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The 15 best cookery and gastronomy books of 2019 (to get it right when giving away this Christmas)

22 mayo, 2021

They say that the paper is dead, and it may be mortally wounded, but if there is something that gastronomy lovers continue to enjoy, it is good cookbooks.

In a increasingly concentrated publishing sector, a handful of publishers share the gastronomy book launches, but they refine the shot with very careful editions.

Basic classics: the must-have cookbooks (useful in any home)

We continue to miss the translation of volumes in English Of those who speak wonders in the Anglo-Saxon press – although we have already tasted some -, but it cannot be said that it has been a bad year.

These are, ordered by publication date, the most interesting books about cooking and gastronomy that have passed through our hands.

AMAZON GO We visit the store of the FUTURE

1. Kitchen mother, by Joan Roca

Joan Roca

After publishing two relatively technical cookbooks, Joan Roca decided to pay tribute to her mother, Montserrat Fontané, who opened a food house located in a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of Girona, Can Roca, the seed of which would later be considered the best restaurant in the world.

In Cocina Madre, Roca collects 80 recipes that represent the whole essence of a family always united around the table and the stove.

The book contains three types of recipes: those of a lifetime, those of our mothers; others such as adaptations to the current type of cuisine, with reduced fat, for example; and others as an evolution of traditional cuisine but updated, to the taste of today.

On Direct to the Palate We dared to make their famous arroz a la cazuela and it was a scandal.

Mother kitchen: Simple and traditional recipes to cook at home (Great chefs)

Mother kitchen: Simple and traditional recipes to cook at home (Great chefs)

2. Mugaritz, by Andoni Luis Aduriz


The Basque chef has just completed 20 years at the helm of Mugaritz and in this volume he puts his story black on white. Although it also has recipes, the volume is more of a declaration of intentions, where Aduriz explains the reason for a cuisine that is as praised as it is criticized.

More than a cookbook it is a intimate and reckless tale on how Mugaritz experiences gastronomy, making creativity the best ingredient to inspire, surprise and provoke diners around the world.

“The day that there are no people who leave Mugaritz annoyed will mean that we have become conventional “said the Basque chef in a recent interview with Direct to the Palate. And you just have to see some photos of the recipes included in the book to understand what it refers to.

Mugaritz.  Vanishing Points (Great Chefs)

Mugaritz. Vanishing Points (Great Chefs)

3. Tribute to the Marchioness of Parabere


María Mestayer de Echagüe, better known in the gastronomic world by the pseudonym with which she signed her articles, Marquise de Parabere, she was a pioneer of restoration in Spain.

Daughter of the French consul in Bilbao, she opened two of the most successful restaurants in postwar Madrid, but could not survive such a time of hardship. But, despite the vicissitudes of the war, Mestayer compiled some of his recipes in two seminal books on Spanish gastronomy such as The Complete Kitchen and Confectionery and Confectionery, which were to make up his ambitious Culinary Encyclopedia, which unfortunately never saw the light as planned.

Savarina sponge cake from the Marchioness of Parabere: the old fashioned recipe

This volume published by Planeta Gastro compiles some of the most iconic recipes of the Marchioness of Parabere, updating its instructions to current times, and offers versions of these prepared by some of the most prominent chefs on the current gastronomic scene such as Joan Roca, Ángel León, Andoni Luis Aduriz or Elena Arzak.

Tribute to the Marchioness of Parabere: The recipes of the chefs / The classic recipes (Great chefs)

Tribute to the Marchioness of Parabere: The recipes of the chefs / The classic recipes (Great chefs)

4. The chef’s garden


For some time now, any high-end restaurant boasts on its menu with vegetables grown in our own gardens, which allow the product to be controlled to the millimeter, when not offering varieties impossible to find elsewhere.

Around the world through eleven orchards: this is how the most cutting-edge chefs manage to control what they serve in their restaurants

On The Chef’s Garden (Phaidon) takes a tour of the orchards of some of the most reputable restaurants in the world, displayed with great photos, and accompanied by the most significant recipes with vegetables from each restaurant.

Although the book has a marked Anglo-Saxon bias –More orchards are listed in the US and the UK than in any other part of the world– is a very interesting tour of some of the most cutting-edge gastronomic proposals of today, especially interesting for lovers of agriculture.

The chef's garden

5. The wine cooks

Home Los Cocineros Del Vino Aa Vv 201907150939

This book, with forewords by Josep Roca and Rafael Ansón, takes a tour of the biographies of the most important Spanish winemakers and winemakers. We are talking about personalities from the world of wine such as Mariano García, Peter Sisseck or Álvaro Palacios, to name just a few of the masters who appear in the book.

