A GOOD READ: Try cookbooks for season's eatings

Christmas is a week away and, if you’re like me, you’re looking forward to all of the fabulous food that accompanies the holiday season. Now is the time to get together with friends and family and share delicious meals and fabulous treats.

Fortunately for B.C. residents, we have a wide array of talented chefs and authors who have written cookbooks full of scrumptious recipes for us to enjoy. What follows is a collection of my favourites; not only are they great for holiday feasts but they also make lovely Christmas gifts.

If you’re from the Lower Mainland, chances are you’ve visited Granville Island Public Market. This Vancouver institution is full of fresh local produce, seafood and mouthwatering desserts from the many vendors. Now, longtime market owner-operators Judie Glick and Carol Jensson have released a new edition of their popular book, The New Granville Island Market Cookbook. This is a beautiful collection of creative recipes inspired by the market’s own produce and features colour photographs of their tasty creations. Recipes such as mushroom-stuffed pastry and penne with spot prawns will inspire you in the kitchen and impress your holiday guests.

Another popular local favourite is the Whitewater Cooks series by Shelley Adams. Adams is the former owner of Nelson’s Fresh Tracks Café at the Whitewater Ski Resort and has put together a great collection of her best loved recipes into her popular and critically acclaimed cookbooks. The author’s most recent release, Whitewater Cooks with Friends, is no exception. Entrees such as pulled pork enchiladas and whiskey smoked salmon chowder are not only absolutely delicious but unique as well. Another great element of this cookbook, and others in the series, is that the recipes are simple, easy and casual, with nothing overly gourmet or time-consuming. Coupled with great colour photographs and more than 70 mouthwatering recipes, it is a classic for the kitchen.

If you’re looking for something slightly more adventurous, try Vancouver Cooks 2 by the Chef’s Table Society, a non-profit group featuring 150 of B.C.’s best chefs and culinary professionals who are passionate about regional food, local produce and great cuisine. The society recently put together a collection of delicious recipes from notable local chefs including Rob Feenie, Melissa Craig of Barefoot Bistro in Whistler and Tojo Hidekazu of Tojo’s. The book is divided into four sections: local food, international flavours, emerging talents and pioneering chefs, giving aspiring chefs a wide variety of recipes to try.

Finally, our friends on the beautiful Gulf Islands have always been passionate about delicious food and with family on Gabriola Island, I know first-hand about their thriving foodie culture. In Seasonings: Flavours of the Southern Gulf Islands, authors Andrea and David Spalding have crafted a pleasant collection of yummy island-style dishes using local contributors and regional ingredients that are popular on the southern Gulf Islands. The islands are famous for their lamb, wine and cheese, and this book has no shortage of these specialties. You’ll find recipes for brie and squash pizza, rosemary-crusted rack of lamb and chocolate lavender cake among many others that truly embody the island lifestyle.

Now that your mouth is watering, come to the library and find a huge selection of cookbooks from all over the world on our shelves. Library staff are here to help, so feel free to ask us for more suggestions.

Happy holidays and bon appetit.

A Good Read is a column by Tri-City librarians that is published every Wednesday. Sarah Dearman works at Terry Fox Library in Port Coquitlam.



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