Books for cooks – May/June 2022

Helen Stanton of Forum Books in Corbridge, The Bound, Whitley Bay, and The Accidental Bookshop, Alnwick, reviews the latest food titles

The Last Bite // Anna Higham
Celebrate a new approach to desserts, from ricotta ice cream and roast peaches in summer, to apple crisps and pear sorbet in the autumn, to rhubarb rice pudding and puff pastry in winter then milk meringues and prune purées in spring. These recipes make those who ‘don’t do dessert’ finish every last bite.

Sea Salt // Lea-Wilson Family
The Lea-Wilson family of Halen Mon sea salt on Anglesey present recipes which showcase this often misused ingredient. Learn how much salt to add and, crucially, when in the cooking process, to make tomatoes sing, to create a salty char for meat, and to make chocolate torte all the more chocolatey. An indispensable and delicious guide.

Home Food // Olia Hercules
In her most personal book yet, Hercules distills a lifetime of kitchen curiosity into her 100 most-loved recipes. She draws on her childhood in Ukraine; her years in Cyprus and Italy; simple, plant-centric family meals in London; and festive recipes gleaned along the way. These recipes have been hand written, handed down and shared among friends. Dotted with vignettes from fellow chefs and food writers, this extremely personal book offers irresistible recipes, charming storytelling and boundless heart.

Mezcla // Ixta Belfrage
Mezcla means mix, blend or fusion in Spanish and in her first solo cookbook Ixta Belfrage shares 100 bold recipes inspired by Italy, Brazil, Mexico and beyond.Creative, colourful and delicious, this is food for every day and every occasion. Quick, flavourful recipes such as giant cheese on toast with honey and urfa butter appear alongside others to spend more time over. They include chiles rellenos with salsa roja risotto, and prawn lasagne with habanero oil.

Easy // Chris Baber
Easy is the only cookbook you need to make every meal count without stressing in the kitchen. Whether it’s having a crowd of mates over for a weeknight dinner, recreating your favourite takeaway or rustling up a delicious brunch to start the weekend right, Hexham chef Chris has a dish for every occasion. Packed with straightforward recipes from spicy prawn tostadas and honey and harissa spatchcock chicken to veggie pilaf with fried halloumi and summer strawberry and raspberry crumble, this is delicious food that hits the spot every time.

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