May 12, 2022


Final Fantasy Cook BookOne of my favorite things about working in a bookshop is that I can enjoy seeing, handling, and admiring a great number of books I would never meet if I were only a book collector and didn’t do this as my career. Cookbooks are one of the biggest culprits here - I don’t collect them (I’m a competent home cook but not a chef), buy them, or read them. But I love to look at them!

I’ve noticed over the past decade or so (maybe longer, I don’t have a specific date in mind) that the quality of the entire genre has really gone up; it’s common now for a cookbook to be just as beautiful as an art book, with incredible photography and top shelf graphic design. Gone are the days of typeset notecards spiral bound together; gone are the plain tomes packed with as many recipes as possible in the smallest font still legible. (Gone are the microwave cookbooks, thankfully.)

Alton BrownWhen recipes first became available online, the naysayers talked about how “no one would need cookbooks at all anymore.” Granted, being able to look up recipes is super convenient (especially for people like me who lose the notecards constantly). But instead of the internet replacing cookbooks, the internet has freed up home cooks to become book collectors.

Your cookbook collection used to be a crucial reference library - a place you kept the information you need to do the task of cooking. If you lost a recipe it was actually a pretty big deal to replace it (I remember calling my mom in a panic around the holidays for this exact reason). With the vast availability of recipes online, a personal collection of cookbooks is less crucial than it once was.

Root to BloomWith this change, cookbook collectors have gradually become more likely to keep a cookbook for its own intrinsic beauty than for its practical use. As a result, publishers have shifted from focusing on providing All The Information to providing A Really Cool Collectible. 

As both a bookseller and as a book collector, I’m here for this. Cookbooks with colored page edges, heavy paper, and gilded spines? Yes please! Cookbooks themed around nerdy world building like Final Fantasy or Hero’s Feast ? Keep ‘em coming! Volumes of recipes from Hunger Games and Game of Thrones? Okay, that’s a little weird… but I still like paging through them. 

With this in mind I've rounded up some staff favorites for you to browse:

EJames Petersonvery Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking was recommended by Rachael, who says that "every single recipe I've made has turned out, the food is cheap and delicious and veggie heavy but very tasty." I can't wait to try this one out... 

I have a friend who's a chef, and he recommends Alton Brown (an easy read with a tv show tie in) as well as James Peterson (intermediate, with good tips and tricks for when you're ready to move beyond the basics). 

Hello CupcakeMy personal favorite is Hello Cupcake, a guide to decorating desserts without fancy baking equipment. I'm not much of a baker, so it is really fun to be able to follow these beginner friendly recipes for decorating cute cupcakes using common items that aren't hard to come by (you don't even need a frosting bag!). 

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Root to Bloom: A Modern Guide to Whole Plant Use Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781743793442
Published: Hardie Grant - March 5th, 2019

Root to Bloom equips readers with the knowledge and tools to grow, eat, and celebrate every edible part of the plant. The book explores the lesser-used parts of a plant that are often snubbed in favor of the produce we've come to expect.

Cheese Sex Death: A Bible for the Cheese Obsessed Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419753541
Availability: Warehouse, In Stock | Usually Ships in 1-5 Days | New
Published: Abrams - October 26th, 2021

From lauded cheesemonger and creator of the popular blog Cheese Sex Death, a bible for everything you need to know about cheese

For many people, the world of artisan cheese is an intriguing but intimidating place. There are so many strange smells, unusual textures, exotic names, and rules for serving.

Kricket: An Indian-inspired Cookbook Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781784881580
Published: Hardie Grant - August 7th, 2018

In Kricket, Will Bowlby shares over 80 mouth-watering recipes, combining the essential spicing of Indian food with modern, seasonal ingredients. Drawing on inspiration from all over India – Goa, Bombay, Hyderabad – Will cleverly and expertly reinvents this classic and historic cuisine into accessible and elegant meals that are perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Catalonia: Spanish Recipes from Barcelona and Beyond Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781784881160
Published: Hardie Grant Books - October 17th, 2017

In Catalonia, Jose Pizarro shows readers how to create some of the best-loved dishes from the Catalonian region at home. Dispelling the myth that creating tapas and traditional Spanish fare is scary, he shows us how to take the experience of eating in the little bars of Barcelona to your own kitchen.

