Cookbook Dreams

The last week I've been busy adding 2018 titles to the library, editing them, writing up a few promotions and wishing for more time to cook from all the great cookbooks that I already own. Even with my embarrassment of riches in the cookbook department, I keep thinking about all the books that I wish would be written.

Every few weeks I google, search Amazon and look for news of upcoming books from some of my favorites, the Baked boys, Gesine Prado, Dominique AnselSusan Feniger and others I cannot mention as the still-in-effect restraining orders prevent me from mentioning them. Cookbook stalker at your service is my new motto.

If I think about these things, perhaps you do as well? Tell me about your cookbook wishes. What chef are you obsessed with, what blogger? Is there a certain subject that you wish would be covered. I'll share a few of my dream cookbooks and I look forward to reading your comments. 

First up on my list is Ray Garcia, chef of Broken Spanish in Los Angeles. Garcia is a native Angeleno and draws his culinary inspiration from the city's rich culture, the wealth of Southern California produce, and his classic training (and may I add he's adorable). He was recently on an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate and his smile won me over almost as much as the Chicharrón the show was featuring. 

Ray, please write a cookbook, pretty please and come to Denver to sign a copy for me - feel free to bring a Chicharrón. Broken Spanish is on my bucket list, I must get there. Ray's photo from the website of Broken Spanish

Another chef that my friend Marc told me about recently is Dong Zhenxiang. This legend opened a DaDong restaurant in New York last month. The original location in Beijing has been wildly popular for thirty years with a chain of satellite restaurants throughout China. Dong has written one book, in Chinese, entitled Da Dong Artistic Conception of Chinese Cuisine. A publisher needs to translate this book pronto or I need to learn Chinese and buy it. Off to visit Rosetta Stone. 

Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes are the owners of The Levain Bakery. The Levain chocolate chip walnut cookie is the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. It is perfection. Keebler elves have glossy shots of this cookie on their treehouse walls as it is the cookie that all cookies strive to be. 

We no longer live in the greatest city in the world but we can still order these crumbly gifts from the heavens directly from Levain (photo from Levain site). Since I wrote this article, if I order cookies will it be a tax deduction? 

Mark Israel, the owner of the Doughnut Plant in New York needs to spill his doughnut recipes for us displaced New Yorkers who can't travel into the city on a Saturday for a doughnut and cookie run. Who needs beer when you can have doughnuts, am I right? Although, Voodoo Doughnuts has been in Denver for a while and we've suffered the endless line - they were pretty damn good - but nothing compares to the Doughnut Plant. 

Rick Gencarelli of Lardo in Portland needs to get busy on a book. Stop flaunting your great food - share with us. Share. Rick co-wrote Cooking With Shelburne Farms: Food and Stories from Vermont but now we need Lardo: The Cookbook.

I also have other cookbook wishes. I wish that Zoë François would do a cookbook devoted to desserts because the sweet plates she shares on social media look divine. Holiday and Celebration Bread Book will be published in October and maybe she can start that dessert cookbook after that! Do you hear me, Zoë?

Mette Blomsterberg is an incredibly talented pastry chef who I've been following for the last year or two. She was kind enough to send me her gorgeous Danish cookbooks which provide a world of visual inspiration. I hope soon her books will be released in English because the rest of the world needs Mette in their lives. Follow her cafe on Facebook to find inspiration from the incredible creations she shares. 

A few other books I would buy include a book devoted to canelés including savory versions (I love Cannelés de Bordeaux: Make them at Home) but I would like a book focusing on unique flavors that also included other little baked parcels such as friands and financiers. 

This is the digital age - I get it - but I love books so I wish that some of the larger newspaper food sections would do a best of the best compilation. Maybe they have? I need to start googling.

Tell me your cookbook dreams in the comments, please - so I can add more to my ever growing list. 

