Cookbooks for Chefs & Gastronauts alike this Christmas

Earlier this week I took to the social networks asking:

Looking for recommendations. Books for Foodies & chefs for Christmas that have been released this year please.

Loads of you responded, for which I’m very gratefully. For chefs there is a far an away winner, in terms of a recommendation.

Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian by Sat Bains

Having been postponed a number of times before release this year, it seems that it has been worth the wait. With a price tag of £75 plus P&P and signed by the man himself, ‘Too many chiefs..’ is currently only available from Restaurant Sat Bains or Face Publishing. Respected food blogger Elizabeth on food reviewed Dr Bains’ book saying:

“Too many chiefs only one Indian” is a spectacular book that vibrates with the passion and energy of its author. In the book Sat Bains mentions that at the time Marco Pierre White’s book “White Heat” blew him away. Sat Bains’ book did the same to me.

Recommended by: Alan Murchison, Nigel Godwin, Tom Sturman, Oliver Collet & Michael Price.

UPDATE: Since this post has been written, Sat Bains’ ‘Too many Chiefs Only One Indian’ has won Best UK Cookbook in the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

The next two books are poles apart in terms of style in cooking, yet they both seem to have struck a chord with many chefs.

The Square by Phil Howard


Faviken by Magnus Nilsson

Phil Howard seems like he’s been around for an eternity at The Square and featured in the last series of Great British Menu. Whilst Magnus Nilsson is widely regarded as the leader of the next generation of chefs out of Scandinavia. For a sneak peek of the The Square book, Click here & for Faviken, Click here.

Rosie Watson via Twitter said:

 Faviken-for being brilliant but bonkers *two year old dried leaves*

The Square  by Phil Howard, was recommended by Stef Wright, Tom Sturman & Raymond Moran

Faviken by Magnus Nilsson was recommended by Rosie Watson, Marc Wilkinson, Mark Ramshaw, Paul Rudzinski & Chris Hruskova.

Next, is the beautiful Sergiology by Sergio Herman which was nominated by Marc Wilkinson of Fraiche. Originally only available in two languages & numbered editions to boot, it has now been released again. Mr Wilkinson recommended it saying it was:

my favourite of the year

On Facebook this linked up a great conversation, bringing a Dutch based chef to the attention to others in the UK, but also the internal torment that chefs go through when the next book of #Foodporn is published.

Out of that same conversation came the nomination of

The Elements of Dessert by Francisco J. Migoya

from Mark Ramshaw, who is the R&D chef at Restaurant Allium near Fairford.

With the rise of Spanish cuisine in recent years, to not have a recommendation of one of their foremost restaurants on the list, would almost be a crime.

Mugaritz: A Natural Science of Cooking by Andoni Luis Aduriz

This nomination came from Mark Ramshaw & Tom Sturman.

Let’s Go Disco: Martijn Kajuiter at the Cliff House Hotel

Was actually recommended by its author, Martijn Kajuiter, utilising the hashtag #Letsgodisco on twitter. Having reviewed Martijn’s first book from The Cliff House Hotel & his participation in the’5Questions‘. I can tell it’s going to be a cracker (sorry for the Christmas pun). Hazel McFaddon also endorsed Let’s Go Disco, along with Raymond Moran.

‘OFFICIALLY The Gayest Man On Twitter™’, Hugh Wright recommended both:

POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts)

J Sheekey FISH

Saying that

The Polpo book’s bliss, really beautifully done. J Sheekey book too. Both have in common great reading & pics as well as recipes.

Rachel McCormack from Catalan Cooking Website & Radio 4 touted

The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden


The best book ever written on Spanish food in English.

Big supporter of Chef Hermes, Jon Jones of JJ Catering recommended the Relish series of books:

Relish Publications

Obviously with a growing presence on Twitter & Facebook along with the other social media websites, it’s hard to list every book mentioned.

Big thank you to everybody that replied to the original tweet & Facebook status for contributing to the Christmas cookbooks list

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