The Cookbook Store’s 12 best cookbooks of 2013 (and a giveaway!)

Hello December!  Hello holiday season!  Hello holiday shopping!  For the food enthusiast in your life, how about a new cookbook (you can never really go wrong with a cookbook, I find!)? But with so many new cookbooks released in 2013, what to choose?  Never fear – Alison and the folks at The Cookbook Store have compiled a list of what they consider the 12 best books of 2013 to help you choose. AND we have a fun giveaway for you at the end of the post (yes, even you international readers!).

The Art of SImple Food IIThe Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters

Alice Waters is to whole plant cooking what Fergus Henderson is to whole animal cooking. Along with ways of improving your garden and gardening skills, her recipes demonstrate that the lowliest of plants, and their parts, can morph into the most elegant of dishes. Hardcover, $39.95




BountifulBountiful by Todd Porter and Diane Cu

California-based bloggers, food photographers, and stylists Todd Porter and Diane Cu have created a stunning collection of recipes built on the produce grown in their garden. The freshness of ingredients and simplicity of preparation are the hallmarks of this book. Organized by type of vegetable or fruit, the recipes range from pickles to galettes to granola and beyond. The couple’s blog is Hardcover, $40.00


Donna Hay Fresh and LIghtFresh and Light by Donna Hay

This book could make you fall in love with Donna Hay all over again. With lashings of Asian flavours and a high ratio of vegetables and grains to poultry, fish, and meat, these dishes are satisfying without ruining your waist line unless you overindulge in the dessert section. Softcover, $34.99




Flavour PrincipleThe Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol

Using eleven different taste sensations, The Globe and Mail’s food and wine columnists have joined forces to create extraordinary menus complemented by thoughtful and sometimes unusual wine, beer, and spirit pairings. What is constant is Lucy Waverman’s ability to reconfigure the familiar. Hardcover, $40.00



Anne Willan One Souffle at a TimeOne Souffle At a Time by Anne Willan

Through her LaVarenne Cooking School and her books such as LaVarenne Pratique, Anne Willan has had great influence over professional chefs and home cooks. Her memoir is particularly interesting for women working in the culinary industry because, unlike pioneers like Julia Child, she was able to build her career while also raising a family. Hardcover, $31.99.




TheKinfolkTableThe Kinfolk Table by Nathan Williams

For those familiar with Kinfolk magazine, you’ll instantly recognize the popular Kinfolk style that means spectacular photography set in an abundance of white space. As always, the recipes are delicious and simple, making use of local and artisanal ingredients. What makes The Kinfolk Table even more beautiful and special are the profiles collected on each of the contributors. We’re let into the homes of the chefs, bakers, writers, bloggers, artisans, and artists who make up the Kinfolk table and we’re completely jealous. Hardcover, $43.95


Grammercy Tavern CookbookThe Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony

The Gramercy Tavern, now almost 20 years old, is sharing its recipes for the first time. These signature dishes serve up a festival of the senses, as pleasing visually, texturally, and aromatically, as taste wise. Hardcover, $57.00




WintersweetWintersweet by Tammy Donroe Inman

When the temperatures drop, it’s time to turn on the stove and not just for soups and stews. It’s time for heat in the sweet kitchen, both physical warmth and the sort given by spices and more intense flavours. Think spicy prune cake, compotes, and steamed puddings.Hardcover, $33.00



Model Bakery CookbookThe Model Bakery Cookbook by Karen Mitchell and Sarah Mitchell Hansen with Rick Rodgers

Since its rebirth in St. Helena, in the Napa Valley, in 1984, the Model Bakery with its century old building and ovens has been a major landmark in the community. The 75 recipes collected here show why: who wouldn’t want to hang out in a bakery that makes pain au levain, sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, pecan pie, lemon brulee tart….Hardcover, $41.00



Ricardo Slow CookerRicardo Slow Cooker Favourites by Ricardo Larrivee

The personable, Quebec-based chef raises the bar for slow cooker cuisine with dishes such as veal cheeks with figs, maple and beer braised ham and even crème brulee. Forget the tasty but brown sludge you might have tried in the past for dishes where the look equals the taste. Hardcover, $34.99


How to Feed a FamilyHow to Feed a Family by Laura Keogh & Ceri Marsh

From the creators of, the time and nutrition savvy updates on classic family cooking will make this a weekday go to cookbook. The breakfast ideas, such as slow cooker oatmeal, are particularly inspired. Softcover, $29.95




Michael Smith Back to BasicsBack to Basics by Michael Smith

He’s back! This is Michael’s seventh book and each time he manages to give us something new and interesting on the pages all the while showing us cooking can be fun and creative. However if cooking is not your forte he teaches you the basics in a relaxed manner and he will make you a better cook. Softcover, $32.00




A worldwide cookbook giveaway!

