You watch the Food Network Canada chefs whip up colourful plates on an array of shows, practically smelling those dishes wafting through the TV screens to where you’re taking mental notes from your couch. How often have you wished you could just take one tiny bite of what they’re serving up? Well here’s the good news: those plates don’t have to be virtual—not when these chefs have shared all of their best recipes in book form. From comfort food classics and lighter Italian fare, to baked goods and resto-inspired plates, the recipes featured in these books are sure to offer something delicious for everyone.
For Home Bakers
Anna Olson, Baking Day With Anna Olson (October 2020)
Who better to get your bake on with than Anna Olson? She’s back with a brand new cookbook that’s full of gems like “Gourmet Goo” Skillet Brownies, a no-bake cheesecake, and Toffee Pretzel Baklava. The best part is that each recipe is clearly marked to tell you how difficult it is, what kind of a time commitment you’re looking at, and which tools are required to pull it all off. Once again Olson takes the frustrating guesswork out of baking, and we’re reaping in all of the delicious rewards.
For the Fan of Big Flavours
Eden Grinshpan, Eating Out Loud (Sept 2020)
It’s no secret that this Top Chef Canada host loves fresh and bold Middle Eastern flavours, but now she’s accumulated all of her very best, 100 recipes and rolled them up into one lemon-infused cookbook. Unlike some cookbooks this one is all about using accessible ingredients and having fun in the kitchen, all while spending quality time with the family and maybe even getting a little messy. In other words, it’s 100 per cent the Eden we all know and love.
For Unexpected Fusion
Molly Yeh, Molly on the Range
Chinese, Jewish, and even a bit of Scandinavian inspirations combine for a world of new and delicious flavours in this Girl Meets Farm cookbook, which is full of Yeh-classics like Scallion Pancake Challah Bread and Cardamom Vanilla Cake. Of course we’re talking about Molly Yeh here, so while the recipes are top-notch, the stories about where they came from and the accompanying, drool-worthy photos are also 100 per cent part of the appeal.
For the Sporty Set
Eddie Jackson, Game Day Eats
If you love the combination of sports and snacks (or even just hanging around on a game day to get your fill of nachos), former NFL player Eddie Jackson has got the cookbook for you. This offering is packed with more than 100 tailgating-inspired recipes, giving you plenty of ideas and inspiration for when it comes to gathering with family and friends. This is food that can be cooked while spending time with your guests, who will be raving over the Citrus Beer Floats, Chipotle Rib Nachos, Jalapeño Honey Chicken Biscuit Sliders and Gochujang Short Ribs (try them here!), by the way. Make sure they come hungry.
For Those With Kids
Duff Goldman, Super Good Baking for Kids (Sept 2020)
Anyone with kids (especially young kids) will probably confirm that baking is an activity that typically keeps them occupied for longer than 10 minutes. Probably because there are delicious rewards to eat at the end. Duff gets it and he’s embracing it with this upcoming cookbook that’s designed to help kids create in the kitchen. From Confetti Snickerdoodles to Unicorn Cupcakes, this pack of recipes is completely kid-friendly, but it should make parents happy too. Not only will you get to eat up all of that yummy dessert pizza, but you’ll be happy to know your kid is picking up all kinds of knowledge in the fact-filled sidebars, too. For more cooking tips, check out 10 culinary skills to teach kids by 10.
For Family Style Meals
Rob Feenie, Rob Feenie’s Casual Classics
Seasonal, simple and super delicious are the three prongs to this Iron Chef Canada’s cookbook. The book takes inspiration from the family-style menu at Feenie’s restaurants, and offers up recipes for classics like roasted tomato sauce and poached chicken. Sure there are a few twists in there, like quinoa jambalaya and barbecued duck spring rolls, but every single recipe was approved by Feenie’s kids. And everyone knows that at home, kids are the real diners you need to impress.
For Home-Cooked Lovers
Lynn Crawford, At Home With Lynn Crawford
This Iron Chef Canada and Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor is all about taking seasonal ingredients and transforming them into something great. We love that all of her plates also happen to have a Canadian twist. In this classic cookbook Crawford dishes out 200 of her favourite recipes so that you always have inspiration in terms of what to cook up next. From fresh breakfasts and quick lunches to one-pot dinners and plenty of sides, salads and desserts, this one is practically a bible in our kitchens.
For Elevating the Basics
Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Not only is this full-colour cookbook bright and fun, but it’s full of tried-and-true recipes from The Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond. This is her second cookbook and as such it totally demonstrates the evolution of her cooking. Rather than traditional comfort foods, Ree gives us elevated basics—think lasagna soup, blueberry ricotta crostini, or teriyaki shrimp and pineapple parcels, for starters. With more than 100 dishes to choose from, you definitely won’t go hungry.
For Those Craving World Flavours
Padma Lakshmi, Padma Lakshmi: Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day
Sure, we all know Padma as the host of Top Chef, but in the kitchen she also walks the walk. With this cookbook Padma is bringing worldly flavours to kitchens everywhere, proving that you don’t need to be a globetrotter to enjoy exotic flavours and new ingredients. From Tangy Jicama Salad and Couscous with Merguez Sausage, to Hot and Sour Fruit Chaat and Barbecue Korean Short Ribs, there are over 200 easy recipes to choose from in this international tome. The hardest part will be choosing which one to start with.
For Restaurant Goers
Mark McEwan, Great Food at Home
Sure, there are plenty of prolific chefs across Canada who have managed to transform restaurants into a special dining experience. But how many of them have also parlayed their eateries into a successful grocery chain? Top Chef Canada‘s Mark McEwan knows how to recreate fancy restaurant dishes at home without spending all day in the kitchen, and in this book he helps us to do the same. Some recipes call for a few “fancy” ingredients (if you consider oxtail and squab fancy), but isn’t that the whole point, to recreate dishes at home that you wouldn’t typically make? In that vein, this book is all about adventure.
For Comfort Food Seekers
Guy Fieri, Guy Fieri Family Food
If you’re looking for good old fashion comfort food made for the entire family, come on down to Flavourtown with this All-American cookbook. The Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host doles out dishes that are great for the weekends and weeknights alike, bringing total and complete comfort through recipes like Buffalo Chicken Soup, Roasted Chicken Spring Rolls, and Balsamic BBQ Short Ribs. As if that doesn’t sound delicious enough, Guy also throws in “All Hands on Deck” recipes, which encourages kids of all ages to get involved in the kitchen too. Now that’s what we call a family affair.
For Wannabe Cake Decorators
Cynthia Stroud, Pretty Gorgeous Cakes
Everyone knows that you eat with your eyes first, but Great Chocolate Showdown‘s Cynthia Stroud takes that thought one step further with these seriously jaw-dropping cake ideas. Throughout the book, the self-taught, multi-award winner shares all of her very best tips so that ambitious home bakers can also whip up beautiful and trendy cakes at home. Whether you’re a beginner or a full-blown baker, this is the book that all wannabe cake artists need to have by their side.
For the Classic Italian Lovers
Giada De Laurentiis, Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita
What’s better than receiving a bunch of insider tips on how to whip up the perfect Italian meal from our favourite Italian TV chef? How about a cookbook that’s not only brimming with those tips (and recipes), but that also happens to have been shot in Rome? This book from 2018 is Giada at her best: think big flavours and authentic dishes infused with some of her signature fresh flavours. Does Grilled Swordfish with Candied Lemon Salad strike your fancy? How about Fennel Upside Down Cake? This tome has it all and more so that you too can live the Dolce Vita.
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