10 fabulous recipe books for festive feasting

The festive season is a time of family feasting – have a browse of these recently published cookbooks for inspiration!

From South African classics, like the show-stopper seven-colour Sunday lunch, to Mzansi with a twist – bobotie balls anyone? – or seared salmon sashimi with Vietnamese caramel, our selection has something for everyone.

Check out the list:


Dijo: My Food, My Journey by Chef Lesego Semenya

Soweto-born chef Lesego Semenya, well known as LesDaChef, shares his journey from the corporate world to being a chef, and offers township cuisine with a twist in his debut cookbook Dijo: My Food, My Journey.

‘My goal as a township-born African chef trained in fine-dining cuisine is to remove all the snobbery and showcase the important parts of our food: the stories and memories behind each dish, and the rich and beautiful heritage that comes with it.’

This book is an affirmation of South African cuisine, its heritage and its unique flavours. Every dish that is featured in Dijo has a story that speaks of passion and nostalgia.


Jamie’s Friday Night Feast by Jamie Oliver

Packed with show-stopping dishes for the weekend and special occasions, this is the ultimate in indulgent food.

Learn and master the dishes made in the famous caff on Southend pier by Jamie and his star-studded guests. From Party-time Mexican tacos with zingy salsa and sticky BBQ British ribs, to Steak & Stilton pie and the Ultimate veggie lasagne made with smoky aubergine, we’re talking about big-hitting, crowd-pleasing recipes that everyone will love.

Peppered with beautiful photography of the pier and café, bringing that wonderful sense of seaside nostalgia, this is certainly a visual as well as a culinary feast.

It’s all about sharing and celebrating the joy of good food. Treat yourself and your loved ones to this incredible selection of full-on weekend feasts from Jamie.


The Lazy Makoti’s Guide To The Kitchen

Mastering the kitchen can seem pretty intimidating, especially when confronted with Instagram and TV chefs who seem to do everything with ease, while at the same time relating a cute anecdote on camera.

The Lazy Makoti’s Guide the Kitchen was written and compiled with YOU in mind, and takes into consideration all the different occasions a South African kitchen might have to cater for. The recipes use simple ingredients that are probably already in your pantry or fridge, and if not, they’re readily available in all our favourite grocery stores.

The straightforward recipes take you through breakfast basics, show-stopper seven-colour Sunday lunches, heartwarming soups and stews, sweet cheats and even traditional African favourites, just like gogo used to make them. Oh, and how to whip up amazing meals from leftovers (shhh … don’t tell the family)! No more excuses – it’s time to step into those domestic goddess stilettos.


Being Bertus Basson 

In his second book, acclaimed South African chef Bertus Basson provides a deeper look into his restaurants and his food philosophy.

Rooted in local food culture and the culinary experiences of his childhood, his menus are driven by fresh ingredients and seasonal produce.

In Being Bertus Basson, readers will feel the drive and energy of this whirlwind of a man, showcasing his originality of thought. The book offers inspiration to those who wonder just how Bertus and his remarkable wife have so successfully built a restaurant empire. It presents an inside look into these restaurants from the story of the beginnings and growth of the signature restaurant Overture to Bertus Basson at Spice Route, wildly popular with the tourist crowds, and Spek & Bone, the small-plate wine bar in Stellenbosch, through to his love affair with burgers and just how De Vrije Burger was conceptualised and brought to life.

The recipes will surprise you with their simplicity and quirkiness, show you just how to step beyond the usual and how to look at food in a whole new light.


Set a Table by Karen Dudley

Karen’s newest offering follows in the footsteps of her groundbreaking and much-loved Week in The Kitchen books.

The recipes are carefully selected to showcase exceptional flavour, but are easily achievable at home.

Many of the recipes are well-loved signature dishes from The Dining Room that have been developed for home cooks to share. The Duck Salad with Cashews or the Seared Salmon Sashimi with Vietnamese Caramel are as triumphant as the Asparagus Avgolemono and the Indian-Spiced Cauliflower with Coconut Coriander Relish. These are recipes that are loved by makers and tasters alike.

