A list in progress…
“Delia Smith’s Christmas,” by Delia Smith
I think this was my first ever cook book. I was inspired to cook a traditional Christmas feast after watching her wonderful, mouth-watering and heart-attack-inducing recipes on the BBC TV series. Delia has been one of my very favourite cooks ever since. All her recipes are clear and she champion’s good, traditional English cooking.
“Delia’s Summer Collection,” by Delia Smith
Lovely summery English cooking (yes, I know that seems like a paradox). This book has my most favourite fruit dessert: “A Terrine of Summer Fruits” which translates to mixed berry terrine in sparkling rosé jelly – so wonderful on a hot summer’s day, I have made this for Christmas dessert several times.
“The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook,” by Ina Garten
I love this book for entertaining and have cooked at least half the recipes in it. I also love Ina’s philosophy of entertaining (good food, good friends and enjoying both).
“Barefoot Contessa Parties,” by Ina Garten
This also has many great recipes and a few handy entertaining tips.
“Nigella Bites” by Nigella Lawson
This was my introduction to the lovely Nigella. I love the way she writes with such warmth, friendliness and passion for food. There are times reading her recipe books that I feel as though we are great friends and I could just call her up for advice.
I also love “How to be a Domestic Goddess,” “Feast”: Food That Celebrates Life” and “Forever Summer.”
“The Naked Chef” and “The Return of the Naked Chef” by Jamie Oliver
This is Jamie at the start of his career where he displays raw passion for great food. I have numerous favourite recipes from these books but there is a caveat: Jamie wrote the recipes as he presented them in the television series and uses his own jargon here and there rather than actual measurements so they aren’t for the beginner cook. If you are a Jamie fan and want something with clear instructions and family-friendly recipes then I recommend “Jamie’s Dinners.”