Whether you flick vicariously, are already planning your next dinner party, or are just looking for some dinner inspiration for tonight, there's never been a better time to pick up a new cookbook.
So, with that in mind, the Grazia team has come together and recommended their favourite cookbooks - the ones they actually use and don't just stick on their shelves because they look good on a Zoom call...
SHOP: Grazia's Pick Of The Best Cookbooks
The Modern Cook's Year, Anna Jones
Rosamund Dean: For people... who are trying to eat more ethically.
"This beautiful book of absolutely scrumptious vegetarian recipes is organised by the seasons, with categories such as 'start of the year' and 'first warm days', making it easy to eat seasonally all year round."
Eat Green, Melissa Hemsley
Emma Stoddart: For people... looking to make healthier meal options that still taste delicious.
"The 'flexitarian' recipes are mainly vegetarian but do encompass some fish and meat options, too. I was surprised to learn how much you can do with the humble lentil – and at £1.80 a packet, these recipes are great if you're on a budget."
Leon Happy One-Pot Cooking Book, By Rebecca Seal and John Vincent
Emma Stoddart: For people... missing their desk lunch
"If you don't want to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen but fancy a freshly cooked meal – this recipe book is for you. Every dish is easy to make, requires few ingredients, one pot, and most importantly, doesn't take up your entire evening. My absolute favourite is 'make a hash of this' with eggs, chorizo and potato – it's a great breakfast, lunch or dinner dish."
Darina Allen's Ballymaloe Cookery Course by Darina Allen
Lynn Enright: For people... who want to get good at the basics.
"Want to make a roux? Or a pavlova? Or custard? Or looking to use up a particular fish or meat or vegetable? This is a brilliant resource for every kitchen, jam-packed with useful recipes and clear instructions. Indispensable."
Dishoom by Kavi Thakrar, Naved Nasir, and Shamil Thakrar
Lynn Enright: For people... who are obsessed with Dishoom.
"Haven't got a Dishoom night planned anytime soon? Luckily, this cookbook fills the gap. Admittedly, to get Dishoom-standard food, you have to put in the hours as the recipes are intricate and time-consuming, but you might yourself with the time over the next few months."
The Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler
Lynn Enright: For people... looking to reduce waste.
"This cookbook has no pictures and features quotes from Seneca and Chekhov. It's wordy and maybe also a little worthy – but I love it. It feels especially right for now, with an emphasis on avoiding waste and cooking from leftovers or with items often thrown away (the bones, the skin, the peel)."
The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià
Anna Dewhurst: For people... looking for fool-proof cooking.
"I mostly love this book because of its back-to-basics 70s style photography, but what this book does brilliantly is simple food, cooked well. It has step-by-step photos and a super-helpful timeline for all of the three-course meals – so there is little room for error. In fact, just looking at it now has got me very inspired for tonight's dinner (Farfalle with pesto, since you ask)."
Sardine, by Alex Jackson
Anna Silverman: For people... who want to feel like they're on that cancelled holiday in Southern France.
"A mixture of simple mid-week and showstopper dinner party meals using the kind of Mediterranean ingredients that make you feel like you'll live to 102. It's also divided into seasons, which feels especially helpful during corona-times - when we might find it harder to order exotic, out-of-season foods."
Leon Fast Vegetarian, Jane Baxter & Henry Dimbleby
Joely Walker: For people... who want veggie, fuss-free, easy-to-follow recipes with bloomin' delicious results.
"To be honest, I'd buy the book for Baxter's Brunch (page 39) alone (gruyere and Marmite sourdough with poached eggs – bliss), but it really is ideal for people who want speedy solutions with flavours that pack a punch."
The Vegetarian Kitchen, Prue Leith & Peta Leith
Joely Walker: For people... looking to cut down on meat.
"Proving veggie food goes well beyond your average onion and goat's cheese tart, this new cookbook gives smart spins on classic dishes without trying to make things too fancy schmancy. Homecooked and delicious, but out there enough to impress dinner party guests."
The Hemingway Cookbook, by Craig Boreth
Jasmine Langcaster-James: For people... who are fans of literature.
