6 Gourmet Cookbooks We’re Currently Obsessed With

It’s true, even the Queensland Homes team find cooking a chore sometimes. But these six gourmet cookbooks have reignited our passion (and stomachs!) for delightful dishes.

From healthy wholefood alternatives, perfect recipes for beer pairings, a sprinkle of Italian and even one for the self-confessed sweet tooth, we’re currently obsessed with these six gourmet recipe books.


The Blue Ducks’ Real Food by Darren Robertson and Mark LaBrooy ($39.99, Pan MacMillan) 

Now this is a cookbook that we are really loving in our kitchen right now! The Blue Ducks’ Real Food is by professional chefs, wannabe farmers and flavour seekers, Darren Robertson and Mark LaBrooy, of the renowned Three Blue Ducks restaurant in Bronte, Sydney. The guys have more recently moved into the amazing The Farm Byron Bay, bringing their signature nourishing food to the table for eager diners. This is the kind of food that is all about slowing down, getting to know the nourishing ingredients – humanely raised meat and sustainable seafood, fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds and spices – and putting some love and passion back into your cooking. Savour the food you eat with these awesome recipes, designed to be eaten at a table with people you love.


Near & Far by Heidi Swanson ($39.95, Hardie Grant Books)

Known for combining natural food recipes with evocative, artful photography, New York Times bestselling author Heidi Swanson circled the globe to create a mouthwatering assortment of 120 vegetarian dishes inspired by her travels. Near & Far is divided into two major sections – the Near section focuses on recipes inspired by Heidi’s life in San Francisco and Northern California, while Far is divided into five chapters: Morocco, France, India, Italy and Japan. Evocative and inspiring, it’s much more than just a cookbook but a journey to the heart of global cuisine and cooking.


Best of Quinoa by Rena Patten ($40, New Holland Publishers) 

OK, so not everyone knows how to pronounce it (it’s Keen-wa, in case you were wondering!), but everyone is eating it! Quinoa is a grain, but it’s not just any grain. Considered to be almost a complete food – high in protein, full of vitamins, gluten and wheat free, cholesterol free and usually organic – it’s a true superfood… and if the recipes in Best of Quinoa are anything to go by, it can be super delicious! This is a great cook book for anyone who loves their super foods or for novices wanting to try this mega grain out for themselves, with a wonderful selection of easy to follow recipes for every palate.


Beer Bites by Christian DeBenedetti & Andrea Slonecker ($45, Hardie Grant Books)

With the words ‘Tasty Recipes and Perfect Pairing for Brew Lovers’, Beer Bites had us hooked. In a time when the drinking of the amber has been elevated to an art form, thanks to the craft beer movement, it’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker. And if you love a gourmet spin, try out these 65 globe-roaming, simple recipe for appetisers, snacks and main courses that go well beyond the typical pub grub. Best of all, the book assists you in selecting the perfect beer to accompany each dish. Consider your next Sunday session sorted!


Rome – The Urban Kitchen by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi ($49.95, Hardie Grant Books)

Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi have a long-standing passion for Italian food, owning several restaurants and a cooking school in London. Their eighth cookbook together takes the reader to the heart of the Eternal City with a sumptuous, visual journey in Rome – The Urban Kitchen. Putting their own spin on classic dishes and Italian family favourites, the duo have collaborated with some of Rome’s best chefs on modern Italian dishes insured by Romans from all walks of life – like Sorbetto di Peperone, a fiery hot chilli sorbet! Complemented by Katie’s anecdotes of their trip, this makes for a beautiful cookbook and keepsake for the travelling gourmand.


Sugar Free Baking by Carolyn Hartz ($29.95)

Created by Australia’s first sugar-free pioneer, Carolyn Hartz (founder of Sweetlife), Sugar Free Baking features a collection of 60 healthy, sugar free and gluten feee recipes that will satiate any sweet tooth, without the guilt! The recipes use Xylitol as a natural alternative to sugar, with only natural ingredients. Stockists at Sweetlife’s website.