As any enthusiastic chef can attest to, the art of cooking is not just about good food, but also the effect of good food on the people that consume it. We have selected a list of books below that combine mouth-watering recipe books with thought-provoking novels that reflect on the effect of food on our culture, family and personal philosophy. Bon Appétit!
The Lost Recipe for Happiness
Author: Barbara O'Neal
Publisher: New York, Bantam Discovery, 2009
Call No.: ONE
Summary: Elena Alvarez has always wanted to run her own kitchen in a restaurant and in a twist of fate, she is offered a job as an executive chef on the same day that she is fired from one. Julian Liswood, a celebrity director who runs a chain of restaurants has given Elena the opportunity to revive a failing restaurant in Aspen, Colorado. Unfortunately, life at the top of a kitchen food-chain is hard for a female and Elena has to gain the respect of the chefs and helpers under her. Haunted by the ghosts of her past, Elena comes up with delicious Mexican-inspired recipes and discovers the most important one of all – happiness. A book of food, family and love, with actual recipes peppered throughout the book that you can use.
180 Best-Ever Chinese Recipes
Author: Jenni Fleetwood (Editor)
Publisher: London: Southwater, 2010
Call No.: English 641.5951 ONE-[COO]
Summary: Braised Duck in Soy Sauce
Learn how to make 'Braised Duck in Soy Sauce'! Here are the ingredients needed for this dish besides the duck:
- Chinese five-spice powder
- Sesame oil
- Lemon grass stalks
- Cinnamon sticks
- Star anise
- Light soy sauce
- Dark soy sauce
- Palm sugar
Although it is a long list, the steps for this dish are not difficult. Read this book to find out how to cook the dish.
Less Meat More Veg
Author: Rachel de Thample
Publisher: London: Kyle Cathie Ltd, 2011
Call No.: English 641.66 DET-[COO]
Summary: The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that we consume five servings of fruits and vegetable a day but what exactly is a serving?
- 1 medium apple
- 1 small banana
- 5 chunky florets of broccoli
- 1 medium carrot or 2 small carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 10 cherries
- ½ of a small-medium cucumber
- 15 grapes
- 1 medium onion
- 3 large handfuls of raw spinach
- 1 full cob of sweet corn
For the full list and more recipes that include less meat and five helpings of fruits and vegetables, do check out this book.
The Kitchen Daughter
Author: Jael McHenry
Publisher: New York: Gallery Books, 2011
Call No.: MAC
Summary: Ginny, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, cannot look people in the eye. She cannot tolerate the touch of others, not even the slightest accidental contact. When stressed, her coping mechanism is to cook or to immerse herself in the memories of food. After her parents pass away, Ginny discovers that the dishes she cooks can conjure up spirits. With the help of the ghosts of her family, she learns to understand herself better. A delectable book about family, identity and memory.
Death by the Dozen
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Publisher: York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2011
Call No.: MAC -[MY]
Summary: Melanie and Angie have their sights on the top prize of a prestigious bakery competition but when the judge of the competition is found dead and frozen inside a freezer truck, the two of them transfer their energies into finding out who killed the judge. Find out how Melanie and Angie solve the murder mystery using their wits and superb culinary skills and remember to check out the recipes at the back of the book.
The School of Essential Ingredients
Author: Erica Bauermeister
Publisher: New York: Berkley Books, 2010
Call No.: BAU
Summary: The weekly cooking class at Lillian's Restaurant brings together eight individuals who are facing different problems in life. Each class touches the heart of different individuals and through cooking they discover more about themselves. A tapestry of stories woven together with food at its heart, this is a story for anyone who believes that food is more than just something that you eat.
Lemongrass and Ginger Cookbook
Author: Leemei Tan
Publisher: London: Duncan Baird Publishers, 2012
Call No.: English 641.595 TAN-[COO]
Summary: A comprehensive collection of Asian recipes prepared by a well-travelled author who grew up in Malaysia. Some of the delicious selection of Asian recipes you can find in this book include:
- Korean Spicy Seafood Noodle Soup
- Sichuan Mapo Tofu
- Cantonese Steamed Fish
- Balinese Roast Duck in Banana Leaves
- Hainanese Chicken Rice
- Beef Rendang
- Nyonya Pineapple Curry
- Chilli and Thai Basil Pork
- Vietnamese Sago Pudding
- Masala Dosa
Don't miss this book!
Dolci di Love
The book covers are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.
Author: Sarah-Kate Lynch
Publisher: New York: Plume, 2011
Call No.: LYN
Summary: On a moment of impulse, Lily Turner decides to leave her corporate job in New York and fly to Tuscany to search for the woman in a photo that she found in her husband’s golf shoe. There she catches the attention of a group of old widows who believe that Lily is a lost soul in need of love. They try their very best to match-make her with a charming Italian widower, which results in a comedy of errors. But through love misunderstood and found, Lily realises that sometimes, people make mistakes and that second chances can make all the difference in life. With the backdrop of a romantic Italian small town landscape and a pasticceria, this book is the perfect dreamy read on a hot afternoon.