Find inspiration for your next dinner party with these creative culinary books.
Just in time for the Crawleys’ big-screen debut, The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook brings the cultural phenomenon to the modern kitchen. Food historian Annie Gray presents entertaining background for the more than 100 period recipes, which are grouped by occasion (proper dinner, garden party, picnic) and household location – so you can prepare a menu with, say, caviar croutes and trout in port-wine sauce as served at the upstairs table, or dine like the downstairs staff on toad-in-the-hole and steamed treacle pudding. Gareth Neame, Downton’s executive producer and co-creator, writes the forward; a special section includes notes on hosting themed dinner parties. indiebound.org.
A Jewish family table in Odessa, Russian émigrés in Istanbul, and Bulgaria’s last fisherwoman all play a role in Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes, Through Darkness and Light. With thoughtful recipes, rich photography, and tales of remarkable local characters, author Caroline Eden offers rich insight into the interconnected culinary cultures of this enigmatic region. amazon.com.
Food critic Jeff Gordinier spent four years globe-trotting with René Redzepi, the innovative Danish chef and co-owner of Noma, named the world’s best restaurant four years in a row. Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World follows Redzepi – the restless perfectionist who pioneered the New Nordic cuisine – as he temporarily shutters his acclaimed restaurant and sets out on a quixotic quest that takes him from the Yucatán jungle to the Arctic Circle in search of new flavors, recipes, and inspiration. booksamillion.com.
Artists throughout history have expressed themselves using the medium of food. In A Feast for the Eyes: Edible Art from Apple to Zucchini, Carolyn Tillie leads readers on a tasty journey through the aesthetic alphabet. Luscious illustrations reveal the artistry behind creative culinary visions ranging from apple-head dolls and butter sculptures to South Dakota’s Corn Palace and Colombia’s Salt Cathedral. barnesandnoble.com.