Jamie Oliver graces our bookshelves with his new Jamie’s Food Revolution (Hyperion, $35), which continues the crusade to get people to eat good fresh food that they’ve prepared themselves. And as the testimonials from hair stylists, a doorman, a beef farmer, and others reflect, no special skill is needed. Oliver’s recipes are simple, but they’re not just the classics that every cook should learn. There’s the perfect pork roast, but there’s also macaroni and cauliflower cheesebake and vindaloo. This book has something for all tastes and is a good gift for those cooks who are willing to sign the pledge and cook a dish a week.
One of the things I’ve always liked about Nigella Lawson is the way she makes delicious food while just having fun with her family and friends. With Nigella Christmas (Hyperion, $35), Nigella takes the worrying and fretting out of the holiday season. She gives you the traditional recipes for preparing a great turkey dinner, but she also offers recipes for canapés and elegant desserts, and gives reassuring tips on preparing things ahead of time. The domestic goddess weighs in on everything from edible ornaments to the perfect vegetarian Christmas. Geared to help with the most stressful time of the year, Nigella Christmas may be the book you pull out when you’re planning celebrations throughout the year.
A former co-worker once said that a really good cookbook rises to the level of art. If you believe that, you’ll want a copy of Venezia (Andrews McMeel, $34.99), by Tessa Kiros, on your shelf. I know Julia Child and French cooking are all the rage right now, but let’s not forget about Italian food! Venezia presents Venetian fare in a way that will make you want to start cooking immediately—or to book a flight to Venice. Either way, you’re a winner. You could even put this book on your coffee table; there are plenty of gorgeous photos of Venice to look at. So go ahead, open Venezia and take yourself away (gastronomically, photographically) to beautiful Venice.