12 Cookbooks Every Man Should Own

12 Cookbooks Every Man Should Own


Whether you’re spending more time in the kitchen at the moment or need fresh ideas for what to throw on the BBQ this weekend, help is here. From classics that have stood the test of time to recent hits focused on curries, Japanese dishes and speedy suppers, here are 12 essential cookbooks.
Asma's Indian Kitchen by Asma Khan

Award-winning London restaurant Darjeeling Express began life as a dinner party with friends: Indian food lovingly cooked from family recipes that go back generations. In this book, head chef Asma Khan – the only British chef to feature on Netflix docu-series Chef’s Table – follows the route of the Darjeeling Express train from Bengal, through Calcutta, where she grew up, and along the foothills of the Himalayas to Hyderabad. Starting with simple midweek ‘Feasts For Two’, Asma then offers quick and easy cooking with fewer spices for ‘Family Feasts’. Further chapters include ‘Feasts For Friends’ for when you want to show off a little and ‘Celebratory Feasts’ for when you need to feed a crowd.
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Black Axe Mangal by Lee Tiernan

Lee Tiernan's Black Axe Mangal restaurant in Islington is a riot, combining innovative open-fire cooking and underused ingredients with great beers, a loud soundtrack and a bold aesthetic, influenced by Lee’s love of music and skate culture. Its cookbook brings together Lee’s signature recipes – including pig's cheek and prune doughnuts, squid ink flatbreads with smoked cod’s roe, and shrimp-encrusted pigs' tails – along with step-by-step instructions for the three fundamentals of Black Axe Mangal cooking: bread, smoking and grilling. A must for impressing your mates once lockdown’s lifted.
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BOSH! The Cookbook by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby

Henry Firth and Ian Theasby’s social channels have over 2.3m fans. Their aim? To inspire people to cook simple recipes at home using fresh supermarket ingredients – and embrace plant-based food. In BOSH! The Cookbook, the pair share over 140 of their favourite go-to breakfasts, crowd-pleasing party pieces, hearty dinners, desserts and sharing cocktails. The book is packed with unpretentious and satisfying recipes, including creamy mac and greens; burrito samosas; the big bhaji burger; and salted caramel chocolate crunch tart – all easy enough to be rustled up any night of the week. Trust us, there’s enough here to convince the staunchest of carnivores to give a plant-based diet a try.
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Charred by Genevieve Taylor

Fire-cooking expert Genevieve Taylor has gathered 70 original recipes to cater for every veggie BBQ need. Chargrilling – whether on a BBQ or via your kitchen oven – is a fantastic way of getting the maximum flavour out of versatile vegetables. If you're bored of beef burgers, or if you're already veggie and want more than scorched sweetcorn and chewy halloumi, this is the book for you. With sections on stuffed and wrapped veg; burgers and fritters; kebabs; low, slow and smoked dishes; and sharing platters, it makes vegetables the highlight of a meal, not an afterthought. Expect recipes such as whole roast cauliflower drenched in spiced garlic butter; griddled radicchio with burrata and figs; and corn on the cob with coconut, lime and chilli.
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Completely Perfect by Felicity Cloake

Guardian food columnist Felicity Cloake has rigorously tried and tested recipes from all the greats – from Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith to Nigel Slater and Heston Blumenthal – to create the best possible versions of hundreds of classic dishes. Completely Perfect pulls together essential recipes from beef wellington to poached eggs. Never again will you have to rifle through countless books to find the ultimate roast chicken recipe, mayonnaise method or incredible tomato sauce – it's all here in this book, along with dozens of invaluable prepping and cooking tips that no home cook should be without.
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Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater

Nigel Slater’s bestseller contains over 600 recipe ideas and is a fount of ideas for what to cook for midweek dinners, quick meals with friends and Sunday lunches. The recipes are short, precise and easy to use: each one is no more than 12 lines long, has a quickly referenced shopping list under the title, and a photograph of the finished dish. Find methods for sizzling chorizo with potatoes and shallots; a sharp and fresh green soup; a Vietnamese-inspired prawn baguette; and a one-pan Sunday lunch. More than 100 of them are meat and fish free.
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JapanEasy by Tim Anderson