S is for Sri Lankan (Alphabet Cooking) Cover Image
By Quadrille, Kim Lightbody (Photographs by)
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ISBN: 9781849499620
Published: Quadrille Publishing - April 4th, 2017

This brand-new series focuses on creating a collection of must-have books filled with 50 of the most on-trend dishes from around the world. The series will kick off with S is for Sri Lankan and K is for Korean, which will introduce the ultimate recipes from each cuisine, all in a highly desirable and on-trend gift package.

Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes, Through Darkness and Light Cover Image
ISBN: 9781787131316
Availability: Warehouse, In Stock | Usually Ships in 1-5 Days | New
Published: Quadrille Publishing - May 21st, 2019

Winner of the Art of Eating Prize 2020

Winner of the Guild of Food Writers' Best Food Book Award 2019

Winner of the Edward Stanford Travel Food and Drink Book Award 2019

Winner of the John Avery Award at the André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards for 2018

Shortlisted for the James Beard International Cookbook Award

Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393089042
Availability: Warehouse, In Stock | Usually Ships in 1-5 Days | New
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 4th, 2013

A James Beard Award Winner

"A must-have for anyone who wants to cook Chinese food at home, home cooks and professionals alike." David Chang, Momofuku

The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Cookbook: The Essential Culinarian Guide to Hydaelyn Cover Image
ISBN: 9781647225117
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Published: Insight Editions - November 16th, 2021

Travel through the exciting culinary world of FINAL FANTASY XIV.

Journey through the rich culinary landscape of FINAL FANTASY XIV. Featuring favorite flavors from across Hydaelyn and Norvrandt and easy-to-follow instructions, this tome provides numerous tips on how to make the most of your ingredients.

Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, Fourth Edition Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544819825
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Published: Harvest - November 7th, 2017

The acclaimed authority on sauce making, completely updated and, for the first time, featuring invaluable step-by-step color photographs.

Every good cook knows that a great sauce is one of the easiest ways to make an exemplary dish.

Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618829255
Availability: Warehouse, In Stock | Usually Ships in 1-5 Days | New
Published: Harvest - April 24th, 2008

Witty, one-of-a-kind, imaginative cupcake designs using candies from the local convenience store, no baking skills or fancy pastry equipment required. Spotting the familiar items in the hundreds of brilliant photos is at least half the fun.


Good Eats: The Final Years Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419753527
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Published: Abrams - April 26th, 2022


An all-new collection of must-have recipes and surprising food facts from Alton Brown, drawn from the return of the beloved Good Eats television series, including never-before aired material

This long-anticipated fourth and final volume in the bestselling Good Eats series of cookbooks draws on two

"Here's some advice. Stay alive." --Haymitch Abernathy

When it comes to The Hunger Games, staying alive means finding food any way possible.

The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew - More Than 150 Recipes from Westeros and Beyond (Unofficial Cookbook) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781440538728
Availability: Warehouse, In Stock | Usually Ships in 1-5 Days | New
Published: Adams Media - April 18th, 2012

An Epic Culinary Journey to the Heart of Westeros!

Eat like a Lannister. Brew spirits to warm you in the coming winter. Treat guests to exotic sweets and alchemy-inspired cocktails. With this collection of hearty meals inspired by George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, it's all possible!

Disco Cube Cocktails: 100+ innovative recipes for artful ice and drinks (Fancy Ice Cube and Cocktail Recipe Book, Bartending and Mixology Book) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781452180816
Availability: Warehouse, In Stock | Usually Ships in 1-5 Days | New
Published: Chronicle Books - April 7th, 2020

Disco Cube Cocktails is a '70s-inspired cocktail book based on the magical properties of ice.

With 100+ recipes for artful ice and the drinks that go with them, home bartenders can learn new icy creations to elevate any classic drink, infuse new flavor into a sipper as the ice melts, or impress friends at a party with a frosty punch bowl.