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TeleBest: The 50 best cookbooks

Published 30/10/2010

CLICK HERE for your guide to the 50 Best Cook Books
CLICK HERE for your guide to the 50 Best Cook Books
The Silver Spoon
I have over 100 cookery books but this one always has a place on my limited worktop space. Organised by ingredient - so it's great for those with vegetables boxes or who have a bit of chicken and can't think what to do with it. Rumour has it that every Italian bride is given a copy on her wedding day.
Who by Various
How much £29.99
Mexican Food Made Simple
The 2005 Masterchef winner has opened a chain of restaurants and now written a book to go with them. But it's a world away from the Tex Mex fajitas that you might expect. There's a guide to chillis and a menu planner as well as lots of recipes for salsas, tacos and hearty stews.
Who by Thomasina Miers
How much £20
Gizzi's Kitchen Magic
'This is really stylish food,' says Susan. 'But it doesn't just have to be for ladies who lunch, despite the gorgeous cakes. What really works are the hundreds of great tips for tweaking and improving dishes and sexing up sauces and cakes, which will really lift your cooking to impressive levels.'
Who by Gizzi Erskine
How much £20
Eat Vegetarian
Sam Stern wrote his first cookery book at the age of 14 and has written five more since. This is his latest offering and it's perfect for those in mixed relationships (carnivore and vegetarian) who feel that meals can be a bit bland without the meat. Plenty of Chinese, Mexican and Indian dishes that everyone will enjoy.
Who by Sam Stern
How much £9.99
The French Kitchen
'The sheer essence of France and its culture is captured in this enthralling read,' says Andrew. 'Go on a culinary tour of the markets and kitchens, finding hidden treasure along the way with classic recipes handed down through generations.' Not forgetting the recipe for the hot chocolate with chilli from her best-selling book Chocolat.
Who by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde
How much £20
Kitchen Confidential
The author of this book is not afraid to write about the nitty gritty of the culinary world, says Antonio. 'It's thanks to him, and a few others, that we see food come alive as one of the most important elements of our lives and the people sharing it.'
Who by Anthony Bourdain
How much £8.99
Bill's Basics
'The latest offering from the Australian chef takes another look at the classics and lightens and simplifies them so that you really do want to cook them and you will feel lighter and healthier afterwards,' says Susan.
Who by Bill Granger
How much £25
Off Duty - the World's Greatest Chefs Cook at Home
Delve into the homes of the world's greatest chefs and find out what they cook for themselves when they aren't at work. 'It's full of tantalising dishes for everyday eating,' says Andrew.
Who by David Nicholls
How much £16.40
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
'The book for the aficionado of sweet things,' says Susan. Catering to a long list of celebrity clients, the Portobello Road bakery makes and sells the most divine cakes and now they are all in this gorgeous book.
Who by Tarek Malouf
How much £16.99
Riverford Farm Cook Book
'It is not easy to make good food with vegetables that will appeal to the non-vegetarians,' says Antonio, 'but this has great philosophy and shows you how to cook good food with quality ingredients.'
Who by Guy Watson and Jane Baxter
How much £16.99
Flavours of Tuscany
'This contribution to the rather crowded cookbook scene is able to elbow its way to the front because of the way the author has distilled a rich and complex cuisine to just the right number of classic recipes,' says Susan.
Who by Maxine Clark
How much £9.99
Curry Easy
In preparing her first book for seven years, Madhur Jaffrey asked herself: 'Is there an easier way to do this?' The answer is in the 175 recipes contained here - each produces exciting and vibrant dishes.
Who by Madhur Jaffrey
How much £20
'I just discovered this book recently while shooting a television series for the BBC,' says Antonio. Bartolomeo was probably the first celebrity chef but he lived in the 15th century and cooked for the Pope.'
Who by Bartolomeo Scappi
How much £35.99
The Flavour Thesaurus
'This is an anti-recipe book,' says Susan. 'Once you crack its Roget's Thesaurus organisation, which leads you to thousands of flavour combinations, you'll stumble across so many wonderful suggestions'.
Who by Niki Segnit
How much £18.99
Paramount Desserts