10 Comments

  • EmilyR  on  1/11/2018 at 10:25 AM

    I love all of the NYC/Brooklyn connections. I definitely left my heart there, too, so I would love any of those to come to fruition... even just one. It would be a big pipe dream, but I'd love if Caputo's Italian bakery on Court Street in Carroll Gardens made a book for their unpretentious breads (especially the lard bread) and their divine New York cheesecake, which is a steal. You have no idea how much joy you and your site bring on the daily basis. Thanks for such a simple, yet effective way of combining food and happiness! It's such a creative resource of inspiration that's always evolving. You've also inspired me to check out Broken Spanish on my next night out, so thank you, Jenny! If I can begin to enjoy Los Angeles even 1/10th of my love for New York then I will be set.

  • Jenny  on  1/11/2018 at 1:03 PM

    Enjoy! Caputo's yes I've heard that name before.

  • IslandgirlOK  on  1/11/2018 at 1:09 PM

    Right now I am dreaming of those cookies :) One of my favorite Thai Cookbooks is The Bangkok Restaurant Cookbook written by Lida Taiclet Evans. It was only sold in her restaurant, and my dream is that she would come out of retirement, and move back to Oklahoma from Thailand so could teach me her technique for Peeg Gai (stuffed chicken wings). I have the recipe, but the technique for this is pretty tough, and I have never been able to get it quite as good as hers. During my last visit with her before she retired, I asked her ”Lida how the heck do you stuff chicken wings?!” She replied “You buy very big chicken wings!” Lol.

  • readingtragic  on  1/11/2018 at 1:20 PM

    There is a cafe in Marrickville, Sydney, called Two Chaps - I have been casually suggesting a cookbook on Facebook for some time; this place makes incredible doughnuts, fantastic hash browns and the most amazing sourdough crumpets - everything they make is brilliant, the place is always packed, and it’s not exactly around the corner from my house, either...

  • Jane  on  1/11/2018 at 3:03 PM

    My favorite local restaurant is Lumière in West Newton, MA. The owner and chef, Michael Leviton, sold the restaurant to one of his sous-chefs a couple of years ago and one of the things Michael said he wanted to do was write a cookbook. No sign of it yet but I'm hoping it does appear. The food at Lumière was amazing - not pretentious or cheffy but always interesting so well suited to home cooking, though probably not every night. And Michael is another cute chef!

  • vlgessford  on  1/11/2018 at 3:36 PM

    I just watched a rerun this week of Bobby Flay's Throwdown featuring the Levain Bakery chocolate chip cookies! Of course, the ladies won! Their cookie is a massive, meal-in-itself, kind of treat. The funniest part of the show happened when Bobby Flay compared his paper thin cookie to their mile-high yet perfectly baked-through cookie. HUGE difference. Can you really call theirs a cookie? It needs its own classification. Love the blog - keep it up!!

  • elenasimona  on  1/11/2018 at 4:55 PM

    Yes! Remember when Ottolenghi had this small lunch spot for a short while, Sesame? I wished they'd write a cookbook in this style. Also, a beautifully and professionally made Kurdish cookbook...I think I have all that are out in English and German, but none of them is all that. A baking book by famous pastry house Demel in Vienna (there have been some in the past, but they are all out of print and not as visually pleasing as I'd like), and last but not least, I could die happy if there was a Persian pastry book by blogger and pastry chef Zozobaking.

  • verorenee  on  2/11/2018 at 1:17 PM

    I went to Omnivore books yesterday and picked up Cedric Grolet's Fruits. It was completely beautiful and completely in French. I now need an English translation desperately.

  • Lepa  on  2/12/2018 at 10:41 PM

    I love to bake but most of the recipes in my baking books go unused. I don't like to make really sweet cakes with icing or pies or cookies or puddings. I love to bake non-fussy breakfast quick breads that are low(ish) in sugar and full of fruit, nuts, seeds and with interesting flavor profiles (cardamom, citrus, almond, nutmeg, fennel). Breads that are simple enough for weekday breakfast and taste good with a smear of butter and marmalade. I occasionally find a loaf like this all alone in a cookbook but I'd love to have a book full of them!

  • Agaillard  on  3/5/2018 at 1:57 PM

    I love many cookbooks but the one I wish to write (and might do) is the French regional cookbook - so many dishes unknown : truffade, pounti, kouign amann, quenelles lyonnaise, tariflette, tarte au munster, tarte aux noix, pissaladiere...etc.

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