11 books for the food lover on your holiday gift list


Not all of us posses the joy of cooking. No, no–not the literal decades-old cookbook the Joy of Cooking. But if you aren’t someone who happens to love trying out new recipes and poring over the beautiful photographs from a brand new cookbook, and happen to be shopping for someone who does, you may need a few ideas for what to buy.

Christmas gift/Shutterstock

There have been a few key releases this year from Vancouver-based chefs and food folk, along with some other Canadians (and maybe a non-Canadian!) with noteworthy new cookbooks, too.

These are our picks for 11 books perfect for the food lover on your holiday shopping list.


lure ned bell cookbook
Figure 1 Publishing

Fewer chefs or ingredients are as synonymous with Vancouver as Ned Bell and sustainable seafood. The cause-driven chef left his post at YEW at the Four Seasons to head up the culinary work being done with Ocean Wise at the Vancouver Aquarium, and the move has allowed him the opportunity to spread the word further about the value of sustainable seafood.

In his first cookbook, Bell and co-author Valerie Howes, celebrate seafood as an every day ingredient, along with tips and techniques for buying and cooking, making this a tome that helps the home cook get seafood on the table more often and without pro-kitchen levels of effort.

The Gastown Foodie

gastown foodie cookbook vancouver
Photo courtesy The Gastown Foodie

The third in an ongoing series of cookbooks, The Gastown Foodie is a beautiful tribute–with recipes!–to the restaurants and the history of one of Vancouver’s oldest and most storied neighbourhoods.

Following the prior release of his North Shore Foodie and East Van Foodie, photographer Brad Hill made what he says was a very logical turn to historic Gastown for his most recent tome. This volume features recipes from nearly 40 Gastown cafes, bars, and restaurants.

The Juice Truck: A Guide to Juicing, Smoothies, Cleanse, and Living a Plant Based Lifestyle

The Juice Truck started a revolution in Vancouver, bringing their fresh cold-pressed juices and smoothies to the masses, first on four wheels. Now owners Zach Berman and Ryan Slater not only have a truck, three shops, a collaboration with Native Shoes, and an expanded menu of eats, but they also released this guide and recipe book in 2017 that will help you up your juice, smoothie, and plant-based eating game.


Have you ever heard of Aquafaba? That’s the name for the liquid that’s left over when you drain out a can of chickpeas. And rather than pour it down the drain, the surprisingly versatile liquid can be used to replace eggs in so many dishes.

Vancouver food blogger Rebecca Coleman is the mind behind Aquafabulous, a collection of over 100 recipes that put this mysterious liquid to use in sweet and savoury applications. It’s a great addition to the cookbook roster for anyone facing egg allergies, or looking to cut down on animal products.

It All Begins With Food

Love Child Organics founder Leah Garrad-Cole shares her approach to healthy, mindful eating for babies and kids in her guide and recipe book. Perfect for the new parent on your shopping list, these approachable recipes help families find healthy real food options to get started on a lifetime of good eating.

Feast: An Edible Road Trip

Lindsay Anderson and Dana Vanveller met in the Okanagan in 2011. Two years later the friends embarked on an epic Canadian coast-to-coast trip centred around food. The result is this year’s  Feast: An Edible Road Trip.

The book includes narratives filed from the road (many to their blog) and recipes from all across Canada.


vikram vijOkay, this is one to use outside the kitchen, but Vancouver food lovers will appreciate this candid autobiography from the always-entertaining restaurateur Vikram Vij. Learn about his Bollywood dreams, his culinary roots in Europe, and how he came to dazzle Vancouver with his ambitious approach to Indian cuisine.

The Recipe Box: YVR Edition

Not a traditional book, The Recipe Box: YVR Edition includes 100 recipes from Vancouver restaurants. Ranging from breakfast dishes to midnight snacks, the recipes are presented on cards with beautiful photography and filed in a wooden box.

Farm to Chef

Bestselling author and acclaimed chef Lynn Crawford celebrates the bounty of the seasons with over 140 recipes featuring farm-fresh produce for every occasion. Released this September, Vancouver’s home cooks will appreciate Crawford’s zest for seasonal cooking with Canadian ingredients.

Bringing it Home: Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating

You’ll recognize Gail Simmons from her role as judge on the original Top Chef series–yes, the American version–but her life of adventures in food began in Toronto. Simmons turns meals she’s had around the globe into recipes home cooks can easily create at home to enjoy with their friends and family. She may call New York home, but she’s still Canadian, too!

Smitten Kitchen Everyday

One of the most-anticipated cookbooks of the year has been the sophomore release from food blogger Deb Perelman. The New Yorker has been on a North American tour to promote the book, and recently made a stop in Vancouver.

Perelman says she’s signed extra stock of this essential 2017 kitchen tome, and at last check there were some at the Chapters-Indigo store in Vancouver on Granville and Broadway, so you could really thrill the foodie on your list with this one!

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Lindsay is a Senior Writer at Vancouver Is Awesome. A fifth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive and Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz. Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com