The modern chef needs a cookbook that delivers delicious food catering to a wide variety of tastes in as little time as possible. Plus, the book should offer options for entertaining while understanding food allergies and specialty diets. Sound like too much to ask? Well, it kind of is. That’s why we narrowed the list down to these five must-have cookbooks that offer elegant and delicious recipes perfect for the modern chef.
For the chef who entertains
Very few women have the time or energy to prepare four-course meals for a dinner party all by themselves; but what chef wouldn't want to turn the cooking into the party? The new cookbook, Cook the Part by Karin Eastham offers step-by-step instruction for team-cooking feasts. The four-course menus feature worldly themes like the "Tuscan Farmhouse Dinner," "A Taste of Baja" and "Dinner in Athens," so guests and host alike can tantalize their taste buds while learning new cooking techniques. In addition to instructions that detail exactly who is supposed to do what and when, the book offers beautiful imagery and illustration that will make you want to leave it on display.
If you're the kind of chef who loves sending homemade soup to a sick friend or cookies to your children's teachers, then Gourmet Gifts by Dinah Corley is a must-have. In addition to 100 delicious recipes, she provides equally comprehensive instructions on how to wrap and present the gifts with style. So go ahead, give your fellow-chef friends whole, preserved lemons to use in Mediterranean meals or your ailing mother sachets of herbal tea, lovingly wrapped and delivered with a get-well note. They'll love the effort you put into your gift, and you'll love knowing the gift will be both enjoyed and admired.
For the gluten-free chef
Odds are that you know someone who has given up gluten for health or personal reasons. To give up gluten means to forfeit traditional breads, tortillas, cookies and cakes, but that doesn't mean there aren't delicious alternatives to these wheat-derived foods. In order to remain conscientious of your guests with special diets, you need to be prepared to offer gluten-free fare. So, where should you turn? To The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. While most other gluten-free cookbooks suggest the use of alternative grains like corn meal, quinoa or rice flour, Amsterdam focuses her cookbook on the use of almond flour. This flour is a high-protein, nutrient-dense alternative that adds moisture, flavor and texture to gluten-free recipes. Whether you're making chicken piccata or very vanilla cupcakes, this cookbook has got you covered.
All chocolate-lovers beware! The Choclatique cookbook by Ed Engoron provides a mouthwatering display of 150 decadent desserts all featuring creamy, smooth chocolate. While some may argue that a cookbook dedicated solely to chocolate isn't a "must have" — they'd be wrong. Every modern chef needs a few surprises up her sleeve and serving Spicy Chocolate Swirl Cakes, 3D Chocolate-filled Pancakes or Show-stopping Chocolate Pasta is sure to do the trick. Plus, the book looks good enough to eat, so you can leave it on your coffee table to enhance your guests' cravings.
Over the last 60 years, very few young brides have made it through their wedding day without receiving at least one copy of the Betty Crocker "Big Red" Cookbook. And while you may think this cookbook is a far cry from modern, the recently released new edition has come full-circle and is ready for today's Chef Mom. In addition to 1,500 recipes featuring 1,100 new photos, the book is separated into easy-to-locate sections like "Slow Cooker Suppers," "20 Minutes or Less" and "Vegetarian." After purchasing the book, you also have access to 400 bonus recipes and 85 bonus cooking videos on the Betty Crocker website. Talk about modern!
Watch: How to make a cookbook bookmark
Learn how to make a bookmark for your cookbooks with this tutorial.