Unleashing Creativity with Cookbooks

Frances RoyAugust 29, 2023
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For every delectable dish that graces our tables, there exists a wealth of inspiration that brings it to life. Among the countless cooks and chefs who embark on culinary adventures, Shantelle turns to three remarkable cookbooks that have become her trusted companions on her creative journey. In this blog, we’ll delve into the pages of these cookbooks that have captured Shantelle’s attention, where innovation knows no boundaries and creativity knows no limits.

Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat 

This cookbook is a culinary revelation, distilling the essence of cooking into four fundamental elements. Published in 2017, the book transforms how we approach cooking by emphasizing the roles of salt, fat, acid, and heat in creating exceptional dishes. With her engaging writing and deep expertise, Samin empowers novice and experienced cooks to understand the science and art of cooking, making her book a timeless guide in every kitchen.

Shantelle finds that the inclusion of intricate charts, a captivating color palette, and stunning illustrations adds to the cookbook’s allure, making it not just a collection of recipes but a work of art. The brilliance of the cookbook lies in Samin’s intuitive approach to cooking, which translates beautifully into the writing. Shantelle feels she’s delving into someone’s personal diary with this cookbook, igniting her excitement and connection to the recipes. She highlights that the cookbook embraces an “anybody can cook” concept, laying a foundation for beginners and experienced cooks. Shantelle notes that the cookbook seamlessly intertwines with the Netflix special,“Salt Fat Acid Heat”, where the four culinary elements are meticulously explored.

A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus by Renee Erickson and Jess Thomson 

Co-authored by Renee Erickson, a celebrated chef, and Jess Thomson, a talented food writer, this cookbook is a culinary treasure. Published in 2014, this cookbook weaves together Erickson’s unique culinary perspective with Thomson’s engaging prose. With a focus on Pacific Northwest ingredients and inspired by Erickson’s renowned restaurants, the cookbook offers a delightful collection of recipes, stories, and insights that capture the essence of the region’s vibrant food culture, making it a must-have for food enthusiasts and home cooks alike.

For more than five years, this cherished cookbook has held a special place in Shantelle’s collection, yet it remains untouched in terms of its recipes. Every time she opens its pages, she finds herself lost in its captivating content, drawn into its world without even needing to make a dish. Shantelle declares this cookbook the most exquisitely written. The book’s aesthetic charm is undeniable; its deep blue hue and the letterpress texture of its cover reflect the beauty within, which includes breathtaking photography. The cookbook features dishes of a Northeastern style, with seaboard and seafood recipes that can be altered to fit the ingredients found in our area. 

Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan

This cookbook is a captivating exploration of Filipino cuisine and culture. Published in 2006, the cookbook is a labor of love that combines Besa’s Filipino heritage and Dorotan’s culinary expertise. Through a rich tapestry of personal stories, traditional recipes, and modern adaptations, the authors take readers on a sensory journey that highlights the diverse flavors and traditions of Philippine cooking, making the cookbook a cherished resource for those seeking to understand and savor the depth of Filipino culinary heritage.

This cookbook holds an unparalleled place as Shantelle’s go-to source for creativity, serving as a bridge to her cultural heritage and roots. To Shantelle, it’s more than a cookbook; it’s a vessel that lets her delve deeper into her culture, intertwining her identity with the flavors that define it. The stunning photographs complement the recipes, bringing the dishes to life on the pages. The cookbook aptly captures the essence of Philippine cuisine, a fascinating amalgamation of borrowed, stolen, and unique flavors shaped by Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino influences - a true reflection of the nation’s diverse history. As Shantelle flips through the pages with a lengthy list of recipes she’s eager to create, she’s constantly inspired.

Want to learn more about the tie between creativitiy and cookbooks? Listen to our podcast episode here.

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