Fall 2014 cookbooks - ready for preordering now! - Belle Année
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Fall 2014 cookbooks – ready for preordering now!

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I wouldn’t be the first person to observe the magic of a brick and mortar bookstore.  The tall stacks of colorful books and the rich cool air, sitting down in a quiet corner of the store and flipping through a pile of tomes dedicated to the culinary world. The smell of printed paper and the color saturated photographs giving you the confidence to believe that you can create something beautiful.   The way a stroll around a tall wooden shelf can easily lead you from regional cuisine to wine to travel, then to historical novels, Philipa Gregory and then Fifty Shades of Grey. 

*needle scratches on a record*  

Hold up!  This is wonderful and all but sometimes it just doesn’t work.  I barely have time to go to the grocery store, much less go to a bookstore and pick up a cookbook for inspiration.  So, on a recent night when I was supposed to be proofing photographs for an upcoming article about Jamaica and maybe watching a cheeky little Brooklyn Nine Nine (do you watch that show?  love it)  I also took a little virtual stroll through the up-and-coming cookbooks and WOW there is an embarrassment of riches coming to a store or computer screen near you.   These are the top ones that I will be totally obsessed with for the rest of the year….and beyond.  They are all going to be out in time for Christmas and keep in mind though you CAN preorder through Amazon (and I’ve linked to Amazon for all of these) you can also take that little list into your neighborhood book purveyor and ask them to order them for you too.  Most of them will be more than happy to.

prune-gabrielle-hamilton-coverPrune by Gabrielle Hamilton November 4, 2014
I loved Prune when I lived in NYC and the only thing that puts me off of this book is that it points out that Prune opened 15 years ago which makes me freakin’ old.  It was an excellent restaurant though, slow-food and all farm-to-table before those were food catch phrases.  Actually, before foodie, was even a term.  I have no idea what to expect (other than the 250 recipes and photos that the publisher tells us to expect) but I can’t imagine Ms. Hamilton would produce anything less than spectacular.

Baking Chez Moi Cover-thumb-330x431-2152Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere by Dorie Greenspan October 28, 2014
Dorie Greenspan is the author of Baking with Julia (selected by The Julia to write it) so, yeah, she’s got some cred.  Plus she’s written a few other books all James Beard or IACP award winners and NYTimes best sellers.  Her baking recipes work (an important part of any recipe compilation but especially important when baking) and her ideas are inspiring.  You need this one before you invite anyone over for the holidays.  Or Saturday.


A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson October 28, 2014
Do you remember that girl in high school who always had the best clothes, the nicest parents, the best looking boyfriend, got straight As, played lacrosse, was a cheerleader AND got a car for graduation?  That’s Mimi.  Her blog rockets past inspiring and into the realm of OH MY GOD DO PEOPLE REALLY LIVE LIKE THIS? WHY DON’T I?  WHO IS SHE?  So why wouldn’t you want her cookbook?  Order it.  Make an appointment with your therapist.

Plenty MorePlenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi October 14, 2014
Ottolenghi opened his eponymous “deli” in Notting Hill in 2002 and his first cookbook came 6 years later.  I remember people being surprised that he so willingly gave away all of his secrets, but, like Warren Buffet writing an investment book, just because you know how someone great does something, doesn’t mean you can do it as well. That is evidenced by the fact that even now, with three cookbooks out and one on the way, the line continues to form outside of his tiny little Notting Hill business.  His cookbooks at least mean you can try his fresh, interesting, vegetable-heavy, lively dishes without having to fly to London for lunch.  Which makes this, really, quite a bargain.

make.it.ahead_detail_ba90ea2d-b9f0-4369-8db5-3449f772954d_1024x1024Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten October 28, 2014
I am pretty sure I inspired Ina to write this with a blog posting a few months ago where I made a frittata she inspired in a two-part, make-ahead method.  Anyway, you’d have thought she had better ideas than just mine but I guess imitation is the most sincere form of flattery so I’ll let her go on this one.  Oh, and the fact that her cookbooks are, actually, the only cookbooks you ever, every need because they are perfect and awesome and seasonal and simple and and and and…


The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food by Charles Phan October 7, 2014
Charles Phan is the executive chef and owner of the award winning The Slanted Door in San Francisco.  He is a James Beard award winner and is considered the inventor of Modern Vietnamese food in the US.  I assume this book will be sort of Americanized Vietnamese with the same salty-sweet-spicy combos you find at The Slanted Door but with ingredients you can actually find in the grocery store (or at least Whole Foods).  I can’t be sure but Phan is such a force, I am willing to take the chance.


Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes by Dominique Ansel October 28, 2014
This dude invented the Cronut.  What?  Do you need another reason to take a chance on his book?  No.  No you don’t.

Homemade DecadenceJoy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats by Joy Wilson October 14, 2014.  
Her blog is adorable, her recipes extremely good.  Her website….it does the trick.  But a cook can not live by internet alone.  You need her recipes in hardback.  You want to sniff the pages and hold the weight and splatter the photos and dog-ear your favorites.  There is no way this is going to be anything less than your go-to dessert book for ages to come.

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Jessica Bride

I am a Notting Hill based lifestyle writer and Instagrammer. My reason for being is my family plus a combination of food + travel + art + life between London and New Orleans. Find me at @belleannee or covering arts & culture for @London.

  • Nick @ Bakingbeardy

    August 31, 2014 at 04:19 Reply

    Obsessed with cookbooks, so these are great suggestions!

    • jessica

      September 10, 2014 at 11:57 Reply

      Thank you Nick! I haven’t been this excited about new cookbooks coming out in a long time.

  • Aysegul - Ice

    September 29, 2014 at 17:55 Reply

    I simply cannot wait for Manger and Plenty More.
    Great list..

    • jessica

      September 30, 2014 at 09:30 Reply

      Thanks! Me too! I am so jealous that my friends in the UK have had it for a few weeks already!

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