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Cookbooks gifts for the festive season

Check out some of the best books by local chefs, home-cooks and food experts in SA.

by: Shaina Herman | 10 Dec 2012
cookbooks for festive season gifts

South Africa has some of the best food and wine in the world, with incredibly fresh produce, local farms, local wine, and amazing chefs and cooks.  Did we say, 'Some of?'  Ok, we mean best.

This year, we’ve come up with a list of the best food and wine cooking related books. 

Ranging from fancy, to sporty, to something that will make you laugh, to the best food photography you’ll ever see. This list has something for everyone, whether you are a food fanatic or just love to eat.

Drizzle and Dip
By Samantha Linsell

Cape Town food stylist shares her simple recipes in her very first book. She’s totally approachable, her recipes are easy to follow and her pictures are scrumptiously visual.  Great for the beginner and the home-cook.

Impressive but approachable: Huevos rancheros.

Justin Bonello’s Ultimate Braai Master: Lekker braai recipes from across South Africa
Rustic in every way, The Ultimate Braai Master’s cookbook is exactly like the show, down to earth. Get involved with the tips about how to braai like a master and advice about travelling 8000km’s on the road in South Africa.
Cooking and camping:
Greek-style braaied lamb.

By Sarah Graham

Untrained as a chef, self taught, Sarah Graham makes home style cooking easy for the busy mom and dad.  From breakfast to braais, her recipes are upbeat and comforting.  With explanations of “how to” and easy one-pot meals Sarah Graham makes the food in your life easy and fun.
Simple and easy:
Peanut seasame chicken.

By Jane-Anne Hobbs
This is a beautiful book written by a Cape Town based cook, writer and blogger. The recipes are triple tested and are great family food. They concentrate on flavour and take a little  longer, but are simply worth it!
Family feast:
Cape gooseberry meringue pie.

Feast at Home
by Frank Dangereux

Feast at Home is a big book of knowledge and beautiful recipes. It reflects his passion for flavour and texture and is the perfect gift for any foodie who loves to cook. Dangereux is passionate about teaching the whole world to fall in love with food so we can fall in love with each other; seems like a good plan.
Play with your food:
How to clean mussels and then how to cook them.

Simple and Delicious: Recipes from the heart
By Alida Ryder

Alida is a girl who loves food and isn’t afraid to show it. Alida knows that time is of the essence when chasing around her two young twins. She makes home cooking a flash and doesn’t compromise on taste or tradition.  
Traditional, fun South African: 
Bollywood lamb chops.

Taking it Easy: Recipes from 20 of SA’s Top Chefs
By Andy Fenner

This is the ultimate present for the South African foodie, someone who wants a little taste of all the top name chefs like Margo Janse, Bertus Basson, Pete Goffe-Wood, (the list goes on) into one recipe bible. The ingredients are down to earth and there are some great photos for your food porn pleasure.
Let’s get serious:
  Goat’s cheese with dark chocolate and balsamic syrup…!

Make Give Sell: Everything you could possibly make for any market, ever
By Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy

This book is for the crafty creative type, someone who’s always bringing over sweets and jars of this and that with delicious fresh ingredients. Meringues, chocolate squares, homemade bread, all packaged beautifully to sell or give.
Make & sell:
Strawberry pop-tart.

Springbok Kitchen: Celebrating the love of food, family and rugby
Um, did you know that Francois Pienaar could make a mean frozen berry dish with warm white chocolate sauce? Or that Peter de Villiers can coach a man to make a hardcore steak and kidney pudding? Oh yes, these men can not only take a man down on the field, but know their way around a kitchen to. And they are really adorable in their aprons.
Home cooked: 
John Smit's butternut soup.

Luscious Vegetarian
By Sonia Cabano and Jade De Waal

De Waal, a jazz student with a passion for food and Cabano returning to South Africa after 12 years of overseas experience, came together to share their family recipes. All vegetarian, the photographs are scrumptuous and gorgeous so that you’ll never miss the meat.  
Vegetarian brunch:
Breakfast antipasti platter.

Cellarmasters in the Kitchen
By Wendy Toerien
As artisans, the members of the Cape Winemakers Guild dedicate themselves to moulding the finest products the ancient soils and fair climes of South Africa’s Cape winelands are capable of growing”. Cellarmasters features winemakers and their recipes. Want to know how to use that red or while to braise your beef or what wine goes with what meal? This book is where it’s at.
Wine and cooking:
Chicken and wine pasta sauce.

The Agony Chef: Recipes and advice for life’s pickles and predicaments
By Kate Sidley

Food, laughter, advice and easy recipes; isn’t that all you really need in life? The Agony chef is the ultimate prezzie for the chef in your life with a good sense of humour.
A whole chapter on:
Recipes for disaster.

Masterchef  South Africa: The Cookbook
This book is full of gorgeous pictures of not only the contestants on the show but all the fancy food they learned to make along the way.  This collection is for the amateur chef with well thought out recipes that could just make the difference to get you to the next level.
Learn how to plate:
Brioche crusted springbok spinach and ricotta pillows, wild mushrooms, peppadew salsa, with a rooibos béarnaise (phew!).

If you'd like any further recommendations, have suggestions, or comments, feel free to post them below and share.

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