As a vacation memento (or a gift for a friend), a destination cookbook is a great way to capture the flavour of a region long after a holiday is over. Here are four travel-inspiring cookbooks to fill your kitchen with nostalgia or get you hankering after your next adventure.
Tofino, B.C.’s award-winning restaurant SoBo (Sophisticated Bohemian) began as a food truck and has evolved into a destination hot spot in the heart of “Tuff City.” Helmed by Chef Lisa Ahier, SoBo’s menu is grounded in local, seasonally inspired, organic ingredients, sourced from family-owned producers, many of whom are featured in the book. Dine like a local on Spot Prawn Bennies, Florentine Breakfast Pizza, SoBo Ceviche and Ahier’s legendary Killer Fish Tacos— just a taste of the 100-plus all-time favourite comfort-food recipes. With stunning full-colour photographs that salute the seasons and pay homage to the beauty of Tofino, this book will look as good on your coffee table as it does on your kitchen counter.
In his debut cookbook, Jack Gilmore, long-time Texas chef and co-owner of Jack Allen’s Kitchen, shares his love of soulful Southern comfort food with a collection of more than 150 seasonally sorted recipes. From the Tito’s Sage and Grapefruit Splash cocktail to Chicken Tinga Tacos and made-to-order slaw, the recipes are accompanied by seasonal ingredient summaries and profiles of the local farmers who embrace Gilmore’s “you grow it, we will use it” philosophy. With locations in Austin and Round Rock, Jack Allen’s Kitchen is celebrated for its spirited Texas cuisine and feel-at-home Southern hospitality.
In this gem, chef Christopher Kostow creates an almost tangible connection between the Napa Valley, its community and the restaurant’s beautifully presented and locally crafted plates. Through a collection of behind-the-scenes stories, the book explores Kostow’s journey from shucking oysters and plating desserts in San Diego to leading the team at The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, one of only two three-Michelin-starred restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the seasoned kitchen enthusiast in mind, the book contains more than 60 recipes and is paired with a ton of mouth-watering imagery.
Dominique Ansel, the wildly creative force behind one of New York’s favourite bakeries and winner of the 2014 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, gives a liberal sprinkling of trade secrets in his aptly titled debut cookbook. Celebrated as the creator of last year’s pastry sensation, the Cronut (a cross between a croissant and a doughnut), Ansel’s eponymous bakery, located on Soho’s Spring Street, regularly hosts early morning lineups of crowds eager to taste the bakery’s signature rose-sugar coated, flaky invention. Fans will be pleased to hear that the book contains the first official recipe for an at-home version of the Cronut along with tricks for transforming basic ingredients into delicious pastries.