'For any dinner-party diva who wants quirky, inspirational and imaginative desserts this is the book for you,' says Andrew. 'The chef has pushed the boundaries with her sophistication.'
Who by Christine Manfield
How much £20
Rose Elliot's New Complete vegetarian
This recipe book by the renowned vegetarian writer is crammed with recipes organised by their main ingredient so it's easy to plan for the day or week.
Who by Rose Elliot
How much £15
Cooking for Friends
'My full admiration goes to my friend Raymond Blanc for what he is and does,' says Antonio. 'A self-taught chef, he has worked very hard to be unique in his approach to French food.'
Who by Raymond Blanc
How much £12
Chinese Cookery
'A book to remind you how great Chinese food really is,' says Jason. 'Takes you from the simple to the complex with details on ingredients, equipment and menus.'
Who by Ken Hom
How much £16.99
White Heat
'A must for any budding young chef,' says Andrew. 'Marco Pierre White takes us into his world of fine dining at his old restaurant and the book is full of anecdotes.'
Who by Marco Pierre White
How much second-hand only
Miss Masala
This quirky cookbook started life as a food blog and became a huge success, says Susan. 'Here are the secrets of really good Indian food, which you can prepare quickly.'
Who by Mallika Basu
How much £14.99
Nuts about Food
Susan pays tribute to our other panellist. 'This book gives home cooks the chance to be dinner party stars themselves and even the amazing crispy Bury black pudding wontons - a Nutter classic - will be in range.'
Who by Andrew Nutter
How much £20
World Food Café
Tasty recipes that are an antidote to the often blandness of many vegetarian meals. The book is beautifully illustrated and includes suggestions to vary the menus and often the story behind the recipe too.
Who by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott
How much £14.99
Cooking for Love
'I'm not sure if they make books like this any more but they should,' says Jason. 'It's a biography of food by the founder of the Soho bakery whose lunchboxes were a favourite of Noël Coward. Keep an eye out for a second-hand copy.'
Who by Maria Floris
How much prices vary
Middle Eastern Cookery
'This splendid book has been in my kitchen for years and is now thankfully back in print,' says Susan. 'You'll find every possible recipe from Egypt, Syria, Israel, Persia and Armenia, together with evocative memories of Armenian family life.'
Who by Arto der Haroutunian
How much £12.99
Larousse Gastronomique
The 1961 English first Edition is the only food encyclopaedia you will ever need if you can get it, says Jason. 'It's now in its third edition and still the only one to have. Take a look at ?E'. There are more egg recipes than you could ever dream of.'
Who by Prosper Montagne
How much around £60
Food for Friends & Family
This is beautifully written and illustrated and a real feelgood book says Susan. 'It's a glorious celebration of home and garden, family and friends. There are scrumptious recipes for dishes for each season of the year.'
Who by Sarah Raven
How much £30
Adventures with Chocolate
'A chocoholic's heaven,' says Andrew. 'This is a comprehensive guide to getting the most out of your chocolate. It covers the basics and then takes you on a Willy Wonka-style journey of tastes and flavour combinations.'
Who by Paul A Young
How much £17.99
'Ottolenghi's approach to vegetable dishes is wholly original and innovative,' says Andrew. 'He picks on key bold ingredients andmixes them with his love of the Mediterranean and strong, stunning fresh combinations.'
Who by Yotam Ottolenghi
How much £25
Food from Many Greek Kitchens
'Greek cooking is not normally counted among the great cuisines of Europe but this has around 115 recipes from Greek homes that are inspiring and tasty,' says Susan.
Who by Tessa Kiros
How much £25
The Kitchen Diaries
'Nigel Slater is a down-to-earth writer and cook, and talks about the simple pleasures of the culinary world,' says Antonio. 'He belongs to the category of cooks not chefs because he cooks solely for passion.'
Who by Nigel Slater
How much £16.99
Delia's Complete How to Cook
This has 350 recipes in simple step-by-step guides. If you want to know how long it will take to roast your piece of pork, she's still your woman.
Who by Delia Smith
How much £35
Simple Cooking
'This is an everyday book designed for those passionate cooks who are able to produce good food in just a few minutes without having to spend a fortune,' says Antonio.
Who by Antonio Carluccio
How much £20
In the Mood for Entertaining
