One of my favorite gifts to give to close friends and family are cookbooks. As president of an award-winning hospitality company A Legendary Event, I personally know the power of a fabulous recipe that will become legendary in its own right with your family and friends. Below are several cookbooks that will not only make great gifts, but are also great resources for hosting your own holiday celebrations.
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
By Matt Lee and Ted Lee
2006, Marten Maxwell, Inc.- W.W. Norton & Company
This is not just another Southern cookbook. A James Beard Foundation and an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award winner, The Lee Bros. transport you to the South through food, beverage, and anecdotal stories that are absolutely charming. Chapters and a few recipes are prefaced with touching tales about their life in Charleston, family, and travels throughout the South. They offer culinary and educational tips that perhaps you would never think of. The entire collection features Southern favorites including boiled peanuts, Sunday’s fried chicken, and the epitome of a deep-south dessert, red velvet cake. The book is impressive and is a keeper for anyone that has a passion for Southern cooking.
Baking From My Home to Yours
By Dorie Greenspan
Photographs by Alan Richardson
2006, Houghton Mifflin Company
James Beard Foundation Award Winner
Dorie Greenspan is a master! As a writer and a baker, she has created this work of art for every kitchen imaginable. Whether you are a beginner or a master pastry chef, Dorie makes you feel comfortable at each step. Cover to cover the book bursts with delicious recipes from delectable muffins to delicious brownies to gorgeous cakes and pies. The minute I opened it up and glanced at the table of contents, I wanted to start baking. This book is sweet in every sense of the word!
The Essence of Chocolate
By John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg
Photography by Deborah Jones
2006, Hyperion Books- Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, Inc.
James Beard Foundation Award Winner
This internationally acclaimed book is an amazing story of old friends on a new adventure. Both passionate about chocolate, they journey around the world finding the best cocoa beans and learning about chocolate making techniques. Steinberg and Scharffenberger take you on their trip of discovering the pleasures of all things chocolate from their own kitchen and those of well-known pastry chefs and chocolatiers. The Essence of Chocolate is broken down into three recipe categories. “Intensely Chocolate” includes a luscious Chocolate Cake and Baked Hot Chocolate. “Essentially Chocolate” soothes your palate with lighter, creamier, chocolate desserts such as Black and White Crème Brûlée, Silky Chocolate Pudding, and Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake. Finally, “Hint of Chocolate” features BBQ Sauce and Chocolate Banana Milkshakes. This is a perfect gift to give with a box of your favorite artisan chocolates for the holidays.
WHAT to DRINK with WHAT you EAT
By Andre Dornenburg and Karen Page
Photographs by Michael Sofronski
2006, Bulfinch Press- Hachette Book Group USA
A James Beard Foundation and an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award winner, this food and beverage pairing reference book should be in everyone’s culinary library. It is a collaborative effort featuring food experts and beverage professionals that will give you the confidence to create a stellar menu for a grand party or for a quiet dinner at home. From basic foods to exotic specialties, the book offers beverage suggestions to pair with each bite. This book delivers everything needed to set up your home wine cellar or stock your bar for the holidays. Cheers!
The Silver Palate Cook Book 25th Anniversary Edition
By Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins
With Michael McLaughlin
Photographs by Patrick Tregenza and Susan Goldman
Illustrated by Sheila Lukins
Workman Publishing Company
This book is truly iconic in every way and deserves every accolade. Many food professionals and kitchen enthusiasts began their cooking careers with this book. Personally, after 25 years, it still holds a certain spot in my library. Now with color photographs, this classic, go-to resource book, takes the guess work out of what the finished presentation should look like. The recipes themselves are works of art. They are clear and concise, and easy for the novice cook. The book also provides cooking tips, information about ingredients, menu suggestions and kitchen wisdom. The Silver Palate Cookbook has inspired me throughout the years and is the benchmark of new-American cookbooks. We should all give thanks to Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins for this extraordinary legacy to American cuisine.
About A Legendary Event
Formed in 1997, A Legendary Event has grown into a multi-million dollar full-service event enterprise, handling more than 2,500 events a year. Known for his Midas touch, President and Owner Tony Conway is admired by top CEOs, celebrities and politicians for his attention to detail and penchant for providing fresh, trend-setting and uniquely presented fare, always with the client in mind. A Legendary Event is located in Atlanta and can be reached at (404) 869-8858. For more information, please visit www.alegendaryevent.com.