This is a beautiful book which will draw people in with its visual allure, win their hearts with Karen’s entertaining and insightful observations and have people buying extra copies to share with their friends for its irresistible originality.


Prue: My All-time Favourite Recipes by Prue Leith

Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith draws on a life-long passion for food with 100 recipes from her own kitchen table.

Whether it’s Halibut with Green Linguine, Fast Roast Teriyaki Lamb or Slow-cooked Rat-a-tat-touille, these are delicious, fuss-free dishes that Prue has cooked countless times for family and friends.

Inside are quick-to-whip-up suppers and dinner party showstoppers that are as much a pleasure to cook as to eat. Expect firmly established favourites, lazy leftovers, meat-free meals, exciting new flavour combinations and fresh takes on classic dishes. There’s also a chapter of puds inspired by Prue’s time on Bake Off – every one guaranteed to be ‘worth the calories’.

This is Prue’s first cookery book in 25 years, and she has woven intimate and witty stories from her life around many of the recipes. Celebrating the food we all want to make at home, Prue gives an unparalleled view into the cooking life and style of one of the nation’s best-loved cooks.


Recipes by Suzelle DIY

Famous for her hilarious do-it-yourself videos, Suzelle DIY has released her very own cookbook, Recipes.

The book is also available in Afrikaans as Resepte.

Readers will be tantalised with scrumptious desserts, easy dinners, fun and delicious twists on South African favourites (bobotie balls anyone?), as well as a few wonderful recipes from special guests who also wanted their recipes in the book, shame.

This cookbook is for everybody! It’s time to use your own creativity and make some delicious kitchen magic happen.

DIY? Because anybody can.


Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

130 brilliantly simple, brand-new recipes from the bestselling author of Plenty, Plenty More, Jerusalem and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. Everything you love about Ottolenghi, made simple.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s award-winning recipes are always a celebration: an unforgettable combination of abundance, taste and surprise. Simple is no different, with 130 brand-new dishes that contain all the inventive elements and flavour combinations that Ottolenghi is loved for, but with minimal hassle for maximum joy.

Bursting with colourful photography, Ottolenghi’s Simple showcases Yotam’s standout dishes that will suit whatever type of cooking you find easy – whether that’s getting wonderful food on the table in under 30 minutes, using just one pot to make a delicious meal, or a flavoursome dish that can be prepared ahead and then served when you’re ready.


The Real Meal Revolution: Low-Carb Cooking

The Real Meal Revolution: Low-Carb Cooking – a comprehensive, fully illustrated guide to low-carb cooking from Jonno Proudfoot, the chef behind the phenomenal bestseller The Real Meal Revolution.

Packed with lessons, tips and 300 delicious low-carb, sugar-free and gluten-free recipes – over 100 of them plant-based – Low-Carb Cooking is the one book that anyone who wants to cook delicious low-carb foods needs.

It teaches the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to make any dish exceptional by focusing on classic, tried-and-tested taste combinations, essential cooking techniques and affordable, readily accessible ingredients.


Real Food Kids Will Love

In Real Food Kids Will Love, Annabel Karmel brings you a mouthwatering batch of never-before-seen recipes featuring delicious ingredients with serious nutritional credentials.

Chapters range from Fifteen Minute Meals to Healthy ‘Fast Food’, via Holiday Cooking with Kids and Lunchbox Snacks, and fresh, easy and modern dishes include Quinoa Chicken Fingers, Crispy Baked Cod, The Best Buttermilk Pancakes and Carrot Cake Balls.

Real Food Kids Will Love offers everything today’s parents are looking for once their babies are ready to start joining in with family mealtimes. Each dish is designed to be enjoyed by the whole family, while remaining simple, healthy, and not too salty or sugary for young children.


Image: Gor Davtyan on Unsplash

Categories Cookery International Lifestyle Non-fiction South Africa

Tags Cookbooks Recipes

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