For food lovers who yearn to find a brand new cookbook wrapped and stashed under the Christmas tree, this is your season. And if you’re making a wish list or shopping off one and you want to give a very Vancouver cookbook, 2018 has been a terrific year for tasty tomes.
From local food bloggers turning their kitchen hobbies into glossy volumes to the best of our restaurants translated into recipes we can try out at home, there’s much to feast on this year. Whether you’re passionate about pastry or your interest has been piqued by plant-based eating, there’s something for any Vancouver food lover on this list.
This gorgeous book, released in September, features recipes collected from some of Vancouver’s top restaurants. Featuring dishes like the beloved brunchtime spot Cafe Medina’s Fricassee Champignons, a quirky vegan Cartems doughnut, pizza from Nightingale, filet mignon from Hy’s, and West Coast Chowder from Hook Seabar, and much more, the volume is a beautiful homage to dining out in Vancouver in 2018. Written by local food and drink scribe Joanne Sasvari with photos by Kevin Clark, it’s a lovely testament to how great a food city Vancouver is.
Adrian Harris and Jeremy Inglett are Vancouver’s Food Gays. The bloggers, recipe developers, and social media influencers are philosophers of the aesthetic and the edible, and their debut cookbook is a celebration of eating well, and eating with your eyes. As a bonus, the book helps you up your food photo game, too, with tricks and tips. We talked at length with Harris and Inglett this year when Cooking in Color debuted; check out our Vancouver Is Awesome podcast episode starring the Food Gays to learn more about this beautiful book.
North Vancouver-based photographer Brad Hill is behind The Plant-Based Foodie Vancouver, which marks the latest installation in his ongoing series spotlighting neighbourhoods–and now niche cuisine–in the Vancouver area. The Plant-Based Foodie includes recipes provided by local restaurants, cafes, and vendors. Participants include the revered Acorn restaurant and their sibling spot The Arbor, as well as vegan pizza virtuoso Virtuous Pie. There’s The Naam’s Vegan Lasagna, Heirloom’s Cauliflower Steak, and Matcha Ice Cream from Say Hello Sweets, tapping into trends, comfort eats, and Vancouver favourites.
If your dreams are filled with choux pastry, Tarte Tatin, and buttery croissants, you’ll want to cozy up to French Pastry 101. This book of basics is from Betty Hung, the owner of Vancouver’s Parisian-influenced Beaucoup Bakery. Hung will help you finesse your financiers and triumph over tarts.
While Vancouver is the second city the Las Vegas-born Honey Salt calls home, these recipes will bring a slice of the restaurant at Parq right into your home. The wife-husband duo of Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla are behind Honey Salt and the book, which counts Vancouver (and Kelowna) as part of the couple’s culinary journeys that inspire their restaurant. Featuring tips on party planning, making the perfect steak, choosing cheese, and feeding kids, the book also is packed with tempting recipes. Speaking of “slice,” though, sadly, their Insta-famous Society Cake isn’t among them.
From baking blogger to cookbook author, Vancouverite Fanny Lam has released her first volume of recipes for “edible gifts, party treats, and festive desserts.” It’s a full-on celebration of sweetness for any and every day of the year, with recipes for muffins and breads, cakes and pies, and of course Lam’s famous cookies; the baker got her start making cookie collections for holiday giving.
In her debut cookbook, Bottom of the Pot, actor and blogger Naz Deravian uses memories to take readers and recipe-followers into her world, bringing to life the scents, sounds, and tastes of Persian cuisine. Deravian came to Vancouver in the early 1980s with her family, who were among the first Iranian families to settle in what is now a bustling Persian community in North Vancouver. Though Deravian has left Vancouver for L.A., food remains her connection to all her roots, and her book is a must-have for anyone curious about mastering tahdig (crispy rice) and getting to know the vibrant flavours of Persian fare.
Serving as a guide to Vancouver’s neighbouring Fraser Valley’s abundant ingredients, farms, and food spots, as well as a cookbook for helping you put those ingredients to work at home, Angie Quaale’s Eating Local in the Fraser Valley is truly a celebration of bountiful B.C. You’ll be inspired to both take a delicious day trip and detour on some farm roads, and then hurry home to get in the kitchen and to the table.