The Competent Cook: Essential Tools, Techniques, and Recipes by Lauren Braun Costello is a neat compendium for the inspired beginner. The handy volume is a modern how-to that covers a remarkable amount of information while still managing to be thorough. Costello leads her reader though stocking the pantry and mastering basic techniques. I loved the illustrations. She even includes recipes for classic dishes as well as a few not-so-classic items that the newly accomplished cook will enjoy presenting with a flourish! This is a great gift for the aspiring chefs in your life.
Jasper’s Kitchen Cookbooks: Italian Recipes and Memories from Kansas City’s Legendary Restaurant by Jasper J. Mirabile, Jr. will make you salivate. It is full of the heartwarming food and tales that make fabulous family-run Italian restaurants a perennial favourite. The old family photographs and anecdotes in this book are priceless.Jasper Mirabile shares the origins of prized recipes; some of them date back decades. There are also variations on basic recipes and sauces to spark creativity. This master chef and restaurateur makes cooking joyful, and his book is a treasure trove for any Italian food lover.