4 cookbooks you need to own - last minute Christmas presents (and where to buy them)

Never  fear, these books are amazing presents that no one will know you only bought two days before Christmas...

This month, rather than digging up the latest releases, we thought we'd highlight four of our all time favourite cookbooks - ones that our chefs return to again and again to inspire their menus. Best of all, we've made sure they're available for Click and Collect at a central London bookstore, so you can run out for a last minute purchase before heading home to the family.

This is also our last blog post before the Christmas holidays - so merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone. We hope you all get a great rest and come back raring to go for the new year!

Now read on for some perfect presents.

From the master

Plenty More

by Yotam Ottolenghi

plenty-moreIn the last few years Ottolenghi has had so much influence on London's food scene, London's home cooks and Just Hospitality's own food it's hard to know where to start! Suffice to say we absolutely love him for his bold flavours, bright colours and commitment to using healthy, sustainable ingredients.

Plenty More is an entirely vegetarian cookbook that doesn't rule out using meat. Instead, it suggests that vegetable dishes can work brilliantly as a main event, while the meat can be a small, simple side. It's the kind of rethinking of how we eat that we all need, while at the same time introducing us to big flavours that are truly out of this world.

Available at:

Foyles - Charing Cross Road, Westfield Stratford City, London Waterloo Station

Waterstones - Leadenhall Market, London Wall, Islington, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Tottenham Court Road, St Pancras, Gower Street, Picadilly

Sweet tooth

Brooks Headley's Fancy Desserts

by Brooks Headley

fancy dessertsBrooks Headley is the man who has somehow made dessert feel rock and roll. Starting out as a drummer in punk bands, he moved into the chef world, eventually becoming pastry chef at the famous Del Posto in Manhattan.

While the food at his restaurant is completely formal, Fancy Desserts is where he cuts loose, giving you radical recipes full of unexpected ingredients.

This is the sort of fun we love to have with our food, and not only is the book brimming with fantastic ideas and recipes, it's also great for a chuckle.

The recipes are all designed to be simple but surprising. A must have for any dessert aficionados. It's not the easiest to get a hold of in London, but we did manage to dig up a copy in one bookshop. Snap it up fast!

Available at:

Foyles - Charing Cross

For the meatheads


by Richard H Turner

hog-front-coverApart from being an absolutely beautiful book, complete with velvet details on the cover and lovely illustrations inside, Hog is a celebration of an ingredient we absolutely love to cook with - pork.

Red meat is increasingly an ingredient we know we need to use sparingly. From a health, environment and animal welfare perspective, it's better to use it in small amounts. It makes sense, then, that when you do cook with pork you really make it count and let none of it go to waste.

Hog provides recipes from the most expensive cuts to the cheapest, making use of every part from loin to liver. For the real cooking nerds, it has instructions on how to make your own salami.

It will also show you how to bring out the absolute best from your meat with some brilliant sauces.

Available at:

Foyles - Charing Cross Road, Westfield Stratford City

Waterstones - London Wall, Trafalgar Square, Picadilly, King's Road, O2 Centre, Kensington, Hampstead, Clapham Junction, Walthamstow

Vegetarian superstar

A Modern Way to Cook

by Anna Jones a-modern-way-to-cookWe really love this vegetarian cookbook, which offers truly smart, sophisticated but straightforward recipes that anyone should be able to whip together.

The fantastic photography in A Modern Way to Cook will have anyone holding it in their hand desperate to give the recipes a try, while the section on quick flavour boosts is a must read for anyone who likes to improvise on the fly.

Even better than the meal ideas are the back to basics techniques - like instructions on making your own chickpea tofu or homemade paneer cheese.

This is more than just a cookbook, it's a manual in how to slow down and cook healthy meals from scratch - without taking hours over it.

Available at:

Foyles - Charing Cross Road, Westfield Stratford City, London Waterloo Station

Waterstones - London Wall, Islington, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Tottenham Court Road, St Pancras, Picadilly, Canary Wharf

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