It's been a great year for books of the cookery kind in Australia, and we're ready to take to the holidays armed with a bevy of great recipes. To make it easy for you, and in case you're yet to finalise your Christmas shopping, we've rounded up our favourite cookbooks from 2013, from publications by some of the city’s most popular restaurants, to hearty vegetarian fare, to lamb shoulders slow-cooked with all the flavours of a Bloody Mary.
Community: Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen, by Hetty McKinnon
Hetty McKinnon’s one-woman show, Arthur Street Kitchen, is the much beloved lunch delivery service keeping the residents and workers of Surry Hills full of colourful, vibrant vegetarian salads. Her first book; Community: Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen, is full of recipes ideal for occasions and sharing with friends, including char-grilled fennel and asparagus with pearl couscous and coriander oil, ginger peanut kale with tofu and quinoa, and barbecued corn and roast pumpkin with black beans and jalapeño sour cream. A celebration of all things grown from the Earth.
Available for pre-order for $38 at arthurstreetkitchen.com/cookbook.
Moving Out, Eating In, By Elizabeth Hewson
Self-taught Sydney local, Elizabeth Hewson is an exciting new voice in home cooking, and her debut book is filled with approachable, original and a little bit cheeky recipes for those new to the kitchen. Try prawn burgers with capers, lemon and garlic aioli or sticky chicken skewers, mozzarella-stuffed meatballs, apple cider cocktails and a lamb shoulder cooked with all the flavours of a Bloody Mary.
Available at all good bookstores and online at movingouteatingin.com for $34.95.
Recipes for a Good Time, by Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate
Comprising all the best from Porteno, Gardel’s Bar and Bodega, Sydney’s slick and sleeved chefs Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate have released a stunning first cookbook breaking down their fare, which people from far and wide come to Sydney to eat. While the book certainly features signature meals from the restaurants, everything inside can be put together by the amateur cook. Recipes include pain de casa to feta, smoked wagyu brisket, burnt milk custard and a pretty amazing section on barbeque.
Available at all good bookstores, Porteno and online at allenandunwin.com for $59.99.
Gelato Messina: The Recipes by Nick Palumbo
The cult gelato company which sees lines snake out the doors of its three venues has finally revealed the secrets to its success. Gelato Messina: The Recipes features 50 of the store’s signature gelatos, plus a detailed look into the science of ice-creamery. Try Dulce De Leche, Pear and Rhubarb, Poached Figs in Masala or Salted Caramel and White Chocolate.
Available at all good bookstores for $39.95.
The Agrarian Kitchen By Rodney Dunn
With stunning photography of the food and beautiful Tasmanian scenery, The Agrarian Kitchen is a collection of recipes by Rodney Dunn with just the right balance of country-style homeliness and seasonal sophistication.
Available in bookstores and online for $60.
Chin Chin: The Book by Benjamin Cooper
Designed to be a literary equivalent of a trip to the restaurant itself, this 256-page tome is appropriately colourful, cheeky and offbeat. Featuring a vast list of dishes from Chin Chin’s own menu, the cookbook is also full of handy ‘recipe hacks’ from head chef Benjamin Cooper that offer neat shortcuts.
Available at Chin Chin, Baby and online for $49.95.
The first cookbook by STREAT, a social initiative that trains and employs disadvantaged and homeless youth, is filled with recipes by the graduates themselves and head chef Rob Auger – soft shell crab po’boy, Jamaican jerk chicken and even a twist on the traditional bread and butter pudding.
Available at STREAT cafe locations and online for $45.
Sweet Greek by Kathy Tsaples
Kathy Tsaples of Prahran Market’s Sweet Greek store launched her first cookbook earlier this year, a vibrant collection of seasonal recipes themed around traditional Greek holidays.
Available at Sweet Greek store, bookstores and online for $39.99.