For the past nine years, Appetite for Books has been pretty much one of the best sources for cookbooks in the city. For those unfamiliar with this Westmount staple, besides a fantastic selection of books, they hold cooking classes, demonstrations, tastings and dinners, right there in the store's decked-out kitchen. The owner, Jonathan Cheung, is a former chef and avid home cook who also happens to be one half of the popular food truck outfit, Chaud Dogs.
Navigating the world of cookbooks is always a daunting task because it's hard to know what's actually useful and filled with good recipes, and what's just a glorified coffee table book with nice pictures. That's why we asked Cheung, our very own Montreal cookbook expert, to fills us in on his favourites this summer. These are his top picks and why they're worth checking out:
Pickles Pigs and Whiskey by John Currence
This is great Southern food and makes me think of hot weather. The flavours are complex, spicy and unique. Try the NOLA Barbecue Shrimp. Interesting fact: It doesn't touch the barbecue.
Ceviche by Martin Morales
A great Peruvian book to quench the warm Montreal summer. Not just great ceviche recipes, but really fresh salads and perfect recipes for the grill.
Beerology by Mirella Amato
This one has really helped me understand what beer to choose to drink this summer. Great for any beer connoisseur.
7000 Islands By Yasmin Newman
I have a soft place in my heart for Filipino cooking. It's one of the most unrecognized Asian cuisines out there. But if you love the sour/salty element to cooking, with a mix of Chinese, Thai and Spanish flavours, this is the one for you.
Moosewood Restaurant Favorites by The Moosewood Collective
It's sumer and vegetable season is in full swing, so having a good vegetarian cookbook in your repertoire is a must. Moosewood books are proven to be delicious and easy. Their new one is exactly that.
The Simple Art of Vegetarian Cooking by Martha Rose Shulman
Another easy vegetarian cookbook from NY Times columnist Martha Rose Shulman. Great for basic vegetarian meals that focus on seasonal ingredients. I really like the helpful tips in each recipe that suggests how to switch ingredients. A great weeknight book.
Serious Barbecue by Adam Perry Lang
This is an all time favourite barbecue book. Its not easy though. It's exactly what it says it is in the title, "serious barbecue". I don't think anything in this book takes less that a day to prepare. But the final product is mind blowing.
The Japanese Grill by Tadashi Ono
Something a little different for the grill. I'm more partial to asian flavours, so this book is right up my alley. I love the section on Yakitori. The world needs more meat-on-sticks.
Salads: Beyond the Bowl by Mindy Fox
You don't know how many people I meet that admit they are in a "salad rut". There are a million and one variations on a salad. But to get it right is hard. That's where this book helps. Whether it's there to just inspire or you need help to kick up your salad game, it's a good book to have around.
All these selections are available at Appetite for Books.
· Appetite for Books [Official site]