That’s right – thanks to the generosity of The Cookbook Store, I have one of the cookbooks in this list to give away to a lucky reader – open to anyone, anywhere in the world!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me which book you’d want from this list and why?

For a bonus entry, tweet the following message: Enter to win one of @cookbookshop ‘s top cookbook picks for 2013 on @eatlivtravwrite (Worldwide giveaway!)

then come back to leave me a comment on this post telling me you did.

Eligibility and contest rules

  • Open to anyone, anywhere in the world. I’m covering the shipping myself so I reserve the right to send it the most economical way that doesn’t take 6 months!
  • No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
  • Winner will be chosen using from all qualified entries on Monday, December 9th 2013 after 6pm EST.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Tuesday December 10th 2013.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Toronto or are heading downtown to do some holiday shopping, be sure to stop by and say hi to Alison, Jennifer, John and the gang – they’re always happy to chat cookbooks!

the cookbook store
850 Yonge St. (at Yorkville Ave)
Toronto, Ontario,   M4W 2H1
tel 416-920-2665/1-800-268-6018
fax 416-920-3271

The Cookbook Store website
The Cookbook Store Blog
TheCookbookStore on Facebook
The Cookbook Store on Twitter

Canadian readers – win a KitchenAid Architect® Series Stand Mixer with 5 quart glass bowl in Raspberry Ice! Ends December 6th 2013 at 6pm EST. Enter here!



I’m fundraising for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation KitchenAid Cook for the Cure Culinary Showdown event on December 7, 2013. Support me here.

105 thoughts on “The Cookbook Store’s 12 best cookbooks of 2013 (and a giveaway!)”

  1. I’d love a copy of “Bountiful” by Todd Porter and Diane Cu – love their beautiful blog posts so am curious to see how the book turns out 🙂

  2. Man there are so many good choices in this list! I’m pulled toward Winter Sweets and Fresh and Light, polar opposites, and would be thrilled with either!

  3. Bonjour,
    I know it will appears wierd to you,but I would love to have: model bakery.
    (Since I am french,I’m suppose to live french bakery…).
    I’m changing my 25 years in the fashion industry to open a place where you can eat American food..So that book will help me.I am crazy about bakery from America…So much fun and tasty.Not as dramatic as we do it here…
    Merci beaucoup.
    I hope you will choose me.
    I cross my finger. Who knows,you could be my lucky star for my project!…

  4. I love a copy of either Wintersweet as I love being in the kitchen baking away this time of year or a copy of The Model Bakery as living in the UK there are no unique bakeries, just chain stores so I’d like to make sweet treats myself.

  5. Hi! I would absolutely love a copy of The Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters. I am trying to cook more vegetables (especially in 2014) and don’t have any of her books yet. Isn’t that just a crime that must be rectified?

  6. I’d love to have Bountiful. I really like that Diane and Todd’s recipes look like a lot of work but are often easy enough and usually require widely available ingredients.

  7. Definitely Ricardo Larrivee’s Slow Cooker Favourites, if I won, please. I’ve had a slow cooker for years and I use it regularly to make stock from the carcass of a roast chicken, but I’ve not had much success using it for cooking. The only thing I cook in it is poached whole chicken, as an alternative to the roast. I’d really like some good recipes that are both appealing, innovative and that work, to help me get more use from it.

  8. This is great! I’m attracted to Bountiful by Todd Porter and Diane Cu both for the lovely design/photographs, and because I’d like to use my garden to the best of it’s abilities! Thanks!

  9. What a great list! So difficult to choose one, but I think “Kinfolk” or “The Flavor Principle”. They each incorporate parts of what I love about cooking: the stories behind food and sharing, and re imagining the way we think about food.

