Spring Books for Cooks, now gracing  the shelves of bookshops…

Welcome to my Table by Siba Mtongana – Spring Books for Cooks
Published by Penguin Random House

I was fortunate to meet Siba Mtongana before the showing of her first TV series. The CEO of the Food Network introduced me to her and said that she was headed for fame. Little did he know. This enchanting lady has become an icon of deliciousness. This book contains recipes she demonstrated on TV. Christopher Heierli’s photography makes you want to reach into the picture and grab a bite. A number of traditional local dishes are given a cute twist by Siba. Some recipes of her own devising. The book was designed by her husband Brian. Excellent job he has done. This would make a special Christmas gift for overseas family and friends.

Home Food with Zero Guilt by Trish van der Nest
Published by Lapa Publishing

55 recipes of fabulous carb conscious food. With beautiful photography by Donna Lewis. Love it when the pics are so vibrant – always makes one want to cook dishes. Cleverly devised, with lovely preserves, drinks, lovely salads and a selection of really tasty looking vegetarian recipes. The main courses are so interesting and different. I would want to roast Trish’s Easter Lamb every Sunday. I would want the Roasted Nectarines for lunch every day. Or for breakfast with double thick yoghurt. The Mielie Bread looks so good, you will want to reach for the butter. Kitchen book this one.

Deliciously Ella, Quick & Easy by Ella Mills
Published by Yellow Kite

Cleverly divided into chapters called Dips & Dressing, 10 – 15 minutes, 20 – 30 minutes, 20 to 30 minutes, Big Batch, Sweet, and Weekend. Great photography by Nassima Rothacker, so important to have good pics to tempt you into cooking a dish. I love Ella’s approach. It is simple and no nonsense. Quite frankly when I got the book, there were more than a few quick and easy plant-based dishes I wanted to add immediately to our weekly menu planner.

A Table for Friends by Skye McAlpine
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

Nigel Slater, the well-known TV cook and cookbook author, says of this book “A beautiful cookbook, full of joyous, life enriching recipes. I love it.” I quite agree. This is a book I took to the verandah with little bits of paper to use as bookmarks to slowly go through the recipes and mark the ones I wanted to tackle first.  A number of the recipes are Skye’s riff on traditional dishes. So many are just wonderful for home cooking for families and dinner parties. There is a feeling of sumptuousness with the recipes, real caring food. You need to get this from the coffee table into the kitchen and start cooking. Real stunner of a book.

For more book reviews visit my website www.michaelolivier.co.za

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