Beautiful books for foodies

Whether you’re looking for inspiration in the kitchen or holiday entertaining and gift ideas, there’s no shortage of beautiful books that are sure to please. Here are some of our top picks to get you started.

The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food by Adam Gopnik

Transplanted Canadian — and author of Paris to the Moon — Adam Gopnik gives an illuminating tour of the evolution, morals and manners of today’s food manias. The non-fiction narrative follows the premise that the table is ultimately more important than the food we put on it – and is indeed the setting for life’s most important conversations. It is how, and not what, we eat that ultimately defines us.

Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations by Martha Stewart

Enter the elegant world of domestic diva Martha Stewart in this beautifully photographed coffee table tome. Set among her various dining rooms, kitchens, gardens, and patios, the book includes recipes and inspiration for a year’s worth of entertaining, from Christmas and Easter to casual backyard barbecues, sophisticated cocktail parties and Sunday morning breakfast fare.

Little Old Lady Recipes: Comfort Food and Kitchen Table Wisdom by Meg Favreau and Michael E. Reali

Get back to the basics with these simple, no-frill recipes for pot roast, meat loaf, dumplings, corn bread, fried chicken, bundt cake, and other old-time favourites. The recipes are served up with a generous portion of kitchen table wisdom, such as “Butter comes from a cow. Tell me where the heck margarine comes from, and then maybe I’ll eat it!” And purists will be glad to know that when preparing these classic dishes, there’s no need for fancy gourmet gadgets and gizmos.

Mourad by Mourad Lahlou

Moroccan cuisine is hot, and the buzz among foodies is that chef Maurad Lahlou is poised to take it to the next level. After more than a decade at his Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant, Maurad’s creative dishes pay homage to the tastes and traditions of Morocco while also adding a modern twist. The 100+ recipes include the great classics — basteeya, couscous, preserved lemons — and much more.

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard

In this engaging memoir American journalist Elizabeth Bard writes about food, romance and fulfilling a dream to live in the City of Lights. For her, it’s a matter of love at first sight — with a new beau and French cuisine. The book features mouth-watering recipes for dishes such as summer ratatouille, swordfish tartare and molten chocolate cakes.

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Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines by Natalie Maclean

Good food requires that perfect bottle of wine! With this in mind, Canadian award-winning author Natalie MacLean journeys to the vineyards of Germany, Australia, and Niagara — as well as to scenic, offbeat locations in southern Italy, the Mediterranean, Argentina, Chile and South Africa — all in search of the best bargain bottles the world has to offer.  Along the way, Natalie meets some of the more colourful personalities in the wine business, including Wolf Blass. This entertaining book gives great insider tips on wine… and some good laughs at the same time.

The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake by Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne

In this cookbook and memoir sisters Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne share their recipe for success. (If you haven’t heard, they’re co-stars of the hit TLC series DC cupcakes as well as co-founders of the hugely popular Georgetown Cupcake, which sells as many as 10,000 cupcakes a day.) Their sweet, wholesome cupcakes have won numerous awards and even praise from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. The book includes over 30 recipes, including their bestselling Red Velvet cupcake and their grandmother’s Greek Easter bread.