From TV chefs to former Bake Off contestants and well-known restaurateurs, there are so many celebrity cookbooks nowadays that it can be hard to know which ones to go for.
We’ve compiled a recently published selection here, looking for innovative yet easy-to-follow recipes to suit amateur home cooks as well as the more culinary adventurous.
1. Complete Cookbook: Over 650 Recipes by Mary Berry: £30, DK
It’s easy to see why this book has already sold over a million copies. This is a new, updated edition of an old favourite, and we love how comprehensive it is. It covers all types of dishes, with chapters divided into soups, first courses, eggs and cheese, fish and shellfish, poultry and game, meat dishes, vegetarian dishes, pasta, rice and noodles, vegetables and salads, yeast cookery, pies, tarts and hot desserts, chilled desserts, and cakes and tea breads. The book also features helpful pages with photographs and plenty of advice about how to prepare different foods. For example, there is a section on fish, with tips for cleaning and boning, filleting, and buying and storing, with simple step-by-step instructions.
2. 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food by Jamie Oliver: £26, Penguin
An accompaniment to the popular Channel 4 TV show of the same name, Jamie Oliver’s latest cookbook features everything from salads and side dishes to substantial dinners and indulgent desserts, all of which use just five ingredients. Look out for flavour-packed yet simple meals such as baked saffron rice, crab and fennel spaghetti, and a sausage and apple bake. If you have a sweet tooth, there’s a range of easy but mouth-watering desserts like plum tarte tatin and chocolate orange shortbread, too. It’s conveniently laid out by ingredient (for example, pork, veg, beef, eggs, pasta, salads, rice and noodles), making it easy to navigate.
3. Bake: 125 Show-Stopping Recipes, Made Simple by Lorraine Pascale: £20, Bluebird
This beautiful book by model-turned-pâtisserie chef Lorraine Pascale stood out with its elegant bakes and unusual flavour combinations. Look out for key lime meringue pie, chocolate esperesso and almond battenburg cake, and lemon and thyme macarons, as well as a fun rainbow roulade with lime cream cheese chantilly. Although these might sound a little fancy for the home cook, the step-by-step instructions are easy to follow, and the results will delight any adventurous baker.
4. Nadiya’s British Food Adventure by Nadiya Hussain: £9.99, Penguin
This cookbook by 2015 Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain focuses on flavourful, interesting twists on popular classics, just like her popular BBC TV show of the same name. Look out for masala eggy bread, coronation turkey jacket potato and bloody mary cashews. And if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the cardamom rice pudding brûlées with mango, coconut and lime or chai tea banana cake. The book is laid out by occasion, with chapters divided into breakfast and brunch, lunch, midweek meals, friends over, party time, pudding and something special, and contains mouth-watering full-page photographs so you’ll have a good idea of how each recipe should turn out.
5. At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking by Nigella Lawson: £26, Chatto & Windus
The latest book by the Domestic Goddess features simple yet indulgent recipes that will soon become go-tos. We love the look of the toasted brie, parma ham and fig sandwich, and the comforting dish of pork with prunes, olives and capers. For dessert, there’s warm blondie pudding or passionfruit ice-cream cake to look forward to. As ever, recipes are easy to follow and include plenty of reassuring advice. And even if you don't decide to cook anything, you’ll still be entertained by Nigella’s characteristically witty prose.
6. River Cottage: Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: £26, Bloomsbury
This celebration of vegetables by River Cottage star Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will transform not only how you cook vegetables, but also how you think about them. Look out for comforting meals such as summer veg coconut curry and Boston bean and squash stew, as well as interesting flavour combinations including fennel with melon and basil, and beetroot and rhubarb soup. Fearnley-Whittingstall excels at making vegetables the star of the show, creating flavourful and adventurous dishes such as celeriac kimchi and miso-dressed cabbage. The book is laid out into veg feasts, spicy suppers, roast veg, big salads, soups and broths, raw, mezze, tapas and sides, and spuds and grains, so there’s a recipe for every occasion.
7. Cooking for Family & Friends by Joe Wicks: £20, Bluebird
This selection of family-friendly recipes by The Body Coach Joe Wicks proves that healthy eating needn’t be boring or tasteless. The book, the latest in a series of cookbooks by Wicks, is focused on recipe ideas for dinner parties and family gatherings, with chapters divided into reduced carb, post-workout, on the side, starts and snacks, and smoothies and sweet treats. Look out for crowd-pleasing dishes such as chicken and aubergine balti and miso ramen, and sweet treats like cinnamon and ginger flapjacks and an indulgent chocolate fondant.
8. Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh: £27, Ebury
Cookery writer and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi and pastry chef Helen Goh have teamed up to create this volume of innovative recipes focusing on – you guessed it – sweet treats. The book is extensive, covering everything from tarts and biscuits to cakes and ice cream. Look out for interesting spices and amazing flavour pairings including parsnip and pecan cake with aniseed and orange, kaffir lime leaf posset with fresh papaya and saffron and almond ice cream sandwiches. However, despite the fancy offerings, recipes are comprehensive and simple to follow.
9. Gennaro’s Passione: The Classic Italian Cookery Book by Gennaro Contaldo: £20, Pavilion
Italian chef and restaurateur Gennaro Contaldo will teach you how to make all the popular classics from pasta and risotto and gnocchi fish, meat, breads and desserts. Look out for comfort foods like stuffed beef rolls in tomato ragu, duck breasts in limoncello, or chocolate and red wine cake and spicy almond biscuits. We especially like the addition of old photographs of Gennaro and his friends and family, personal stories and stunning shots of the Italian landscape.
10. Crave: Brilliantly Indulgent Recipes by Martha Collison: £16.99, HarperCollins
Another book by a former Great British Bake Off contestant, Martha Collison, Crave fuses food science with recipe development. This cookbook is divided into different flavours: citrus, fruit, nut, spice, chocolate, caramel, cheese and alcohol. Each chapter includes a description of each ingredients, and tips for baking with it. There’s a wonderful selection of desserts to suit every craving, from eggnog layer cake and salted caramel cornflake bars to fig and manchego loaf and brandy butter bread pudding.
The Verdict: Celebrity cookbooks
We love Gennaro’s book for the personal touches, and Jamie Oliver’s is great for those looking to speed up their cooking without compromising on flavour. Our absolute favourite, however, is Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook for its comprehensive nature and detailed advice.
All listed prices are RRP
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