Food & Culture

The best cookbooks of 2022

From Sri Lankan love letters to "not quite authentic" Chinese, we round up our favourite cookbooks of 2022.

By Anna McCooe
Photo: Alana Landsberry
Consider this your Indigenous flavour playbook. For the uninitiated, Bero is a First Nations chef and owner of two Melbourne venues under the Mabu Mabu umbrella. In these bold and beautiful pages, she takes the hallowed local ingredients gracing the dégustation menus of Australia's top fine-diners and introduces them into everyday cooking.
Not to be read in moments of weakness, this fever dream of a book is a direct line to Tuscany's bucolic Arniano Painting School. Here Guinness, the ultimate hostess, plucks produce straight from the garden to create satisfying feasts. Sigh.
In this encyclopaedic exploration of the world of spice, Ford demystifies spices and the art of balancing flavour. There are more than 80 recipes as guidance but by the time you have consumed the detailed back stories on each aromatic ingredient, you feel empowered to go rogue.
It's the book Lankan Filling Station fans had been longing for, and Carey's Sri Lankan love letter delivers generously. Keep on standby for hoppers, sambal, curries and to turn your next dinner party
into a spice-fuelled Sri Lankan banquet.
"Perforated tins stop pastry shrinkage": this is the baking bible according to Jackson. In these pages the MasterChef Australia winner and cake designer serves up fail-safe cookies, cakes, choux pastry and tarts.
Her elevated home cookery has inspired legions and with Busuttil Nishimura's third book her cult following continues to grow. Recipes are organised into spontaneous occasions from slow Sundays to summer feasts. Keep handy for when the moment strikes.
The tag line "Not quite authentic, 100 per cent delicious," rings true in this autobiographical Chinese/Australian mash-up. Kaul, head chef at Etta, and Hu, an illustrator and ex front-of-house, both grew up in Australia as immigrants with Chinese heritage. Chinese-Ish consolidates their lives on a plate (or slice of white bread in the case of the Sichuan sausage sanga) to delicious effect.
This comprehensive collection of more than 1000 recipes should be bought with a stockpile of post-it notes. You're going to want to mark every page. Buy it for an emerging cook when they leave home for the first time or for experienced home cooks who will devour the lot.
Allahyari's food is an express route to Persia as the refugee chef adapts his family's vibrant recipes to Australian ingredients.