In this week's cover story, we introduce a new column for the Taste section: Page to Plate.
In this monthly column, one of our correspondents, Ileana Morales Valentine, will take you through one of her passions: cookbooks.
Even if you don't enjoy perusing books for recipes, or if you get the majority of your recipes from a digital device, I think you'll fine something to like, whether it be cooking insights or interesting recipes.
In that spirit, here is a list of some of my favorite cookbooks of the year, and why they're worth an investment.
Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman (Clarkson Potter, February 2016): Teigen, a model who's perhaps best known for being an entertaining Twitter presence and being married to John Legend, has blogged about food for years on her site So Delushious. She's a celebrity who actually knows a thing or two about cooking. Her book is full of quick recipes you could make for dinner tonight, with a focus on Thai recipes inspired by her mother's side of the family. Teigen comes off as approachable and like someone who truly enjoys eating food, and cooking it.
Dandelion and Quince: Exploring the Wide World of Unusual Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs by Michelle McKenzie (Roost Books, August 2016): I stumbled upon this book while working on a story that will publish later this month in Taste. I have gone back to it a few times now for my own edification, and for one other major reason: the photos. The book's theme is to showcase veggies, fruits and herbs that are not commonplace, and simple, beautiful photographs go a long way toward illustrating them in all their (sometimes ugly) glory. It's a great example of how a printed book can convey a recipe better than an Internet version. Dandelion and Quince is all about basic cooking with a few twists, including some foreign ingredients with which we should all familiarize ourselves. It is a great addition to any countertop.
Appetites, a Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco, October 2016): This book is wild. That will not come as a shock to those of you who are aware of Bourdain, the celebrity chef (though he would recoil at that term) who came up cooking in New York City kitchens and has since hosted a bunch of TV shows, including his current one, the fascinating food-travel program Parts Unknown. His cookbook matches his outsized personality, starting with the photos (random chicken parts, a closeup of a screaming dog) and extending to the chapter on steak titled simply "Big F------ Steak." Recipes are all over the place, in a good way, from seemingly simple things like "Chicken Salad" and "Scrambled Eggs" to "Bagna Cauda with Crudites" and "Octopus Stock." Accessible yet off-the-wall — it's just what you'd expect from Bourdain.
Contact Michelle Stark at [email protected] or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17.