4 cookbooks you need to buy this month - waits, woods and waistlines

For our January reading we're looking forward to a healthy 2017 with plenty of the great outdoors

If there's a theme to the books we're reading at JH in January, it's "planning ahead" - appropriate for the start of the year! From Managing Director Dean we have a cookbook dedicated to eating healthily the fun way, Director of Food Matt is preparing himself for the spring foraging season and Health and Food Safety Manager Sarah is increasing her repertoire of easy and practical dishes before marching into parenthood.

Meanwhile, I just want to cook some delicious Persian food. Okay yes, that last one doesn't fit the theme at all, but the book is great. It had to go in.

Make sure you add these books to your shelves asap!

From the master

Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet

by Tom Kerridge

Recommended by Dean Kennett, JH Managing Director

dopamine-dietTom Kerridge has always been one of Just Hospitality’s heroes. Although he’s one of the UK’s best chefs, he puts deliciousness and making his customers happy above trying to look big and clever. He also keeps a kitchen culture that’s positive and supportive with no space for shouting egos - something we also value hugely in our own kitchen.

Now there’s even more reason to love him. His “dopamine diet” aims to help people lose weight without giving up the things they really love about food. Rather than eliminating fat, he focusses on reducing the amount of starchy carbs and increasing the amount of fresh vegetables in your diet - so your food can still give you that perfect warm fuzzy feeling.

Allowing people to eat both healthily, deliciously and without stress is a big part of what we do and is the main influence behind our current #JustOneChange campaign, so we’ll be snapping this one right off the shelves.

Buy now

For the wild at heart

Edible Mushrooms: A Forager's Guide to the Wild Fungi of Britain and Europe

by Geoff Dann Recommended by Matt Byne, Director of Food

edible-mushrooms-geoff-dannOkay, okay, this isn't actually a cookbook. But we’ve been waiting for the release of this, from foraging expert and friend of JH Geoff Dan, for a long time, and in October it finally arrived. Ever since Geoff treated us to an incredible tour through the forests of Kent to learn about the UK’s delicious wild mushrooms and cook up a few ourselves, this book has been at the top of our must-read list. Now it’s finally come out!

Matt’s reading it at the moment in preparation for the spring mushroom season. He’s been singing its praises and says it’s incredibly well written and well explained. You can see from a quick preview of the book that it’s full of lovely illustrations and well as clear descriptions of all sorts of wild mushrooms. So get a copy and get to the woods!

Buy now

For the beginners

200 Slow Cooker recipes

by Sara Lewis

Recommended by Sarah Connor, Health and Food Safety Manager slow-cooker-recipes Sometimes you want a novel, and sometimes you just need a dictionary, so here's one for the practically minded. This book on the topic comes with high praise from soon-to-be-parent Sarah.

She recently bought a slow cooker at home and plans to make big batches at the weekend so she isn't left frantically cooking up meals in the week while she adapts to parenthood. 200 Slow Cooker Recipes might be short on the bells and whistles, but with it on your shelf you'll never be groping for ideas on what to do with your leftovers.

Plus anyone who grew up with a Hamlyn all colour cookbook on their parents' shelves know these recipes are completely reliable.

We absolutely love a good slow cook at JH, and often leave dishes cooking at low temperatures in the oven overnight, ready for lunchtime service the next day (looking at you, pork shoulder), so we definitely approve. This is also a great approach for busy people who want to eat well during the week, and a simple book like this, from the classic cookbook publishers Hamlyn, is a brilliant place to get started if slow cooking is still completely new to you.

Buy now

For story lovers

The Saffron Tales

by Yasmin Khan Recommended by Ellen Buddle, Content Editor saffron-tales-ccokbookThe Saffron Tales is a book all about Iran - not just the food, though there's plenty of that, but also the people and cultures that formed its vibrant and thrilling cuisine. As well as recipes the book is full of stories from author Yasmin Khan's crowdfunded trip to Iran to document the country's amazing food culture.

If you love to cook but are light on technical skill, The Saffron Tales is a perfect introduction to Persian cuisine. The recipes are straightforward and the results are always delicious. We especially recommend the fenugreek and onion soup, which you poach an egg in to add an amazing richness.

The best thing about Persian food is that it's a cuisine with plenty of familiar flavours, but with combinations that are still new and exciting to us here in Britain. Learn the recipes, learn about the culture, and eat very, very well.

Buy now

Managed to nab a copy of any of these? After some other book recommendations? Stop by Twitter and we'll see if we can help @JustHospitality