Cookbooks for Mother's Day

Our cookbook picks for Mother's Day.
Our cookbook picks for Mother's Day. Photo: Simon Schluter

Publishers go gangbusters in the lead-up to Mother's Day. We've scoured the offerings in an effort to find one that suits every mum. 

How to boil an egg
Rose Carrarini, Phaidon, $39.95

For: the cook who needs to master the basics.

British chef Rose Carrarini opened the much-loved Rose Bakery in Paris in 2002 with her husband Jean-Charles. Delightful, hand-drawn illustrations by botanical artist Fiona Strickland accompany Carrarini's 80-plus recipes, which celebrate this most versatile of ingredients.
Sample recipes: Tofu hot pot; Tomato, porcini and egg soup.

Korean cookbook: A twist on the traditional
Chung Jae Lee, New Holland, $34.95

For: the adventurous cook (or - hint, hint - the cook who could broaden her repertoire).

Korean-fusion is hardly old-hat as far as restaurant categories go, and Adelaide-based Chung Jae Lee (Mapo restaurant) is certainly doing his part to show that Korean cuisine has more to offer the world than barbecue and kimchi.
Sample recipes: Crispy skin pork belly, bean curd with lime chilli sauce, jaeynk gui, kimchi fried rice.

Toscano's family table
Joanne Toscano, Slattery Media, $50

For: the fresh-produce loving cook.

You'll never be stuck for ideas again: How to boil an egg, by Carrarini, Phaidon, $39.95.
You'll never be stuck for ideas again: How to boil an egg, by Carrarini, Phaidon, $39.95. Photo: Supplied

Who better to hold your hand when it comes to peeling a chestnut, or prepping an artichoke than an heiress-apparent to a Victorian greengrocer dynasty? There's a wonderfully detailed seasonal glossary up-back; everything you need to know about vegetable, nut and fruit varieties. But even better are the Italian recipes from the Toscano family knowledge bank.
Sample recipe: Mushroom ragu.

STREAT Cookbook
STREAT team, with a forward by Poh Ling Yeow, $45

For: the gold-hearted mum.

STREAT fights homelessness by training at-risk youth in hospitality and putting them to work in the organisation's three not-for-profit Melbourne cafes. This is a lovely hardcover cookbook filled with round-the-world recipes from STREAT's head chef, Rob Auger. Some of Rob's original recipes have been given a unique spit-and-polish by the program's graduates, whose life stories are interspersed throughout the 160 pages. See
Sample recipes: Soft shell crab "Po'Boy", Blackforest "cheesecake", Bread and butter pudding.


* STREAT's new cafe at Melbourne Central opens on Monday May 6th. It's located on the ground floor of the shopping centre - take the escalator down a level from the clock tower and head towards Melbourne Central train station.

Like grandma used to make
Rebecca Sullivan, Plum, $34.99.

For: the cook who wishes she could cook like her mum ... or her mum's mum.

Food writer and television presenter Rebecca Sullivan channels her inner-granny in this nostalgic cook and craft book. As well as ol' timey recipes for pickles and sweet things, there's tea cups, frilly aprons and doilies aplenty.

<i>Toscano's family table</i>, Slattery Media, $50.
Toscano's family table, Slattery Media, $50. Photo: Supplied

Simple Pleasures
Annabel Langbein, ABC Books, $49.99.

For: those who count themselves among Annabel Langbein's growing fan base.

The latest offering from New Zealand's free-range cook focuses on food for entertaining minus the fuss. There are plenty of envy-inducing photos of her gorgeous property at Lake Wanaka. The accompanying television series is due to air here in August 2013. See Annabel's website.
Sample recipes: Sesame beef patties, speedy mayonnaise, dill and caper mayonnaise.

Wholefood Baking

Jude Blereau, Murdoch Books, $45.

For: the health-nut or intolerant cook.

Looking beyong kimchi and barbecue: Chung Jae Lee's first cookbook available from New Holland, $34.95.
Looking beyong kimchi and barbecue: Chung Jae Lee's first cookbook available from New Holland, $34.95. Photo: Supplied

There's cake and biscuit recipe galore but forget refined white flours and sugar. West Australian Jude Blereau is the poster woman for "whole foods" - she wants to nourish tummies (and souls) with raw milk, millet flour and the like. Those who love copious glossy photos be warned; "the real is better" approach extends to the design of Blereau's books.

Also try:

Kitchen table memoirs, edited by Nick Richardson, ABC Books, $29.99.
The humble kitchen table is a launching pad for many family memories, good and bad. Here, some of Australia's favourite writers, cooks, comedians and chefs share theirs.

Seasonal Regional, by Sarah Robbins, published by Sustainable Table, $60.
This beautiful hardcover came out in late-2012 but rates another mention for its dedication to promoting the eat-local ethos and for some lovely recipes from Victorian producers. Order for Mother's Day for $50 (free delivery) until Thursday May 9th. See website.

<i>Like Grandma used to make</i>, Rebecca Sullivan, Plum, $34.99.
Like Grandma used to make, Rebecca Sullivan, Plum, $34.99. Photo: Supplied

Design your own cookbook

Myfoodbook allows you to design your own hardcover cookbook using family favourite recipes and get rid of all the torn newspaper and magazine clippings. See From $39.95.