Food & Drink
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Level up Your Kitchen Skills With These 8 Cookbooks
Cook these books!
by : Aman Dosanj- Dec 15th, 2022
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MI COCINA: RECIPES AND RAPTURE FROM MY KITCHEN IN MÉXICO By Rick Martínez
Let’s start with our favourite cookbook of the year. Rick Martínez ate his way through all 32 states in Mexico—he visited 156 cities in 586 days—to create this travelogue-style memoir, a beautiful ode to the food of each region that the former Bon Appétit Test Kitchen star enjoyed the most. (Hello, Ceviche de Camarón y Leche de Coco—or any of the citrus-soaked eats from the Yucatán chapter!) With its personal essays and recipes inspired by Martínez’s memories, this is a much-needed read on an often underrated and misunderstood cuisine. And it will make you very, very hungry.
KOREAN AMERICAN: FOOD THAT TASTES LIKE HOME By Eric Kim
Another contender for cookbook of the year is Korean American, by New York Times staff writer Eric Kim. The son of two Korean immigrants, Kim grew up in Atlanta, Ga., and this is his charming story—told through food. Embracing the tension—and ultimate harmony—between the two sides of his cultural identity, he brings us third-culture cooking (in this case, a unique-to-him combination of Korean and American foodways) at its finest. With every page turn, expect recipes you’ll want to bookmark (like the Milk Bread With Maple Syrup, the Pan-Seared Rib Eye With Gochujang Butter and the Caramelized Kimchi Baked Potatoes), photos with electric pops of colour and warm, fuzzy mom stories. More, please.
A BARTENDER’S GUIDE TO THE WORLD: COCKTAILS AND STORIES FROM 75 PLACES By Lauren Mote and James O. Fraioli
Ready to host again? Think of Lauren Mote’s A Bartender’s Guide to the World as a cocktail-hour playbook for any time of year (or time of day, for that matter). It’s packed with pointers, alchemy, boozy history and stories from a two-decade-long career that has taken one of Canada’s finest bartenders across the globe. Categorized by spirit—including a ton of from-scratch non-alcoholic vermouths—this is a collection of straight-up deliciousness. Mote’s 75 cocktails from 75 places come with a heavy pour of her masterful precision, a dash of playfulness and a deep appreciation for market-fresh ingredients no matter where she is in the world.
LITTLE CRITICS: WHAT CANADIAN CHEFS COOK FOR KIDS (AND KIDS WILL ACTUALLY EAT) By Joanna Fox
PSA: Even the country’s top culinary stars feel the wrath of their kids when it comes to feeding the family. (Feel free to relish that fact for a second.) But no matter what, there’s always that one slam-dunk recipe that does the trick. Enter Little Critics, a compilation of more than 100 doable and delicious recipes from chefs across the country. It’s by Joanna Fox, who also happens to be the associate editor here at ELLE Canada. With dishes like Dyan Solomon’s Green Hulk Risotto, Ryusuke Nakagawa’s Cheesy Chicken Katsu and Billy Alexander’s Fry Bread Tacos, your mealtimes may create an appetite for a fuller understanding of Canada—and the world.
WATERMELON & RED BIRDS: A COOKBOOK FOR JUNETEENTH AND BLACK CELEBRATIONS By Nicole A. Taylor
“Black joy often emanates from Black sorrow,” writes Nicole A. Taylor. When you pick up the James Beard Award-nominated author’s Watermelon & Red Birds, you’re holding history: It’s the first cookbook that celebrates Juneteenth (which commemorates June 19, 1865, the day more than 250,000 enslaved Black Texans were declared free, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation). The book is designed to help you organize and cook for your own celebrations—with vibrant, drool-worthy recipes like the Pork Ribs With a BBQ Sauce Flight, the Very Green Coleslaw With Grilled Peppers and the Hibiscus-Sichuan Snow Cones—and offers lessons that go way beyond the kitchen.
THE VEGAN CHINESE KITCHEN: RECIPES AND MODERN STORIES FROM A THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD TRADITION By Hannah Che
Veganism may be a newish term, but it’s not a new phenomenon—The Vegan Chinese Kitchen is proof of that. Looking to the past, Hannah Che takes readers to Buddhist monasteries, imperial-palace kitchens and everyday homes as she unearths the ancient history of Chinese plant-based cooking while also offering a glimpse of the modern-day vegan scene. Through more than 100 recipes—from the Scallion Pancakes to the Blanched Spinach With Sesame Sauce, as well as a whole chapter’s worth of tofu-skin dishes—Che challenges the broken narrative that Chinese food is difficult and time consuming to make at home or simply meat-centric. And we’re here for it.
WHERE THE RIVER NARROWS: CLASSIC FRENCH AND NOSTALGIC QUÉBÉCOIS RECIPES FROM ST. LAWRENCE RESTAURANT By J-C Poirier With Joie Alvaro Kent
Vancouver restaurant St. Lawrence has been taking guests on “trips” to Quebec since 2017. In his debut cookbook, Where the River Narrows, chef J-C Poirier pays tribute to his home province, the nostalgia-tickling French-Canadian fare served at his much loved restaurant and even family dinners à la maison. The gooey Parmesan and Gruyère Croquettes have “dinner party” written all over them, and the Fried Pork Rinds With Maple Syrup and Montreal Steak Spice might just become the new popcorn. If you really fancy a challenge, try the show-stopping Pâté en Croûte. Now, where do we find those cute Habs-flag toothpicks used to garnish.
THALI: A JOYFUL CELEBRATION OF INDIAN HOME COOKING By Maunika Gowardhan
With the help of bestselling author Maunika Gowardhan, you can cook your way through India in 80 or so mouth-watering dishes. Taking readers from Punjab in the north to Kerala down south, the book celebrates lesser-known dishes with a kaleidoscope of flavours made for mixing and matching. Thali is loaded with stir-fried vegetables, slow-braised meats, comforting dals, pickles and dips. Between the Pickled Squash With Turmeric and Mango Powder from Rajasthan, the Hot and Sour Goan Fish and the Mangalorean Curry Leaf and Ghee Fried Chicken, you might find it hard to figure out where to begin. So how about all of the above?
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