The biography of each winemaker is accompanied by a selection of wines and recipes, from the hands of renowned chefs, although this is perhaps the least interesting part of a book necessary to place well-known personalities from the world of wine in the place they deserve, who are less so for the general public.

The wine cooks: A hymn to the excellence of oenology.  Forewords by Josep Roca and Rafael Ansón (Wines)

The wine cooks: A hymn to the excellence of oenology. Forewords by Josep Roca and Rafael Ansón (Wines)

6. Modernist Bread

Modernist Bread

Modernist Bread is a book that can barely be held with both hands, dedicated solely and exclusively to bread. We are talking about five volumes, with more than 2,600 pages and 1,200 recipes that constitute the largest study on bread carried out to date: a staple in Western food, to which we do not always give the importance it deserves.

Although it is not a book for all audiences, it is a recommended investment not only for professionals, but for anyone started in the preparation of bread: in this book is all the information you need and you will never need.

Modernist Bread Spanish Edition

Modernist Bread Spanish Edition

7. Turkey Gastronomy, by Musa Dagdeviren

Turkey Gastronomy

This volume, signed by the Turkish chef Musa Dagdeviren –Which rose to fame thanks to the Netflix series Chef’s Table– is considered the definitive achievement on the turkish culinary art, a gastronomy that collects the best of the Mediterranean and Arab world.

Like all the books in this series –in which the titles of countries such as Greece, Japan or Mexico stand out– we are facing a very careful editing, both with regard to photos and texts.

This is the authentic baklava recipe, the most representative sweet of Turkish pastry (and the most delicious)

Volume includes 550 recipes –Grilled meats, salads, rice pilaf, fish, various grains and delicious pastas and sweets–, but it also explores the cultural heritage of the country with an introduction dedicated to the long culinary history of Turkey.

Turkey gastronomy

8. Simple kitchen, by Yotam Ottolenghi


From Turkey we went to the Middle East, to talk about the new book by the mediatic Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi. Last year we fell in love with his book on sweets, and this one has surprised us with a recipe book that delivers what it promises: simple elaborations that can be done in a matter of minutes.

The volume includes 130 dishes that, in addition to being simple, are on the healthy side, given the special predilection that Ottolenghui has for the cook with greens and vegetables.

Simple Kitchen (Salamander Fun & Food)

Simple Kitchen (Salamander Fun & Food)

9. Carne, by Anthony Puharich and Libby Travers


Anthony Puharich is one of the most reputable butchers in the world today. After buying Australia’s oldest butcher shop in 2009, he transformed it into a luxury shop, where meat is treated like nowhere else.

Your book Meat It has been a best seller throughout the Anglo-Saxon world and now its Spanish translation arrives. The work offers more than 110 recipes Inspired by the culinary traditions of the whole world, but perhaps the most interesting are the complete advice it includes on its handling, around explorations, varieties and previous treatments of this. The book also focuses on less common meats, such as offal, game, as well as all kinds of birds.

The book is the perfect gift for any meat lover, but you have to put a catch: it includes the Australian, American and French cuts, not the Spanish, which would have been the perfect addition to this edition.

Meat: The Definitive Book (Flavors)

Meat: The Definitive Book (Flavors)

10. Signature dishes that matter

Signature Dishes

Although this book It has only been edited in English, We include it in this selection because it is one of the books that we have liked the most of those that have passed through our hands and it will not be published in Spanish.

The volume makes a tour of the most important dishes of modern history of gastronomy, from the invention of ice cream in 1686 to the whole turbot of the British chef Tomos Parry, from 2018. In the volume we find all the legendary dishes of chefs such as Ferran Adrià (one of the few chefs from whom several creations are collected), Michel Bras or Alaine Ducasse, arranged chronologically, with very interesting texts about the history of each creation and some magnificent illustrations by Adriano Rampazzo.

The book also includes an appendix in which each recipe is detailed step by step. A joy.

Signature dishes that matter (Cucina)

Signature dishes that matter (Cucina)

11. The pastry school, by Le Cordon Blue

Pastry School

The Larousse publishing house has partnered with the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu gastronomy school to produce this volume that includes more than 100 pastry recipes, illustrated step by step.

It’s about a very didactic book, ideal for beginners in the world of pastry who want to deepen their knowledge of the techniques and processes taught in cooking schools. Each recipe contains a specific text for the presentation of a product, a technique or a chef’s trick.

It should also be noted that it is a volume with a great value for money, perfect as a gift for Christmas.

The pastry school.  Le Cordon Bleu® (Larousse - Illustrated / Practical Books - Gastronomy - Major Works)

The pastry school. Le Cordon Bleu® (Larousse – Illustrated / Practical Books – Gastronomy – Major Works)

12. Vegetables without limits, by José …