Broken into four main sections including 'the extravagant dinner party, cooking for a crowd and relaxed entertaining', this is full of great recipes with useful hints and tips.
Who by Jo Pratt
How much £20
The Moro Cookbook
'This is not stictly a vegetarian book but is perfect for meat eaters who have to cater for vegetarians and don't know where to turn,' says Jason.
Who by Samatha Clark and Samuel Clark
How much £17.50
Italian Food
'This was the book that my late father had, the original paperback,' says Jason. 'The first time I tasted osso bucco with risotto Milanese, a lifelong passion for food began.'
Whoby Elizabeth David
How much £5.99
The Book of Jewish Food
'So much more than just a cookery book, this is also a social history, a travelogue and an analysis of a culture through its food,' says Jason. 'Even if you never cook anything from here, you will never regret owning this book.'
Who by Claudia Roden
How much £25
La Scienza in Cucina, e l'arte di Mangiar Bene
'Possibly the best cooking in Italy over the last 150 years,' says Antonio. 'He has inspired millions ofwould-be cooks all round theworld, including myself.'
Who by Pellegrino Artusi
How much currently available for Amazon Kindle or secondhand bookshops
The Naked Chef
'This book simply made cooking fun again,' says Jason. 'It's full of great food, simple and vibrant and it shows you how to mix the perfect margarita - which makes it even more fun.'
Who by Jamie Oliver
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
This is a really serious book says Susan. 'The recipe for stuffed breast of veal is three pages but, as the author says, it will be perfect and you will be proud to serve it to your friends.'
Who by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle
How much £12.99
Roger Verge's Vegetables
'One of France's most renowned chefs takes us on a culinary tour into the world of vegetables and his knowledge and creativity is spellbinding as he maximises the flavour of his ingredients to the full,' says Andrew.
Who by Roger Verge
How much £15
The Italian Cookery Course
'If you have to pick just one Italian book to have on your shelf then this is the one,' says Andrew. 'It has over 400 recipes, some classic, some lesser known regional dishes but every one is a taste explosion.'
Who by Katie Caldesi
How much £30
The Cook's Companion
'I know the doyenne of Australian food and all of her books have educated millions of people, including children with her book designed especially for them,' says Antonio.
Who by Stephanie Alexander
How much £35
Leith's Cookery Bible
'If you can't afford to go to cookery school or have ever wondered what vegetables should be cooked with the lid on the pan, this is the book for you,' says Jason.
Who by Prue Leith and Caroline Waldegrave
How much £35
Supper for a Song
'This author is loved for her down-to-earth love of good seasonal food,' says Susan. 'So no surprise that this is a collection of recipes for a more frugal age, which makes great meals of leftovers.'
Who by Tamasin Day-Lewis
How much £20
Rick Stein's Seafood
At least three books in one, says Jason and each one is a great success on its own. 'The first is a step-by-step guide to techniques, the second a fantastic collection of recipes and finished off with a guide to fish.'
Who by Rick Stein
How much £15
Pure Vegetarian
'Finally a book that portrays vegetables in a new way,' says Antonio. 'This is high-degree fusion food and very useful for peoplewho like to experiment with vegetarian cooking.'
Who by Paul Gayler
How much £14.99
The River Café Cookbook
'Some of the best dishes I have ever made come from this book,' says Jason. 'It seems simple, but the love of food and knowledge is awesome.'
Who by Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers
How much £17.50
My Kitchen - Real Food from Near and Far
'A new voice in food writing and to me it is as exciting as Nigel Slater's was when he first emerged a good many years ago,' says Susan.
Who by Stevie Parle
How much £35
Brian Turner's Favourite British Recipes
'The godfather of British cooking brings us the wealth of his knowledge and knowhow,' says Andrew.
Who by Brian Turner
How much £18.99
Ice Creams, Sorbets and Gelati the Definitive Guide
'A must-have for anyone who wants to make their own ice cream and gets rid of the perception that it's hard to make,' says Andrew
Who by Caroline & Robin Weir
How much £25

From perfect puttanesca to terrific tiramisu, Kate Watson-Smyth presents the experts’ guide to this season’s hottest recipes

>> Click on the image to launch our guide

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