Kitchen-friendly and versatile, these cookbooks are workhorses. Keep close to hand for any occasion.

Mr Hong
by Dan Hong
(Murdoch Books, $49)

Mr Hong has all the fun and levity of a storybook, with straightforward recipes from the kitchens of Dan Hong’s mainstays El Loco, Ms G’s and Mr Wong. Think Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican and Americana rolled into one handy cooking bible.

Plenty More
by Yotam Ottolenghi
(Ebury Press, $50)

From its easy-to-clean cover to its clearly presented recipes, Plenty More is approachable and logical, offering 150 recipes for vegetable dishes organised by cooking methods such as grilled, baked, simmered or raw. Try the Alphonso mango and curried chickpea salad, or buttermilk-crusted okra.


Store these on the shelf by the fridge for use when birthdays, holidays and reunions call for something extra.

Hungry for That: Recipes From the Beatbox Kitchen
by Raph Rashid
(Hardie Grant Books, $40)

From the man behind Melbourne’s Beatbox Kitchen, Taco Truck and All Day Donuts comes a cookbook with all the fun and flavours of a fiesta in a food truck. Play with Mexican and American-tinged fast-food recipes such as fried-chicken sandwiches.

Pass it down and keep baking!
by Laura Jean and Beth Ellen Wilkinson
(Self Published, $35)

A highly personal project by sisters Laura Jean and Beth Ellen Wilkinson, Pass it Down reveals 112 pages of family recipes, anecdotes and baking tradition. Prepare for a battle over who gets to lick the spoon as you whip up Auntie Nellie’s Ginger Fluff cake.


These books tell of culinary and cultural journeys, guaranteed to transport you elsewhere. To be browsed in your downtime for inspiration and escapism

Bistronomy: French Food Unbound
by Katrina Meynink
(Murdoch Books, $50)

The artfully rough-hewn pages of Bistronomy explore a new wave that sees fine food stripped of its high-end dining pomp. An array of international recipes includes Sixpenny’s fennel strawberries with granita and sour cream, and artichoke soup with scallops from Melbourne’s Moon Under Water.

Movida Solera
By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish
(Penguin Australia, $60)

One dip into MoVida Solera and you’ll fall in love with Andalusia, Spain’s southernmost region. Spread between pages of vibrant photography are more than 100 recipes collected personally by chef Frank Camorra, including morcilla (blood sausage)-studded flamenco stew from Malaga and gypsy doughnuts from Seville.


Works of art. To paw at these pages with floury fingers would be sacrilege. Keep in fine fettle in a display cabinet or, hey, a marble plinth.

Sepia: The Cuisine of Martin Benn
by Martin Benn
(Murdoch Books, $75)

With its Art-Deco shimmer, Sepia is designed to evoke the atmosphere of Martin Benn's sophisticated restaurant. High-gloss, cinematic imagery lends gravitas to chef Martin Benn’s story and the Japanese-influenced degustation menus on show.

Organum: Nature Texture Intensity Purity
by Peter Gilmore
(Murdoch Books, $100)

Organum is more experience than book: a weighty tome of nuance and texture. Beautiful photography, botanical illustrations and judiciously chosen dishes convey the layered complexity of Quay’s approach to dining, chef Peter Gilmore’s cuisine and his passion for edible plant species.