We get inspired to create in the kitchen by Chrissy Teigen’s cookbooks and website (hello, everything bagel breakfast bake!), but what does the cook/lifestyle expert/model/internet personality turn to when *she* wants to get inspired? In a recent post on Cravings By Chrissy Teigen, her new food and lifestyle website, Teigen listed her favorite cookbooks, and it’s easy to see that she’s got great taste.
What struck us was that Teigen’s tastes definitely veer toward the modern — you won’t find Betty Crocker, The Joy of Cooking, or Julia Child here.
Instead, Teigen gravitates toward books by chefs that push boundaries, playing with flavors and textures in a way that Teigen herself is becoming famous for. The books would also make great gifts for your food-obsessed friends this holiday season, so we decided to take a closer look at what makes each one so special.
1. Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh
No one ever said that an Ottolenghi recipe was simple, and this dessert book is definitely for the more adventurous home cooks out there, the type of people who don’t mind visiting a specialty spice shop to get an ingredient they might only use in one recipe. But the results? They’re totally worth it. This dessert recipe book will stun your taste buds with sweets like Custard Yo-Yos with Roasted Rhubarb Icing; Peanut Sandies; and Almond, Pistachio, and Sour Cherry Wafers.
2. The Pleasures of Eating Well by Christina Ong
From the minds behind the restaurant COMO Shambala comes this cookbook, which puts an emphasis on holistic and nutrition-forward recipes that taste better than you’d ever imaging “health” food could. Recipes like Kiwi, Papaya, and Longan Salad with Lemongrass Syrup and vegan Mango and Passionfruit “Cheesecake” with Banana and Macadamia Nut Crust will speak to your sweet tooth while also loading your body with vitamins and antioxidants.
3. Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan
From succulent pork buns to slurpable ginger scallion noodles, this book from David Chang and Peter Meehan helps you bring the food of the Momofuku restaurant group to your own kitchen. Peppered with lively anecdotes from Chang and recipes that are as fun to read as they are to cook, this book is again not for the faint-of-heart but rather for adventurous cooks who aren’t afraid to set a weekend day aside for making one recipe.
4. Jack’s Wife Freda by Dean Jankelowitz and Maya Jankelowitz
The recipes in this book are a bit simpler than in Teigen’s other choices, but no less delicious. Master the art of the perfect soft boiled egg; get down the technique for transformative avocado toast; then branch out into some modern takes on South African, Middle Eastern, and Jewish comfort food, like crispy fried gefilte fish, duck-fat matzo ball soup, malva pudding, Greek salad, and duck bacon.
5. Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi
Christina Tosi of Milk Bar is known for her extravagant sweets, but in this cookbook she makes both savory and sweet recipes that are more approachable for the home cook – but no less bursting with flavor and imagination. Burnt Honey-Butter Kale with Sesame Seeds just make you like vegetables again, and Kimcheezits (kimchi-cheese crackers) served with Blue Cheese Dip may become a staple of your parties.
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