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The Best Cookbooks to Spice Up Your Culinary Routine

Reading about food can be as amusing as enjoying a tasty menu. We have made a selection of cookbooks to soak up inspiration from. You will find simple recipes to resolve weeknight dinners, but also rare vintage cookbooks that can be a perfect gift to any foodie.

It does not matter if you are a neophyte in the kitchen or a seasoned pro, we’re certain you have at one point found yourself trapped on the internet watching recipe videos on a continuous loop. Unsurprisingly, at BIBLIO we believe books are still the best resource to discover new recipes, find inspiration, and learn the basics of cooking. Cookbooks have something special that goes beyond the description of ingredients and techniques. They are story-filled, they constitute a way for the author to share personal memories with the reader through something as emotionally triggering as food. 

Sophia Loren’s cookbooks: a glamorous touch to Italian cuisine 

There are several reasons to consider Sophia Loren’s cookbooks a treasured item for any foodie (or book collector). The first and more important is that is written by someone who stated “everything you see I owe to spaghetti”. Sophia Loren’s cookbooks were published when she was already a famous actress, and her tips and tricks to cook gnocchi, risotto, and pizza as a pro are mixed with lovely pictures of Sophia Loren fully embracing her cooking abilities. Her literary debut was the international bestseller In the Kitchen with Love (first published in English by Doubleday in 1972), which has become a hard-to-find work nowadays. In 1998 she published another book titled Sophia Loren’s Recipes & Memories


Julia Child’s classic Mastering The Art of French Cooking

Signed Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume I & II listed by Burnside Rare Books

Author, and television personality, Julia Child is known for introducing French cooking in the US. The Art of French Cooking, published in 1961, has been a useful resource to chefs and amateur cooks for learning everything about French cuisine. The French Chef, the show hosted by Child, helped enhance the popularity of her approach to teaching cooking.

While books by Julia Child have been consistently popular over the years, there has been a definite increase in sales of used and specially signed copies of her cookbooks since the recent release of the HBO Max show “Julia”, a TV series starring Sarah Lancashire in the title role. 

A few years ago, journalist and filmmaker Nora Ephron released the movie “Julie & Julia”, a biographical comedy-drama film with Meryl Streep as Julia Child. (By the way, Nora Ephron herself was also a food lover, and all her books are replete with groovy culinary references).  

On BIBLIO you can find used, signed, and collectible copies of Mastering The Art of French Cooking for your kitchen bookshelf!


Betty Crocker Vintage Cookbooks

Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book listed by Turn-The-Page Books

If you are looking for beautifully designed vintage cookbooks of the 1950s, those by Betty Crocker are the perfect option. Betty was an invented persona created by the American food company General Mills. In the beginning, “Betty” was a way to give a personalized response to consumer product questions but her tasks and duties evolved over the years. Nevertheless, more than 75 million copies of the original Betty Crocker Cooky Book have been sold since it was first published in 1950. The whole cookbook series includes more than 250 different titles approaching different aspects of cooking. You can read more about it on this page

Stories and recipes from Jane Austen’s family

Are you looking for a 19th-century twist to a special dinner proposal? What about a menu composed of buttered prawns, wine-roasted gammon, pigeon pie, and the famous white soup Salmagundy mentioned by Charles Bingley in Pride and Prejudice? Although Jane Austen didn’t delight herself with profuse meal descriptions, food plays a vital role in her novels. As domestic stories, they are deeply imbued with the social rituals related to the pleasure of eating. 

One of Jane’s dearest friends – and later, sister-in-law –, Martha Lloyd, compiled over 100 of the Austen family recipes in her Household Book, which today constitutes one of the most precious items of Jane Austen’s Museum in Hampshire. A facsimile edition was recently published by food historian Julienne Gehrer. 

On the other hand, Maggie Black and Deirdre Le Faye adapted those recipes so they can be recreated using modern ingredients and kitchen utensils. Find your own copy of The Jane Austen Cookbook now


Anthony Bourdain, a chef, and a best-selling author

Signed copy listed by Rare Book Cellar

Best known for his television persona, Anthony Bourdain was also the author of several bestselling books. He cultivated both fiction and non-fiction, all of them centered around cooking and food with a touch of noir style. He even published graphic novels! In this article, you’ll find a complete list of Anthony Bourdain’s books. Maybe one of his most notorious works is Kitchen Confidential, a memoir and behind-the-scenes look at restaurant kitchens published in 2000 by Bloomsbury. The majority of his books are not traditional cookbooks full of recipes if that’s what you are looking for, but they are a perfect gift to someone who loves eating and reading, no matter what order. 


The best recipes to delight any gathering…. and other rare cookbooks

Sometimes you need something straightforward (meaning less literary), anything that nudges you out of your cooking rut and answers the eternal question “What’s for dinner?”. On other occasions, you may seek to enjoy curious books celebrating the art of cooking and tasting. Here is a list of book recommendations that will fulfill any expectation:

  • I Am From Here: Stories and Recipes From a Southern Chef. Vishwesh Bhatt explores the culinary parallels and possible connections between Western India and the Southern U.S. An example: peanut masala–stuffed baby eggplant alongside fried okra, tossed in tangy chaat masala. 
  • Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture From My Kitchen in Mexico. Mexican cuisine is vast, incredibly vast – there are endless types of chilies, ways of cooking, and unimaginable mixing of the most extravagant flavors.  In this cookbook, Rick Martínez guides the reader through the recipes of Mexico’s different regions in a very personal way.
  • Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook. You won’t need a well-stocked pantry or plenty of time to recreate the recipes in this book. Written by the bestselling author of Flavor, this title is a perfect option for those who need a bit of innovation in the kitchen and enjoy good food and home cooking with a focus on seasonal cooking. 
  • Another excellent option for newer cooks who need clear instructions to help them play with condiments is Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan. 
  • If you want to explore the significance of food in famous literature, enjoy this list with a few books to inspire any bibliophile.
  • Artist Andy Warhol not only illustrated a popular cookbook early in his career as a commercial artist, but he also self-published his own cookbook. Read everything about this scarce, collectible title and gem of cooking literature by clicking here
  • Authors such as Maya Angelou and Roald Dahl, devotees to fine cuisine themselves, published their own cookbooks. We’ve curated a list of cookbooks by bestselling authors for you to enjoy, read it here

BIBLIO is the best place to find used, rare, and vintage cookbooks, whatever your taste! Start browsing now!

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