I know what you're thinking. "It's only 2 days to Christmas and you're posting this now?" Yup. I figure, since I'm going to be making a mad dash for gifts later today, you might be a last-minute shopper, too.
So, in no particular order other than this is the way the books were piled on my office floor, here are some of the best food books I encountered in the past year. I've streamlined the review so you can narrow your search quickly and hit the road. I've even included a section about the photographs in case you're as easily swayed by pretty pictures as I am.
Here in Ontario, school began yesterday. Despite having graduated from university last millennium, to this day fall still brings anxiety dreams where I race from room to room trying to find my class, or arrive on campus only to learn I forgot to register, or worse -- I'm enrolled in nothing but advanced math, for which I lack all prerequisites.
Even when I'm fully awake, the September nags at me to crack the books. And since my focus is now on food writing, the books I turn to are usually culinary. While the following recommendations contain recipes, and lots of them, their primary focus is on education. Their aim is not to provide you with recipes to follow, but to give you culinary knowledge so you can create delicious meals on your own. While these books have a similar purpose, they come from opposite ends of the spectrum. One is beautiful, serene and informative. It makes me want to move to the country and raise chickens that lay blue eggs. The other is crammed with more information than my brain can hold, but funny as hell. Being a Gemini, I like them both, and for very different reasons.