The gift of taste

Replicate your favourite tastes from Europe with these new cookbooks.

The recipe for these chocolate eclairs can be found in The Art of French Baking. Photo / Supplied
The recipe for these chocolate eclairs can be found in The Art of French Baking. Photo / Supplied

French love

For all those baking fiends out there, this is the perfect book - The Art of French Baking ($49.99; Phaidon Press). It oozes with photos of mouth-watering pastries and desserts - think tarte tatin, chocolate eclairs, macarons, mille-feuille, brioche and more. The book brings together the works of two top French food writers, Clotilde Dusoulier - who is known for her website Chocolate & Zucchini - and Ginette Mathiot, and includes recipes from some of France's top chefs. Tres bon!

- Amanda Linnell

England's finest

Essex's answer to Escoffier returns home for his 14th book. Jamie's Great Britain ($65; Penguin) is probably Mr Oliver's best. Mercifully less laddish in tone, it features finessed versions of local favourites from curried roast chicken to a haggis-based shepherd's pie. Oliver's "humble pea and ham soup" (more of a stew) looks equally tempting, but why use butter rather than beef suet in the dumplings?

- Chris Hurst, The Independent

Spanish memories

Miguel Maestre may live in Australia but his heart is most definitely in the land of his childhood, Spain. The respected television chef brings together in Spanish Cooking ($59.99; New Holland) a wonderful selection of recipes that reflect Spain's vast size and therefore the regional differences in flavours and techniques. If you love Spain, you will love this book filled with personal tales from Maestre and humble, simple food that draws on traditional techniques and authentic ingredients.

- Amanda Linnell

Sicilian flavours

Giorgio Locatelli's Made in Sicily ($69; Harper Collins) is not so much a coda to his monumental Made in Italy as a rich and distinctive sequel, like the island itself. In his intelligent, evocative introductions, Locatelli unfolds a cuisine seasoned with agrodolce (sweet and sour) Arabic influences - pasta with sardines, sultanas and pinenuts, rice pudding with candied peel. Most dishes, such as warm octopus salad or pasta with cubed swordfish, are feasible here.

- Chris Hurst, The Independent

- NZ Herald

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