Books for cooks: New releases will satiate home chefs’ cravings for new flavours and ideas

From Newfoundland moose to avocado panna cotta, here are four collections to drool over

    1 of 4 2 of 4

      Wildness: An Ode to Newfoundland and Labrador

      By Jeremy Charles, with Adam Leith Gollner. Phaidon

      Quite possibly the best and most important Canadian cookbook of the year, this handsome hardcover is the first by visionary chef Jeremy Charles, co-owner of Raymonds restaurant in St. John’s, which was ranked 12th in Canada's 100 Best Restaurants 2019. 

      Anyone who doubts the depth and richness of the Atlantic province’s cuisine will change their mind a few pages in to this book, written with Adam Leith Gollner.

      Charles’s passion for the isolated island he calls home is obvious, his stories are gripping, and his recipes evoke a proud sense of place.

      So many ingredients intrigue: salt cod tongue, partridge, capelin (a small fish belonging to the smelt family), moose, seal, turr (a seabird), snowberries, dandelion dust, Scotch lovage (a weed that tastes like celery and parsley)…

      It doesn’t matter if it’s unlikely you’ll actually ever cook dishes like turr breast and heart with onion soubise, periwinkles, and fireweed; this is the kind of deliciously revelatory book that collectors will covet for its originality (Plums in Beeswax! Grilled Cod’s Head and Birch Syrup! Pineapple Weed Ice Cream!), beauty (gorgeous colour photos of people, landscapes, and plates), and northern warmth.

      It makes you want to book the next flight east for a seat at Newfoundland and Labrador's resplendent table. 

      Peace, Love & Fibre: Over 100 Fibre-Rich Recipes for the Whole Family

      By Mairlyn Smith. Appetite by Random House

      As a home economist who has written six best-selling cookbooks (and who happens to be a Second City Comedy Troupe alumna), Mairlyn Smith is familiar to health-conscious home cooks.

      The self-described Queen of Fibre brings her lighthearted style to her latest, which aims to help Canadians ace their colonoscopy.

      The wholesome, easy-to-pull-off recipes run the gamut from Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and Italian Bread Salad Without the Bread to Buddha bowls and snack bars.

      Icing on the Cake: Baking and Decorating Simple, Stunning Desserts at Home

      By Tessa Huff. Harry N. Abrams

      Before Tessa Huff moved to Vancouver from California, she ran Sacramento’s first custom cake shop. The second cookbook from the mom of two is well-suited to confident bakers, folks who feel comfortable assembling and decorating cakes of all kinds: pavlova, checkerboard, vertical layer, genoise sponge, French opera, and gingerbread village among them.

      Then there are treats like Hibiscus Lemon Marbled Macarons with royal icing; Peanut Butter Eclairs; and Cannoli Cake with ricotta-cream filling and milk-chocolate buttercream.

      If undaunted, you’ll have desserts that are as photogenic as they are decadent.

      Eat More Plants: Over 100 Anti-Inflammatory, Plant-Based Recipes for Vibrant Living

      By Desiree Nielsen. Penguin Canada

      Vancouver registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen bases her book on the fact that chronic inflammation is detrimental to human health. To develop an anti-inflammatory diet, she takes into account factors like blood-sugar balance and food’s impact on gut bacteria.

      Nielsen comes up with all sorts of tasty, nutrient-dense dishes that won’t make it feel as if you’re missing out while boosting your intake of plants. Consider Creamy Pasta With Smoked Tofu and Kale, Mujadara Neat-Balls in Spiced Tomato Sauce, Celeriac Lentil Fritters With Date Jam, Avocado Panna Cotta With Tequila Smashed Blackberries.

      She also throws in recipes for plant-based staples like DIY Nut Milk and fermented ketchup, along with a 21-day meal plan.