Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Another holiday season approaches so it is time again to stare desperately at your list (physical or mental) of friends and loved ones to get gifts for. If anyone on that list is a foodie, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best books for foodies for 2013.

Cook It Raw: The annual Cook It Raw event is a fixture on foodie bucket lists. The best chefs from around the world get together and explore taste, technique, art and culture. It is unlike any other food experience you can have and, unfortunately, very few of us will ever have it. This book reveals for the very first time the ‘Raw’ collective’s philosophy and creative endeavors. With contributions from leading food writers and ‘Raw’ supporters such as Anthony Bourdain, Jeffrey Steingarten and Andrea Petrini; plus, over 400 behind-the-scenes images of the events and an inspiring collection of the chefs’ own ‘Raw’ recipes, notes and anecdotes. It brings us as close as possible to one of the world’s foodie heavens.

Complete Nose to Tail: I ate, one time, at Fergus Henderson’s restaurant, St. John’s Bread and Wine, and what proved to me that this master of offal was truly a great chef was…the salad dressing. In a restaurant famous for the nasty bits, the fact that they took the time to develop, make, and serve a fantastic salad dressing shows how committed they are to a complete meal. The Complete Nose to Tail collects Henderson's previous two books in a beautiful, hardcover, full-color edition. The recipes range from the basic (the delightful parsley salad) to the exotic but approachable (the half pig head recipe is really quite simple) to, of course, whole suckling pig. 

Kinfolk Table: How many magazines can you think of that are so good people are willing to fork over $18 an issue? Kinfolk is definitely a member of that small list. Now they’ve released their first book length collection featuring profiles of 45 tastemakers who are cooking and entertaining in a way that is beautiful, uncomplicated, and inexpensive. Each of these home cooks, artisans, bloggers, chefs, writers, bakers, and crafters has provided one to three of the recipes they most love to share. Simple breakfasts for two, one-pot dinners for six, a perfectly composed sandwich for a solo picnic. As slow food, eating local, and turning cell phones off for the evening grow in cultural stature, the dining, decorating, and entertaining of Kinfolk becomes more and more relevant. 

Grand Forks: Journalists are supposed to cover what happens, not what they wish to happen. Even food journalists are bound by this. So, if you’re a food writer who happens to cover a small suburban/rural town filled with simple mom and pop cafes and chain restaurants, you don’t pine for the glamorous food landscapes of some distant metropolis, you write honest, informative, useful reviews for the readers of your newspaper, and if you’re Marilyn Hagerty, you do it for twenty-five years and produce a body of work that tells the story of American cultural homogenization. Hagerty’s writing gets at something so fundamental it is published by the imprint run by the edgy, contrarian, and vastly influential food writer Anthony Bourdain. Read this before writing your next Yelp review.

Provence 1970: Here’s what Nathan has to say about Provence 1970. "Take Julia Child add Paul Child, M. F. K. Fisher, and Richard Olnay, mix in Simone Beck and James Beard and you have a recipe for a fascinating book on how these authors/cooks/chefs came together in Provence, 1970 and changed the American gastronomical world. A perfect gift for the Foodie in the family."

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