The Gift That Keeps On Giving

People are always asking me for cookbook recommendations. Maybe it's because I'm a chef, but more likely it's because I own over 1200 cookbooks and counting. With the holidays quickly approaching, I thought this might be a good time to offer up some suggestions based on some of my recent favorites.

For food enthusiasts, aspiring gourmands and anyone with the passion and patience for cooking I recommend Momofuku, by David Chang or The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, by Heston Blumenthal. Momofuku is a foray into the creative Korean-fusion cuisine of the Momofuku restaurants in New York City (Ko, Ssam Bar, Noodle Bar and Milk Bar.) The recipes are often ingredient laden and task daunting, but for ambitious cooks the results will be well worth the effort put forth. The Big Fat Duck cookbook ventures into the genius, twisted mind of one of the chefs on the forefront of the newest culinary trend, molecular gastronomy. For the cook who is interested in making foams and gels, or happens to have a canister of liquid nitrogen laying around, this book is bubbling over with creative and unusual recipes and offers a good deal of insight into what this style of cuisine is really all about. With a price tag of around $200.00, however, this book is only for those people you really like a lot!

The cook on your list with a passion for ethnic cuisine is sure to love Turquoise, by Greg and Lucy Malouf. This book, one of the most beautiful I've ever seen, focuses on the food of Turkey, as well as its history and diverse culture. It contains stunning photographs and is wholly deserving of a prime spot atop the coffee table. But before it ends up there, be sure to suggest that the recipient take into the kitchen so they can try out the numerous delicious recipes.

For the amateur bread baker on your list, I recommend Jim Lahey's My Bread. Lahey offersfoolproof recipes for homemade breads that are so delicious, it's hard to believe that something so simple could taste so good. Even those who have never baked a loaf of bread in their lives are certain to have great success with this book.

Finally, for the dessert lover on your list, try Martha Stewart's Cupcakes or The Craft of Baking, by Karen DeMasco. While the first offers an endless variety of ideas for the trendiest dessert of the past few years, the second offers a wonderful mix of classic dessert favorites and exciting new ideas.

In this economy, do you really want to give another knickknack that will sit in the back of a closet for five years until it's re-gifted? Instead, why not give something this year that your family and friends can really use and that you'll feel good about giving. And who knows, maybe you’ll even be the recipient of some delicious food as a result.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
            • Students can choose from a variety of diploma or degree programs, as well as continuing education courses.
            • Provides programs in massage therapy, dental assisting, criminal justice, cake decorating, and more.
            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
            • Involved with many community service organizations, including the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (CPBB), March of Dimes, and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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