  10. What a difficult decision. However, I think I’d like Michael Smith’s Back to Basics cookbook. The Bountiful one looks great too though.

  11. As I am your father, I presume I’m knocked out of this competition… but if I were to enter, I would like “The Kinfolk Table”. Reason: food, fine photography and an “inside” look at movers and shakers in food. Even the cover looks wonderful.

  12. I would love The Model Bakery Cookbook. Tried, tested and true recipes are one my favorites to go by because they’re true classics and I love to bake!

  13. Hello Mardi! I would love to read the Kinfolk and learn about the recipes and profiles of their contributors. It would be fun to see their wonderful photographs too. Then the Model Bakery will be fun to read too as I enjoy baking.

  14. Since I already have (and love) the sweet potato chronicles book, I would have to say either “the flavour principle” (because Lucy waver man has never let me down), or “back to basics”…as a working mom with a toddler and one more on the way, simple is a must!!!

  15. I’d love to win a copy of Wintersweet. I love baking in the winter – I don’t feel guilty about the oven heating up the house, and there’s just something so warm and cozy about baking inside when it’s cold and snowy outside!

  16. I have just tweeted the link.

    As for the book, I personally don’t mind which one. They all look so good.

    Best of luck to all the other entrants.

  17. How to Feed a Family… mostly because the cover was the first one to really catch my eye. All of these books look fabulous though!

  18. Hello! Thank you for this contest! As a new mom I would love the How to Feed a Family cookbook. I also tweeted the contest under @NachoAvgSnack

  19. Hello! Thank you for this contest! As a new mom I would love the How to Feed a Family cookbook. Tweeted under @nachoavgsnack

  20. The Model Bakery.
    I understand sweets a bit better than when I make meals.
    I love the Wine Country of California as well and this bakery is there.

  21. Several on here I’d love to have and don’t have yet but I’d choose Bountiful. The reason I’d choose Bountiful is that I think I would cook from it the most of those listed. I love to cook things that are in season from the Farmers Market or a neighbors garden. I don’t have a green thumb myself but I love to cook the bounty from those who do. I also enjoy putting up (canning, freezing) as well.

  22. I’d love to win the model bakery cookbook (been during that book for awhile now)! Thinking of pursuing pastry so I’m ready to do a lot of practice during the holidays! 🙂

  23. would like to have the “The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony” book. i’m not a good cook but would like to give his cookbook a shot to impress others =)

  24. I am curious about the Alice Waters book if I were so lucky as to win the contest.
    Thanks for the suggestions!
    I think I will buy the How to Feed a Family as a gift.

  25. HI! WEll the cookbook i would like to receive is Wintersweet. I was planning to gift this for my friend if i was selected to and she loves baking. She loves the holidays and to add to that, her birthday is two days after Christmas. I know that she would love it if i gave it to her.”

  26. I’d have to say I’d love to see The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook. I’ve only seen their recipes in print in The New York Times or one of their cookbooks, and their dishes always sound amazing, just the type of food I love to cook. Braises, salads, and pizzas with big flavours. Thank you for the giveaway, what an amazing collaboration.

  27. I´d choose the Back to Basics by Michael Smith 🙂 It sounds good and I´m sure it would inspire me with cooking. Sometimes the basic things are the best!

  28. I want “The Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters” because I already have the first book, and it was absolutely amazing. I’m looking forward to the second book.

  29. I would love the Bountiful by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, for the use of fresh ingredients and simplicity of preparation. Thank you 🙂

  30. I would like The Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol since I read Lucy’s articles in the Globe and Mail and also follow her on twitter.

  31. The Art of Simple Food II by Alice Waters because the first book was brilliant and I’m looking forward to reading the second.

  32. So hard to choose from so many wonderful cookbooks, but I choose The Model Bakery Cookbook by Karen Mitchell and Sarah Mitchell Hansen with Rick Rodgers because I love to bake and would like to try some of their recipes

  33. I would love to win Ricardo Slow Cooker Favourites by Ricardo Larrivee since I’m always looking for new slow cooker recipes now that the weather has turned cold.

  34. Would love a the Ricardo Slow Cooker favourites. His recipes are interesting that sound simply delicious. I enjoy juicy dishes with lots of gravy!


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