, drawer or cupboard, ranging from pungent to aromatic, depending on the types of dishes prepared and enjoyed in each household. This book is not concerned with any of them.

The subject matter of The Scented Kitchen is perfumed flowers from the flower garden, using them in various ways to impart flavour and aroma, and in some instance, colour also.

Had I come across this title on a shelf, I might well have passed it by, thereby missing an interesting read.


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We’ve been thrilled by the number of new subscribers to the site and have just started using Twitter (thegastronomers) so that even more people can find out about interesting books on The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf.


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At 255 pages with glossy color photos on nearly ever page, there is plenty of eye candy in Pastry in Europe 2009. However, at $119.95 on Amazon US the book moves out of the price range of most frugal bakers. The book feels like a hard-bound glossy book you find in finer hotel rooms that seeks to serve the Edward Behr (Art of Eating) audience. It is a beautiful, densely packed book full of wonderful material, and not just recipes, but articles about culture, people, technique, yet they are abbreviated articles that leave you wanting more. If you have knocked out some killer mousse or chocolate bon bons, and have a fairly solid grasp of the concept and techniques, grab the book. It is unique, interesting, and informative. The book was worth the investment for one who is constantly seeking new techniques, ideas and flavor combinations, although it may not get the mileage of an Hermé book or an Art of Eating magazine


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In “The Clatter of Forks and Spoons”, Irish chef Richard Corrigan covers the food that he grew up with as the child of a farmer in Ireland, traditional recipes, and the dishes he serves at his restaurant. Many of the dishes are simple and comforting, and will rarely require any searches for exotic ingredients or specialist equipment. Corrigan is also a storyteller, so you will find essays, anecdotes, and observations throughout the book. He presents his views with a great passion, but it’s done in a similar manner to what you would get from having a feisty debate with a good friend over a beer. He is also a champion of artisanal producers and allows many of these producers their own voice in his essays.

This is an outstanding book from three viewpoints. Firstly, in Corrigan’s writing, no words are wasted and his essays could be a book in their own right. The second are the recipes. It is food for the soul, the ingredients are listed in a clear manner, and the instructions are presented in a conversational tone. Finally, it’s a beautiful book. The photography suits the book in that it has a feel more like a family photo album than food porn. Many people will find this book a worthwhile purchase, including those who want to rediscover their Irish and British roots, those who simply enjoy good food writing, and anyone who simply wants to cook a delicious meal.


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Occasionally I have friends or acquaintances who ask me for pastry book recommendations. I cook for a living, but am also a home baker at heart. Even though I have many far more impressive looking books relating to pastry and baking, a particular one stands out amongst the rest. I turn to it when I want to whip up something comforting and it’s the book I’m confident will yield me a very pleasing result, even if it’s a previously unattempted recipe. It is also the one with batter-stained pages and the odd chocolate smudge – surely the good sign of a well loved book (or a careless cook). The book? Belinda Jeffery’s Mix & Bake.


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Walk into any chef’s kitchen, and dig around long enough, and you’ll find a buried treasure of recipes. Mine is a humble stack of tattered, splattered papers sitting on a shelf in unruly fashion. A more experienced chef will have a file cabinet, a binder with sheets neatly tucked into plastic protectors, or laminated sheets clipped on a wall. The Complete Robuchon is that treasure chest for Joel Robuchon and his army of cooks. “French home cooking for the way we live now” is the apt subtitle and this book, and deserves its place next to the other fat books in your kitchen. In fact, I suggest placing it right next to Bittman and between the two you really could cook anything.


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We’ve had a few problems with our email subscriptions in the last week. This post is just a test to see if things are now working correctly.


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The “Blue Ribbon” of this title is the traditional blue ribbon awarded to winning entries in country shows and specifically the various cookery sections (Classes) of the Horticultural and Agricultural Shows throughout South Australia. From cover to cover this is an attractive book, with well laid out pages, clear and easy to read text and nice sharp images to delight the eye and stimulate the taste buds. The prize winning cooks are women, men and children of all ages and mostly from towns and farming communities close to particular show venues. The recipes range from the humble tomato sauce, various preserves, jams and jellies, through baked goods from biscuits to sponge cakes and a State Competition winning entry of a rich dark fruit cake.


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An Omelette and a Glass of Wine offers 62 articles originally written by Elizabeth David between 1955 and 1984. This revered classic volume contains delightful explorations of food and cooking, among which are the collection’s namesake essay and other such gems as Syllabubs and Fruit Fools, Sweet Vegetables, Soft Wine, Pleasing Cheeses, and Whisky in the Kitchen.


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Proving that delicious desserts don’t need a single egg or pat of butter, My Sweet Vegan is more than just a cookbook for dedicated vegans. Spanning from classic sweets such as black and white cookies, golden glazed donuts, and butterscotch blondies, to more adventurous fair like the ever-popular chai cheesecake, there’s sure to be a dessert for everyone to enjoy.


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This beautiful and contemporary cake-decorating book is set out in the style of a cooking course, working from learning how to make and decorate the simplest of cupcakes to the creation of stunning, elaborate cakes.


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Spicing Up Britain, NOMA, Quay, Tartine Bread, Becasse, and more! (13 Oct)


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Everyone who has ever tried to make macarons will know that it is not as simple as it might look. Like Pierre Hermé’s famous macarons, it would be difficult for any macaron book to surpass this one. There are 57 macaron recipes, each one very detailed. Something which is extremely helpful for both macaron newcomers and veterans: photo-illustrated step-by-step instructions for making shells and fillings. Although this book is in French, the recipes and instructions are clear enough that most macaron lovers would find a solution to the language barrier.

FRENCH TRANSLATION
Si vous avez déjà essayé de faire des macarons, vous savez sans doute que la tâche est bien plus difficile qu’elle n’en a l’air. Tout comme les macarons célèbres de Pierre Hermé, son livre sur ces petits délices est sans égal. Cette œuvre contient pas moins de 57 recettes pour macarons, chacune bien détaillée pour aider tant ceux qui savent déjà en faire, que ceux sans aucune expérience. Les photos illustrent chaque étape dans la préparation des coquilles et des garnitures. Bien que ce livre soit rédigé en langue française, les recettes sont suffisamment claires d’ailleurs, même les amateurs de macarons non-francophones pourraient surmonter la barrière de la langue.


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