Many people are intimidated at the idea of cooking Japanese food at home. But here, MasterChef winner Tim Anderson reveals that many Japanese recipes require no specialist ingredients at all and can be whipped up with products found at your local supermarket. In fact, there are only seven essential ingredients required for the whole book: soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, dashi, sake, miso and rice. JapanEasy is an introduction to the world of Japanese cooking via some of its most accessible (but authentic) dishes: think gyoza, sushi, yakitori, ramen and tempura. Recipes are clearly explained and rated according to difficulty, making them easy to follow and even easier to get right. If you’re looking for simple, relatively quick yet delicious Japanese dishes that you can actually make on a regular basis, the search stops here.
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MOB Kitchen by Ben Lebus

After taking social media by storm with his one-minute recipe videos, MOB Kitchen founder Ben Lebus decided to revitalise home cooking with this collection of delicious, easy and accessible dishes that absolutely anyone can cook, on any budget – each recipe is designed to feed four people for under £10. From Asian-flavoured spaghetti meatballs to the ultimate homemade falafel pittas, every base is covered, whether your family and friends are vegan, vegetarian, meat lovers or health obsessed. MOB Kitchen doesn't make any store-cupboard assumptions: all that is expected is that you have salt, pepper and olive oil – making it ideal during lockdown. Key chapters cover brunch, healthy dishes, speedy suppers and ‘fakeaways’.

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Quality Chop House: Modern Recipes and Stories from a London Classic by Dan Morgenthau, Will Lander & Shaun Searley

The Quality Chop House has stood on the corner of Farringdon Road and Exmouth Market since 1869. It's been a working man's café, a 90s celeb magnet and – for the last seven years – one of London's best-loved restaurants. Focused on ingredients from around the UK, it usually serves dishes like pastrami-cured salmon, roast cod tortellini or beef mince on dripping toast. The team’s first cookbook – released last year – reveals the secrets behind the kitchen’s famed confit potatoes, the timings for a perfect Sunday roast and what really makes a sandwich. The cooking is simple but honed to perfection: behind each recipe is an accumulation of notes, seasoning tweaks and possible seasonal adjustments.
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River Café Easy by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers

In River Café Easy, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers pioneered a new approach to cooking and eating. Taking account of frenetic lifestyles, they set out to dispel the notion that stylish and healthy food meant spending hours in the kitchen. Recognising that access to ingredients is key to quick cooking, these straightforward recipes highlight the fresh produce you will need to shop for as well as the ingredients that are store-cupboard essentials. Our favourite recipes in the book include pappardelle with pancetta and tomato; and crab linguini. Look out for 2005 follow-up River Café Two Easy – its rigatoni, tomato, beef and red wine is a timeless crowd pleaser.
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Roast Chicken & Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson

First published in the 90s, Roast Chicken and Other Stories is a timeless insight into former Bibendum head chef Simon Hopkinson's style of unpretentious cooking, featuring 160 of his favourite recipes. The book is divided into 40 chapters, each one zooming in on an everyday ingredient such as potatoes, chicken, cod and asparagus. Unable to hide his great love of food, Simon writes about why he likes each particular ingredient, and gives sensible advice on quality, variety and good cooking principles together with the recipes. Despite his Michelin credentials, this one’s aimed at home cooks and the recipes can be followed by anyone with basic cooking skills. From grilled aubergine with pesto to roast chicken and homemade ice-cream, Simon’s food is honest and inviting, designed to please rather than impress.
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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

Anyone who took notice of Samin Nosrat’s Netflix show of the same name will enjoy her first cookbook. While cooking at acclaimed California restaurant Chez Panisse at the start of her career, Samin noticed that amid the chaos of the kitchen there were four key principles that her fellow chefs always fell back on to make their food better: salt, fat, acid and heat. By mastering these four variables, Samin found the confidence to trust her instincts in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients. Armed with this simple but revolutionary method, she has led masterclasses to give both professionals and amateurs the skills to cook instinctively. Whether you want to balance your vinaigrette, perfectly caramelise your roasted vegetables or braise meltingly tender stews, Samin's canon of 100 essential recipes (and their dozens of variations) will teach you how.
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