The best chefs' cookbooks on the shelves - Spring 2016

It's already proving a bumper year for new cook books, with almost as many new titles as new restaurants. From top chefs to up and coming food writers, there are some fabulous new books hitting the shelves - so, in the first of a new series, we'll be sharing some of our recommendations. Time to dust off those pans and get cooking!


SiroccoSabrina Ghayour - Sirocco

Known for: Popular London supperclubs and a VERY successful debut book

Sabrina's first book, Persiana, has literally taken the world by storm - now her much-anticipated second book is here, with a hundred new recipes "inspired by flavours of the East - but using the fresh produce, techniques and cookery styles of the West".

Recipes leap off the page, bursting with Sabrina's trademark verve and flavour. There's everything from breakfast and brunch - cherry ricotta pancakes with clotted cream and honey sound irresistible - to sharing dishes like sticky lamb buns - and feasts for friends, like a six hour eastern spiced pork belly which isn't as difficult as it sounds. "Leftovers - if there are any - make great sandwiches", says Sabrina - this truly is the book that keeps on giving.

£25, Mitchell Beazley

Find out more about Sirocco



Low and Slow by Neil RankinNeil Rankin -  Low and Slow: How to Cook Meat

Known for: Smokehouse and Bad Egg.

Best known for cooking some of the best meats in town, Neil's debut book shows how to cook meat in the most reliable way possible, from everyday dishes to impressive spreads for friends. Whatever cooking method you're using, this is how to treat meat with respect.

It's not ALL about meat, mind, as there are recipes for bone marrow cauliflower cheese and Moroccan heritage carrots too. And there's a lot of sriracha involved.

Ebury, £25

More about Low and Slow



basqueJose Pizarro - Basque

Known for: Spanish restaurants Pizarro and Jose Pizarro and tapas bar Jose

One of the loveliest chefs in town, Jose positively radiates happiness and generosity. This book is a celebration of food from one of his favourite regions in Spain, the Basque country, and like the area itself, it is a book filled with sunshine.

Recipes include a classic tortilla de patatas spiced up with aubergine and blue cheese, hake cooked with fresh clams and salsa verde, and some wonderful desserts - the dark chocolate pot with olive oil and sea salt, with tejas de Tolosa is impressively simple to make.

Hardie Grant, £25

Find out more about Basque



Byron cookbookTom Byng and Fred Smith - Byron The Cookbook

Known for: Uber popular proper burgers joint Byron

Proper burgers, and an ever-magnificent mouthful. That's the catchline behind the restaurant group inspired by Tom Byng's American upbringing which became a real game-changer. The Byron team have already fed Britons with an astonishing 19 million burgers, and now their book reveals the secret of making a truly excellent burger, chosing the right cut of meat, grinding it yourself, and building the finished dish from bun to sauces and toppings.

You'll find a range of other classic American recipes here too, like chilli cheese fries and ice cream sundaes. Keep it simple, and get it right.

Quadrille, £25

Find out more about Byron the Cookbook



pickledFreddie Janssen - Pickled

Known for: By day - she's Marketing Manager for Lyle's restaurant in Shoreditch, but in whatever spare time she has, Freddie Janssen is pickling like crazy. You may have tried her food down at Druid Street market where she often has a stall selling both pickles and sandwiches. 

Freddie's book features all manner of delights from traditional to more modern pickles, even drinking vinegars and kombucha. Inside, you'll find recipes for Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Szechuan pickled watermelon, Soy pickled mushrooms, pickled dill cucumber, coffee pickled beetroots, bourbon chilli pickles and more.

Hardie Grant, £15

Find out more about Pickled



Grill, smoke BBQBen Tish - Grill Smoke BBQ

Known for: the Salt Yard restaurants, particularly Ember Yard which is the basis for this book

Salt Yard chef director has been showcasing the art of the chargrill at Ember Yard - intensifying all sorts of dishes with that addictive smoky rich flavour that takes it to a whole new level, from Iberico pork to butternut squash.

Now his book shows how it's done, even if you've only got the cheapest portable barbecue. He shows how you can use it as a simple grill - or an oven - you can even make a cake, given a few layers of foil.

Quadrille, £25

Find out more about Grill Smoke BBQ



SavourPeter Gordon - Savour

Known for: The Providores 

The tagline reads 'Vibrant salads - from simple to sublime': and this totally fits the description. Filled with such unique flavours and innovative ways of combining beautiful ingredients, it's a book you'll be using again and again. We've already tried making a couple, including the heritage tomatoes with an incredible mango avocado dressing which sings from the plate. next we're planning to make the baby beetroot, broad bean, goats curd and tarragon one.

Yotam Ottolenghi calls Peter's cooking "a massively delicious tummy hug", and we couldn't agree more. Salads will never be boring again.

Jaqui Small, £25

Find out more about Savour


Some more top recommendations

  • John Whaite - Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients - Kyle Books, £18.99. Much more than just desserts, although we defy you not to lust after the amaretto apricots with brown sugar meringue - this book is full of recipes you'll actually want to make. And they're eminently achievable - this one's a keeper.
  • Chetna Makan - The Cardamon Trail - Mitchell Beazley £20. Debut book by a Bake Off finalist, full of unique recipes which draws on her Indian heritage - there's lots of history and tradition mixed with exotic and aromatic herbs and spices. Puff pastries filled with fenugreek paneer? Yes please.
  • Elly Curshan - Fast days and Feast Days - Harper Thorsons £20. Full of inspiration for every day and special occasions - this is how to eat well, in all senses of the word.
  • Felicity Cloake - the A-Z of Eating - Fig Tree press £25. An ingredient for every letter of the alphabet, some complex, some far more straightforward. And you can be certain that all the recipes will definitely work - as well as tasting delicious.