"It's a bit of a niche one - a collection of recipes taken from all the food/meal references in Hemingway's novels and short stories. It not only contains beautiful recipes of delicious and wholesome food but accompanies them with passages from Hemingway's fiction and some interesting biographical/geographical info. As Hemingway did a lot of camping in his time the cookbook actually has a good few tips for making the best of what you have in terms of ingredients so I personally think it would make a great read and inspiration to anyone in self-isolation with limited ingredients!"
Forever Summer, Nigella Lawson
Rhiannon Evans: For people... who want to practice for the dinner parties to come.
"Pick any of the Nigella books tbh (and she also does great recipes on her Instagram every day) but I'm going for Forever Summer, because why not imagine you're about to pop off on a foodie trip if you're going to walk around the kitchen pretending you're as sassy and sultry as the Food Queen herself?"
Rhiannon Evans: For people... with time on their hands and who want to make Instagrammable food.
"The title of this book belies some classically complicated Ottolenghi dishes, so it's good if you've finally got some time off your hands (and you can get a delivery slot for all those spices). Definitely produces recipes for the grid."
The Naturalista, Xochi Balfour
Melissa Henry: For people... who know you are what you eat!
"I personally love this book as Xochi has the perfect mix of recipes that will suit both meat eaters (me) and non-meat eaters. Also doubles up as a great cookbook for babies (see banana pancakes). She provides short paragraphs for each recipe, explaining the benefits, and alternative ingredients to use (Banoffee Pie may not be suitable for breakfast but a Banoffee Chia pot definitely is), along with stories of how she was inspired. Along with this, she's included a beauty section raising awareness of whether we actually know what we put in our bodies and provides natural alternatives to mainstream brands, such as how to make your own deodorant (still haven't braved this one yet), body scrub and hair rinse (I swear by this). Could not need this more than ever in my life now!"
East, by Meera Sodha
Natalie Hammond: For people... who want to be whisked away on a taste holiday.
"There are so many delicious recipes in East, but the Chilli Tofu is my absolute favourite. It's an Indo-Chinese dish, often made with paneer instead of tofu, that mixes Indian spices (cumin seeds) with Chinese sauces (soy) to utterly glorious effect."
Canteen, Great British Food
Rebecca Holman: For people... who want proper old-school comfort food.
"From the banging chicken pie to the macaroni cheese that's the subject of far too many of my 3pm daydreams, this book is full of straightforward, delicious crowdpleasers."
Brasserie Zedel Traditions and Recipes from a Grand Brasserie
Rebecca Holman: For people...who want an evocative restaurant review with their recipes.
"Come for the 40 iconic Brasserie Zedel recipes, including soupe à l'oignon, Moules marinières, Boeuf bourguignon, Profiteroles and Tarte au citron, stay for the late AA Gill's evocative history of the iconic French brasserie.
Amaretto, Apple Cake and Artichokes: The Best of Anna Del Conte
Rebecca Holman: For people... who are obsessed with amazing Italian food.
"So that's everyone, right? Anna Del Conte is the undisputed queen of Italian cooking, spanning far beyond the standard pasta dishes we all know and love. A must-read."
Ekstedt: The Nordic Art of Analogue Cooking
Rhiannon Evans: For people... who want to discover a different way of life.
"Renowned for his back-to-basics approach of cooking over fire, largely in the depths of Swedish forests and at his Michelin-starred restaurant Ekstedt in Stockholm, Niklas is a pioneer of outdoor cooking using traditional techniques including open fire grilling and foraging."
Midnight Chicken, by Ella Risbridger
Rhiannon Evans: For people... who appreciate the honest beauty of food.
"One night, Ella found herself lying on her kitchen floor, wondering if she would ever get up – and it was the thought of a chicken, of roasting it, and of eating it, that got her to her feet and made her want to be alive. Midnight Chicken is an honest and funny book about how cooking can save your life. It is the story of Ella's life in a Tiny Flat, and the food she cooked there, sharing stories and recipes that are about people, about love and about the things that matter every day. This is a cookbook-of-stories to make you fall in love with the world again."