Summer might basically be over, but that doesn't mean we still can't reminisce! Julieta is here to share us her favourite summer cookbooks. Keep reading to find out more!

Let’s play a game…tell me honestly how many times you pick up a cookbook during a regular week and I will guess what kind of person you are:

A: 0 times a week
B: 1-3 times a week
C: 4-6 times a week
D: Over 7 times a week

A: You clearly have found your way to this article by accident, OR you happen to want to be the sort of person who picks up cookbooks during the week for recipe inspiration. You might also own so many cookbooks you can’t be bothered to look at them any more.

B: You are “adulting” just fine… you are clearly in the know, in the sense that you actually know a thing or two about cooking so you don’t have to constantly look at recipes and books to know what you are making. “Al dente” is your life motto.

C: Are you sure you counted well? Why are you looking at your cookbooks so much? Is it the photography? Do you also feel like most cookbook photography is overly produced? Yes? CALL ME. I think we are going to be friends.

D: Ok, you are either a recipe developer, work in the industry or you really, really, REALLY love cookbooks. Maybe you should be writing this article.

As for me, I pick up cookbooks sporadically – not because I don’t like them, but because the market is oversaturated, to the point where it’s quite difficult to find unique recipes or dishes with a twist; I mean how many different ways are there to make “protein balls”?!

You could say the cookbook industry is having a bit of a “moment”. Everyone seems to be releasing one regardless of their knowledge and overall capacity to *actually* cook. Trust me, I’ve pulled one too many hairs ranting about this matter so I’m here to tell you about the cookbooks that are definitely worth your time and that I can’t live without. They are very different from each other in both the concept, layout and recipes. After all, variety IS the spice of life.

Elly Pear’s Let’s Eat by Elly Curshen

Elly Curshen is a British food writer and cafe owner from Bristol. Her first book “Fast Days and Feast Days” revolved around the 5:2 diet, in which you fast for 2 days and eat normally for 5. Her second book “Let’s Eat” is all about getting those basic recipes under the belt and learning how to use them within different dishes by making the most of your freezer. The second half of the book features ready-set menus for different types of dinner parties, from dinner for four to lunch with friends and everything in between.

Perhaps what I love the most about the book is the format and the tone of voice which makes it stand out from the crowd. If you follow Elly on Instagram (@ellypear) you will understand her tongue in cheek language is not something new to the book but it’s essentially her in book form.

A Year of Beautiful Eating by Madeleine Shaw

Madeleine Shaw is a British qualified nutritionist and yoga teacher with three incredible cookbooks under her belt. Her first book “Get the Glow” and second book “Ready Set Glow” are two incredible additions and very different cookbooks to her latest one. While the first one introduces you to a holistic way of looking at nutrition, the second one is all about those quick, easy and healthy recipes we can all make when there’s not much time to cook from scratch. “A Year of Beautiful Eating” concentrates on eating with the seasons, which is something I’ve been hearing about quite a lot recently. Madeleine’s latest book features great recipes organised by seasons, a great idea if you ask me!

Some of my favourite recipes include: Pistachio Crusted Sea Bass with Shaved Fennel & Courgetti, Clementine and Chicory Salad, and the Almond and Blueberry Tart.

Jack’s Wife Freda

Out of all the cookbooks released by restaurants this year, this one is my favourite. Jack’s Wife Freda is a bistro in New York with locations in Soho and the West Village that serve all-day American-Mediterranean cuisine with Middle Eastern influences. Their cookbook, which was released earlier this year, feature some of the bistro’s best dishes (created by chef Julia Jaksic). Perhaps what I love the most is the introduction to the cookbook, a beautiful story of how the restaurant came to be and its influences.

If you are looking for fresh, inspiring and easy recipes you can recreate at home, this is for you.

I would love to hear about YOUR favourite cookbooks, do you have one you can’t live without?

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photography: Julieta Lucca

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Julieta Lucca

Julieta is an Italo-Argentine writer, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer. She currently lives in London with her boyfriend and two Siamese cats Penny & Olive. She loves food, tequila and the show Brooklyn 99, in that order.

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  • I’m not in the habit of picking up cookbooks. I currently own one, which my friend gifted me a year ago when I moved off-campus into an apartment! I check it maybe 2x/month. Though lately I’ve realised that I’m always cooking the same thing and I feel like I never cook proper meals, so I’ve been flipping through my recipe book before grocery shopping :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s