Don't know what to buy the foodie in your life for Christmas? Here are a few ideas that will (hopefully) go down a treat:
The Songs of Sapa
I enjoyed Luke Nguyen's show so much that I went out and bought this book. I kind of justified it because we had a pile of friends over for a Vietnamese food night, so I had to have a few recipes up my sleeve. I've cooked a few dishes out of this book, and have found them fairly easy to make - they also taste great. The tricky part is finding ingredients like betel leaves and Vietnamese herbs. If you like fresh, tasty, clean Asian flavours, then you'll love this book.
When it comes to cooking reference books, Larousse Gastronomique is the king. Although it's definitely focused on classical cooking, it's still an amazing book. Basically it's the encyclopedia of the cooking world and a new edition has just been released. Personally I prefer the cover of the edition I've got (which has pictures of quintessential French waiters), but you don't buy a book for its cover. Be warned though, its a bit pricey.
Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2010
I've bought a lot of wine books in my time, but when it comes to one book that covers everything, this is it. It's only small, but so comprehensive - the whole world of wine in one handy book. It's still the first book I go to for wine, and great value at about $25.
Serendip - My Sri Lankan Journey
Out of all the cookbooks that have been featured in Gourmet Traveller this year, Serendip by Peter Kuruvita is the one that really caught my interest. I can't say that I've ever come across a Sri Lankan cookbook before, but the recipes looked & sounded so amazing - the beetroot curry, snake bean curry, mud crab curry & egg hoppers all looked delicious. It's the perfect gift for the foodie that has all the "standard" cookbooks.
I've always wanted a Greek cookbook, and if I bought one it would be Vefa's Kitchen. I've been admiring it for months at Borders in the city. I've got such great memories of the food we ate in Greece that I'd love to create it at home. Greek food is such a good match for the Australian climate and way of life that this book will provide years of delicious lunches & dinners.
Food Safari DVD
As far as I'm concerned, Food Safari is the best food show that I've ever seen on Australian tv. Maeve O'Meara is such a good host that's its hard not to enjoy Food Safari. Each episode features a different country's cuisine, so there's also an amazing variety of food. There are now 3 series of Food Safari, so there are hours and hours of cooking to enjoy.
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