Friends are getting married. They are not young and say they have everything they need. Except cookbooks. What cookbooks are special enough for a wedding present?
For classic cookery and as an amazing reference, I'd recommend "Larousse Gastronomique". A fabulouse book! I got mine at a book sale in Phoenix about 25 years ago and just love it!
One possibility is Savory Sweet Life by Alice Currah. It is family-focused, but could also be used by individuals without children, and does a great job of explaining recipes.
I have always given,"Bride & Groom: First and Forever". I am not sure of the ages of the couple in question but it is a gorgeous book and has a lot of nice recipes for two!
How about the nytimes cookbook? Or the Silver Spoon cookbook if they like Itallian food. It is a really useful reference.
You could try Alabama Booksellers..a local mom and pop shop, that somehow manages to score signed first editions of many books.
They have a Thomas Keller signed: Bouchon Bakery.
Also a signed leather bound (and pricey) Botanica Magnifica. And a slightly cheaper cloth bound. (not a cook book but a lovely coffee table book).
A great place; most of their Signed stuff is retail except for rare volumes.
For local chiefs: The Hot Hot Fish Club cookbook is very good also.
I Should have said Stitts "Southern Table" and Hastings "Hot Hot Fish Club"....but now that I'm browsing they also have a Jacque Pepin New Complete Techniques signed. And one I'm not familiar with "Just Married & Cooking" Brooke Parkhurst & James Briscione.
And if you happen to have a grand to spend they have a bookplate signed "To Kill A Mockingbird".
But not "To Cook a Mockingbird".. ;-)
What's their level of cooking experience? Do you know thrir favorite cuisine? Are they gourmands? Any dietary restrictions?
Bundle Volume 1 & 2 of Food52 cookbooks with a microplane, or wooden spoon, or wrapped in cool kitchen towels. Julia Child is classic or Around this French table, etc...
I'm not sure how much they cook, but they love food and have sophisticated palates. No known dietary restrictions.
Modernist Cuisine at Home by Nathan Myhrvold. $105 on Amazon.
SKK (or anyone), do you have/have you used Modernist Cuisine at Home? I haven't looked at it yet, but the description does sound like a wedding gift--something useful and fun and a little pricey to think about getting for yourself.
I've seen quite a few recipes. Although they aren't as equipment heavy as the big modernest set, they still require some special additives and a good pressure cooker.
Here's a site that some sample recipes and techniques.
I have a lot of cookbooks but I know just what you mean when it needs to be a special present. My suggestions are the New NYT Cookbook by Amanda, which is my latest go-to for ANYTHING, or Mastering the Art of French Cooking, just because for me it's one of those classics that everyone who likes to cook should have. When my grandmother moved into a tiny apartment my dad rescued her copies for me, and besides the sentimental value I feel like they are one of those cookbooks that knows no generations. Also, no kitchen is complete without the Joy of Cooking.
Another idea, if you want to give them something really personal, would be to put together a book of your favorite recipes, Greenstuff originals, or things that make you think of them as a couple. That could be in addition to a book if you have time time. Just a thought!
Julia Child's "The Way To Cook" is a good option also.
Lots of nice pictures and techniques and well written recipes.
I think the problem is that a lot of these books aren't quite in the 'wedding gift' catagory for price..and the other pricy ones aren't quite in the catagory for a gift for people that don't already own a lot of basic cookbooks. Maybe a few books and some things like Silplat, a Needle tenderizer, digital scale all packed in a nice picnic basket (with service for four). Pack a small cutting board and some 'hickory farm' type cheeses, water crackers, and meats. I've given the picnic basket many times and each time the couple commented they where too rushed at the reception to eat well and used the basket to carry leftovers to the room for snacks after they decompressed from the stress.
You also can't go wrong with a soda stream (g).
Cookbooks are so personal - everyone has a favorite that you might not see in the same light. And, every cookbook has a few great recipes and 90% that never hit the frying pan !
Since these a your friends, why not make them a cookbook. Something person would be great for a wedding. Write out (or type out using different fonts) a dozen or so of your favorite recipes that you think they would also like and enjoy. Scan the pages. Find some free photos in Google Images (not the copyright ones) and save as jpegs.
Then, go to Picaboo or Shutterfly or other such online company and "create" a very special one-of cookbook for your friends. These online companies have backgrounds and templates to make life easy for you to create. Picture on one page, recipe on the other. Include some personal message for their wedding.
You will be surprised at the low cost and fast turnaround time.
My favorite food book, though not a cookbook is Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking. This book is an indespensible resource for any cook, breaking down the how & why of what happens in the pan. It's a great quick reference or a longer escape into food geekery.
I could not agree more!!! McGee's book is terrific!!
I like Yotam Ottolenghi books too...
My favorite cookbook to give as a wedding gift is Lynne Rosetto Kasper's How to Eat Supper. It is full of stories, all told in her accessible, inimitable style, along with her fantastic recipes which span every ethnicity one could imagine. And quantities tend to be small - perfect for 2 learning to cook together, with leftovers for lunch.
TENDER and RIPE by Nigel Slater are beautiful books full of simple, unusual and good recipes. They are the shape and size of novels. They are romantic like honey and fruit laden trees, not saccharine.
Depends upon what their cooking interests and/or abilities are. However, Julia Child's "The Way to Cook," or the two volume set of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," are classics and truly useful as well.