As much as I love the ease of finding recipes online, there is nothing better then flipping through an actual cookbook. I find so much inspiration in the pages of a good cookbook. I love to read the stories behind recipes, find out favorite techniques and tools, and most of all be inspired by beautiful imagery. I especially love the books that convey the feeling of the food by including images of the surroundings, table, and kitchen in which it was created. Two books have stood out to me lately and I’ve continued to reach for them again and again, The Cook’s Atelier and Cook Beautiful.
The Cook’s Atelier
The Cook’s Atelier is a french cooking school founded by a mother and daughter duo. The book not only showcases some of their favorite classic french recipes and techniques, but it chronicles their life and relationships in the small french town of Burgundy. Trips to the local market and conversations with their favorite artisan food producers and winemakers make this so much more than a book filled with recipes. It documents a way of life and a true appreciation for food.
The second book that I continue to turn to for inspiration is Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone, the creator of lifestyle site Eye Swoon. Like The Cook’s Atelier, the book is divided by season and showcases the bountiful ingredients in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Her food is art, but in an approachable and attainable fashion. By focusing on quality, simple ingredients she creates memorable meals for her family and provides me the inspiration to do the same for my own. Her romaine salad with lemon-pecorino vinaigrette and orecchiette with kale, fennel and sausage have quickly become family favorites.
BOOKS: The Cook’s Atelier / Cook Beautiful / It’s All Easy / Little Flower: Recipes from the Cafe
KITCHEN ITEMS: Utensil Crock / Tray / Bowl (Pottery Barn, no longer available) / frame