Books to inspire your inner chef

Have you been wanting to spend more time in the kitchen, but feel lost once you step foot in it? Here are some amazing guides to help you out.

This is a fabulous little book … Tin to Table (fancy, snacky recipes for tin-thusiasts and a-fish-ionados … love it!) which cracks open the secrets of tinned fish cooking with more than 50 recipes, from no-fuss snacks to fresh salads, hearty mains, and creative no-recipe recipes for quick pop-and-eat meals. Sail through the pages of this rich, briny guide to discover how to bring more tasty tinned seafood into your life and onto your plate. Triple Pickle Smoked Salmon Butter Sandwich. Canned Clam Garlic Bread. Sardine Curry Puffs. Caesar Popcorn (Negronis optional!) Anna Hezel helps you discover tasty meal inspiration and navigates you through the world of tinned seafood so you can live that breezy, tinned-fish life anywhere or anytime. Chronicle Books

In Onwards, Karen Dudley weaves a compelling narrative of how her life changed after the Covid-19 pandemic forced her to close her iconic restaurant, The Kitchen. From these bleak circumstances arose something beautiful, offering the time and space for inspiration to take root, to rediscover her connection with food, and to shift her perception of what it means to cook, for oneself and for others. Full of wholesome, nourishing and indulgent recipes, with a story of hope and happiness threaded throughout, it’s full of deliciousness … from easy (smashed roasted potatoes with a few suggestions, and tomato toast) to dinner party dishes (tamarind salmon with orange, chilli and coriander). Loads of lovely little recipes to dicky up your dishes to restaurant style. Penguin

From an early age Mmule Setati was aware of her tribe – her parents, grandparents and siblings. And as time passed her tribe grew to include friends and extended family … those she loved, was intensely proud of and wanted to nurture. Inspired and guided by her maternal grandmother, Mmule developed a passion for food and used it as the clearest way to demonstrate the love she felt for her tribe. This set a pattern for her life and now as a wife, mother and rising social media tour de force, her tribe is impressive. And she still expresses her love via her kitchen, the meals that emerge from it, and her cookbook, Feed My Tribe. Dishes like spicy prawn and chorizo omelette for breakfast. The really impressive goats cheese and beetroot salad. Mediterranean samp salad for your next braai. Penguin

Fans of The Great British Bake Off will remember the popular Giuseppe Dell’Anno, who won over hearts (and the 2021competition) with his lovely sense of humour, and great baking. Both of which come through in Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes, where he shares his skill, knowledge and love of baking through over 60 new sweet and savoury recipes. It’s not for the faint-hearted. These aren’t whip-them-up in a minute treats … some, like his Rum Baba, run to four pages (five if you count the full page pic to tempt you). That said, he writes clearly and concisely … so they’re easy to follow. Mostly sweet – like the gorgeous Brutti ma Buoni (literally translated as ugly but good) biscuits, some savoury (like the delish Focaccia Genovese – which makes two so great for a drinks or dinner party). Even his ‘basics’ chapter is clearly more his idea of basic than ours – think Zabaione! Hardie Grant / Quadrille


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