The Cookbooks These 9 Women Can’t Live Without

If you’ve fallen into the habit of using the same cookbook time and time again – and find yourself in need of some fresh ideas – we asked some of favourite women to reveal which ones they wouldn’t be without.
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Melissa Hemsley, Chef & Cookbook Author

“When it comes to cookbooks, I love Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh (and her spice mixes, I always recommend those for presents). I also love Asma Khan’s cookbook, Asma’s Indian Kitchen, the Cook For Syria charity cookbook, which has lots of recipes by my friend, Syrian chef Imad Alarb, and I’ve been really enjoying Uyen Luu’s new Vietnamese cookbook.”
 
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Lucinda Chambers, Co-Founder of Collagerie

“This is such an easy answer: The Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer. We have worked our way through every single recipe through both lockdowns. I can’t praise it enough! I am not a ‘natural’ cook and am terrible at thinking of things to cook on the spot. This one was great, as my husband does most of the cooking anyway. Him cooking, me eating! I tend to do more of the family meals so I can show off a bit, but for quiet consistency and recipes that use really simple ingredients with the most wonderful spices, this book is the gift that keeps on giving.”

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Louisa Preskett, Co-Founder of Maison Margaux

“My favourite cookbook at the moment is The Modern Italian Cook by Joe Trivelli. I live by the river in Hammersmith and The River Café has long been a favourite spot of mine. So, a combined love of the restaurant where Joe is one of the head chefs, a long-standing love of Italy and my fierce love of pasta means there is little in the way of competition when it comes to cooking at home. It’s filled with delicious treats with some gorgeous vegetarian dishes. I eat less and less meat these days, so it’s been wonderful to experiment with his recipes. And, of course, I’ll serve it up all on one of our many Italian-inspired tablescapes from Maison Margaux. Hand painted plates from Maremoro and our own lemon motif design are my first choice, combined with bamboo cutlery and beautiful, bright table linen.”

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Amy Dreyer, Steps of Style

“I love Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore because it’s filled with loads of delicious and easy gut-healthy recipes. And best of all, they all taste incredible. When it comes to favourite recipes, I love the maple pecan granola and the lasagne – both are really spectacular. This book makes it easy to feel satisfied, while still being plant based.” 

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Whitney Bromberg Hawkins, Founder of Flowerbx

“Hands down, the most loved cookbook in my library is River Café 30. I think we probably tried every recipe in the book over lockdown as we were missing our favourite restaurant, and they were all interesting and challenging enough without being daunting. Ruth Rogers’ magic translates into her cookbooks as well, and she is so generous and warm-hearted to help you create some of your own too.”

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Anna Bromilow, Fashion Stylist 

“My current love is The Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer. It was given to me as a birthday present by my husband’s stepmother who is an exceptional cook and has the most impeccable taste (she used to work for Vogue – so you can imagine). We have just bought a house in the country, and I am tackling a very old Aga. This book has saved my life. We have entertained pretty much every weekend since we’ve been allowed, and without fail I have turned to this for inspiration. I love cooking, though wouldn’t say I have that much time to dedicate to it, or huge amounts of talent, and this presented me with a huge range of really straight-forward, incredibly tasty, great-looking veggie and vegan recipes that you cook in a tray in one go. We’re currently obsessed with her harissa cauliflower steak and the kids love her tomato orzo dish.” 

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Madeleine Shaw, Nutritionist 

“I love Half Baked Harvest Cookbook Recipes from Tieghan Gerard – aka blogger My Barn in the Mountains. Her recipes are really innovative and her flavours are always delicious: I especially love her chipotle taco recipe and the corn salad is such a great summer dish. She also lives in the most gorgeous barn and her kitchen is divine.” 

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Skye McAlpine, Food Writer & Cookbook Author

“Choosing a favourite cookbook is an almost impossible ask, as I have so many treasured books that are favourites for different moods, occasions and cravings. Recently I've fallen back in love with Joanna Wenberg's How to Feed Your Friends with Relish. It’s one of the books I first learned to cook (and to love to cook) from and is full of stories, personal narrative and the kind of food I just want to eat.” 

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Bella Mackie, Author

“My favourite cookbooks are Ravneet Gill’s The Pastry Chef’s Guide, which is an expert guide to everything sweet – from inverted puff pastry to the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. And One Pot Pan Planet by Anna Jones, which is a brilliant new book for veggies and really focuses on seasonality and comfort food.”

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