Chef Morgan turns to cookbooks primarily for inspiration instead of information. “I like the inspiration of cookbooks than actually following a recipe, because I like changing the recipes too much. I like the photos and seeing new flavor ideas that I haven’t come up with myself.” Her favorite sources of inspiration are:
1. Flavor Bible
This is my number one recommendation to anyone who likes to cook. I got it in my senior year of high school as a present and it is easily my top used cookbook. It is great if you are comfortable with the techniques of cooking but are still learning how to put flavors together. Every single time I look in this book I learn something new. Even better, they just came out with a vegetarian version!
This was a staple in my house growing up and is still in my own home today. This is a great reference when you are not sure what temperature to roast something at or for how long something should cook. Although not a plant-based book it is still a great guide on basic techniques for recipes and is easy to adapt from traditional recipes to plant-based ones.
Sandor Katz is a fermentation god. I was lucky enough to see him speak in Vancouver a few years ago and was blown away. He went from living in New York City to moving to Tennessee where he grew too much cabbage and decided to make his first batch of sauerkraut. That was over 20 years ago and he was had a batch of sauerkraut going ever since. I AM OBESSED WITH HIM AND ALL THINGS FERMENTATION RELATED! The Art of Fermentation is more of a fermentation textbook, very in depth, with clear guides and instructions on how to ferment various things but no actual recipes. Wild Fermentation is Sandor’s first book and although a great source of information, it is less in depth than Wild Fermentation.
Rene Redzepi is changing the culinary world with his annual MAD Symposium—think TED Talks for food, he believes that the role of people in the foods industry is developing into a position of influence and that means we need to be more connected to our food, the people who grow it and every step of the process. On top of the MAD Symposium he also has one of the world’s best restaurants in Copenhagen, Noma. This book bundle is a combination of an amazing inspiring cookbook with gorgeous photography, a snapshot book of pictures from working at Noma and also a journal of Rene’s.
A classic – no explanation needed. It is really fun going through this and trying to adapt these classic recipes into plant-based versions. When I was developing the Mushroom Bourguinon recipe, this book was my first stop! EXTRA: Lucky Peach – Ok not a cookbook, but this is a great food magazine especially if you have ever been in the industry. Every single issue blows me away!
What is your favorite cookbook?