8 Cookbooks from Iconic Female Chefs ...


8 Cookbooks from Iconic Female Chefs ...
8 Cookbooks from Iconic Female Chefs ...

Looking at television food programmes and the chefs behind many top restaurants it would be easy to believe it was a man’s game. But in recent years the rise of successful women in the kitchens of new foodie destination restaurants, and on our TV screens, means that nowadays your favourite chef or cookbook writer may well be a woman. And in fact, they’ve been there all the time. Here are 8 cookbooks from iconic female chefs – taste them and feel proud to be a woman.

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Elizabeth David

First published in 1962, French Provincial Cooking is our favourite of Elizabeth David's fabulous series of cookbooks, inspired by her love affair with the country and its food. At the time, for a woman to leave the kitchen and experience the cuisine of another country was unusual, and her work changed the way we think about food. The recipes and the accompanying observations are full of the authentic flavours and textures of regions throughout France, such as Alsace, Provence, Brittany, and the Savoy.


David's tome is not merely a collection of recipes; it's an evocative journey that transports the reader to the cobblestone streets and bustling markets of rural France. Her prose weaves in historical context and personal anecdotes, offering insights into the French way of life that extends far beyond the kitchen. As an influential figure in the world of gastronomy, David paved the way for understanding regional delicacies and the importance of sourcing quality ingredients. Her influence persists, inspiring chefs and home cooks to embrace cuisine with a sense of place.


Julia Child

Another iconic female chef from the 1960s is Julia Child, an American who fell in love with France and spent her career bringing the joys of French food and cooking techniques to an American and later European audience. Her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is a detailed and inspiring manual on how to create authentic French food which still has its place in many modern kitchens.


Delia Smith

One of the first cookbooks from iconic female chefs was written by Delia Smith, a British cook and television presenter who has become the most trusted name in British cooking. How to Cook, is her ‘bible’ of foolproof, ‘works every time’ cookery. It has over 700 pages, 350 recipes and covers every technique, tip and ingredient that you, the man in your life, or your student children on their way to college, can think of. And yes, it starts with How to Boil an Egg.


Nigella Lawson

Consummate Domestic Goddess, Nigella has become something of a UK National Treasure. Her laid back and sensual style and her recipes, which are a perfect combination of common sense and the ‘wow’ factor, have made her one of our most iconic female chefs. How to Eat, is an indispensable source of tips and recipes, as well as suggestions for every occasion, ways of simplifying processes for busy cooks, and just enough excitement to give you confidence that your dinner guests, or even your children, will be very, very impressed.


Ina Garten

In Back to Basics Ina Garten definitely proves that simple can still mean extremely tasty. Under Ina’s philosophy, food is a delicious treat to be shared but effortlessly. Serving up a mix of Mediterranean and US classics with a massive dollop of style, Ina shows entertaining is just as simple as cooking a family meal. Check out the style and presentation tips that are an inherent part of the appeal of Ina.


Her cookbook teaches readers how to elevate their cooking using ingredients that are both accessible and of high quality. Whether it's her perfectly roasted chicken or her plush sour cream coffee cake, each recipe is presented with Ina's signature warmth and expertise. Her approachable yet elegant dishes are designed to take the stress out of preparing a meal, whether for a couple, a small gathering of friends, or a festive family occasion. Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is a testament to the fact that a meal doesn’t need to be complicated to be deeply satisfying.


Angela Hartnett

A Taste of Home is a cookbook from iconic female chef, Angela Hartnett. Despite her formal training and rise to stardom under the leadership of Gordon Ramsay, and having opened several highly successful restaurants of her own, Angela’s style is informal and grounded, bringing inspiration from her childhood experiences of home cooking with her Italian grandmother to our kitchens. In this new book, she mixes Mediterranean influences with European to create delectable recipes that are straightforward, quick and easy to make.


Thomasina Miers

BBCTV’s Masterchef has created many new stars of the kitchen, and none more so than 2005 winner Thomasina Miers. Cook is her first exciting book, which shows us exactly why she won. Subtitled ‘Smart, Seasonal Recipes for Hungry People’, it does what it says on the cover. The recipes are irresistible, her approach smart, modern and unfussy and the result is a vibrant, rich diverse mix of influences from all over the world.


Iconic Women Chefs

This last cookbook is truly the icing on the cake. It’s called Great Women Chefs of Europe, and in it, the greatest female chefs of today invite us to discover their universe. From behind-the-scenes in their restaurants to market expeditions and visits to local producers, these thirty women share the secrets of their incomparable dishes. Their refreshing creativity and dedication to the craft are living proof that women are leading the hottest trends in international cuisine.

So there we are – women, once tied to the oven by convention and tradition, are returning in triumph to create fabulous, award winning food, in restaurants, on television, and on the page. Pick up one of these cookbooks by iconic women chefs and join in the fun. Who inspires you in the kitchen?

Top Photo Credit: sj_sanders

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