's Top 12 Cookbooks of 2009

Need some guidance through the annual crop of cookbooks?

By Tricia Brown
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Pizza modo mio by world pizza champion John Lanzafame

Pizza modo mio by world pizza champion John Lanzafame [©Murdoch Books]

Lucio's Ligurian Kitchen by Lucio Galletto and David Dale
Bourke Street Bakery by Paul Allam and David McGuinness
Serendip - Peter Kuruvita: My Sri Lankan Kitchen
Vineyard Cookbook


Travel the world without leaving your very own loungeroom or kitchen with our selection of inspiring cookbooks happily reviewed by the team.

Apart from loving good food and cooking, and sharing it, another reason we review cookbooks is that they evoke such a wonderful sense of place with some books truly capturing the flavours and essence of people and place. And of course great food goes with great wines, at home and in the wine regions themselves.

Here are our picks for a dozen of the best recent cookbooks to cross our paths. And being generous folk, we'll make that a baker's dozen. Thanks and congratulations to the authors and the entire publishing teams for such an outstanding selection.


The Vineyard Cookbook - published by Viking Penguin

Our number one for 2009. Part cookbook part sumptuous armchair journey through some of Australia’s best-known wine regions, the Vineyard Cookbook is a culinary delight for any wine and food lover »


Serendip - Peter Kuruvita, published by Murdoch Books

Our number two. From its evocative cover – part rainforest scene part culinary collage, which unfolds into a wonderful surprise – the beautiful cookbook Serendip transports you at once to the humid tropics of Sri Lanka, home of tea, spices, exotic fruit and of course,  curries »


The following books are not in any particular order, choose according to your own tastes.


The Kitchen Garden Companion - Stephanie Alexander

Written by respected foodie Stephanie Alexander, there are now no more excuses for not taking produce to plate. With gardening advice and delicious recipes along with how to inspire the kids, it's sure to be a kitchen and garden companion for life »


Maggie's Kitchen - Maggie Beer

Regional cafes across Australia have followed her lead in producing delicious sampler platters showcasing their regions and now you can recreate the delicious home kitchen of  Maggie Beer with her nourishing cookbook » 


Songs of Sapa - Luke Nguyen

Join Luke Nguyen, co-owner and chef of the awarded Red Lantern restaurant in Sydney's Surry Hills, on his travels through his parent's homeland of Vietnam as he discovers the food, country and people for himself. Your inner traveller will be delighted and inspired »


Pizza modo mio - John Lanzafame

Pizza as fast food gets a bad wrap, but done well it's a highlight of Italian cuisine. Pizza Modo Mio, will transform the pizza making in your home. John Lanzafame won the best pizza chef titles in Australia and the world at The America's Plate competition. Now the book has been released in soft cover with a clay pizza baking stone included for the same price - it's a bargain and would make a great gift »


Byron Cooking and Eating - Steven Snow

There is something truly romantic about Byron Bay that makes visitors dream of running away. Open Steven Snow's Byron Cooking and Eating, and you can escape in your own kitchen » 


Lucio's Ligurian Kitchen - Lucio Galletto and David Dale

A beautifully photographed book featuring delicious recipes from Liguria, the birthplace of ravioli and pesto. Join Lucio Galletto in his journey along the beautiful Italian Riviera »


Bourke Street Bakery - Paul Allam and David McGuinness

From wholesome sourdough breads and tasty pies, to a broad range of delicious tarts, cakes and biscuits, this book reveals the secrets of the Bourke Street Bakery kitchen »


Salsa - Fine food with flair - Rhys Bawden & Bill Conway

Has winter stolen your mojo? Then get it back with some tropical culinary creations from Salsa - Fine food with flair - or, even better, take a trip to Port Douglas and experience Salsa Bar and Grill for yourself »


My Greek Family Table - Maria Benardis

Discover the spirit of kersma - the offering of food to those we love - with My Greek Family Table. This is Greek cuisine as it should be known: fresh, flavoursome and simple and perfect for our Australian summers »


A Guide to Fish - Hilary McNevin

If you care about what you eat and the impact of your choices on the planet, definitely buy this book. With everything you need to know about fish as well as imaginative recipes and wine and been recommendations »


French Lessons - Justin North

French Lessons by Justin North is not new, but remains an inspirational yet practical cookbook, which takes you through the basics of cooking to new culinary heights, at the hands of a master chef - one willingly and generously imparting his considerable knowledge »



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March 27th, 2010
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