Dear Santa: The Happy Foodie community's Christmas cookbook wishlist

Dear Santa,

We know you’re having a busy few weeks, but please take a little while to read this letter if you can. This is the The Happy Foodie community’s Christmas wishlist – the books our Twitter and Facebook friends really want to find under the tree this year. You look like a man who knows a thing or two about great cooking, so we’re sure you’ll enjoy their choices. They’ve been ever so good this year so, please Santa, make their Christmas wishes come true…

The big four

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem; Nigel Slater’s Eat, Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food and pretty much anything by Nigella Lawson – these are The Happy Foodie community’s most wanted books this year. They may weigh down your sleigh, Santa, but think of the joy they’ll bring. The stars of food telly feature prominently on this wishlist. As well as these four, books by  Rick Stein (India), Michael Caines (at Home), Lorraine Pascale (A Lighter Way to Bake) and Gordon Ramsay (Ultimate Cookery Course) also make the cut.

A passion to learn about new cuisines

 The Happy Foodies are an adventurous lot, with a desire to explore the cuisines of different cultures and nations. Yotam Ottolenghi is an enduring culinary inspiration, and we’ve had many requests for Plenty and Jerusalem. The interest in Middle Eastern cookery extends further, with Rebecca Seal’s Istanbul making it onto The Happy Foodie wishlist (as well as the Radio 4 cookbooks of the year shortlist). Finally, our Facebook friend David Bufton wishes for Thomasina Miers’ Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home, but would like us all to remember it should be spelled Oaxaca to be truly authentic.

Interesting voices

The Happy Foodie community’s taste in books may be varied, but there is a consistent desire for great food writing and a passion for the discovery of new voices. Stars of the digital world who have made the leap into print are among these, from Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook to Eat Like A Girl Niamh Shields’ Comfort & Spice. The Sprouted Kitchen and The Green Kitchen feature on blogger come.con.ella’s wishlist, each offering a wealth of healthy and vegetarian recipe ideas. Polpo’s Florence Knight is another outstanding new voice in cookery and her One: A Cook & Her Cupboard makes Lucy Rose Thompson’s wishlist, while Will Torrent’s Patisserie at Home is the book to make Catriona McKenzie of The Teatime Treatery happy on Christmas day.

Don’t forget our authors!

Santa – please make space in your sack for these choices from some of The Happy Foodie’s favourite food writers. You’ll make them very happy if you do.

Harry Eastwood (author of A Salad for all Seasons): “I'm hoping for a book called Edible Selby, which is not strictly a cook book, but rather a book of beautiful restaurants and lunches from around the world. My boyfriend and I ate in a tiny, scruffy paella shack perched precariously on a Majorcan cliff last summer because of a recommendation from that book. If the rest of the book is as judiciously well researched as the entry on Sa Foradada (the name of the prettiest paella restaurant on the planet), I'll be enjoying it for years and years to come! If I have to choose an actual cookery book, then I am yearning for Valentine Warner's The Good Table, about which I've heard really great things.”

Catherine Phipps (author of The Pressure Cooker Cookbook): “The book I most want for Christmas is Judi Rodgers’ The Zuni Café Cookbook. She, sadly, died recently and I have heard many great things about her book. A book I’ve recently added to my collection, and that I’d recommend to others is The Ethicurean Cookbook. It's a truly gorgeous book, filled with photos I want to cut out and frame and I love the approach to cooking. Inspired by their walled garden and ingredients produced or foraged locally, the book is full of seasonal recipes which I am desperate to try. I am also very keen to experiment with some of the alcoholic stuff - it had never occurred to me to make my own Vermouth before!”

Mary-Anne Boermans, author of Great British Bakes, has a request that we love: “I would like to receive the last copy of my book for Christmas, because it will mean that the print run has sold out and a re-print is needed! :-)”

So, Santa, can you manage all this? We can pretty much guarantee that our Happy Foodies will leave you and Rudolph some cracking nibbles to munch on when you come down the chimney. Surely that’s worth the extra weight on the sleigh?

With love,

The Happy Foodie team x

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