The best cookbooks of 2016

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 cookbooks of the year, voted for by Readings’ staff, and displayed in no particular order.

(You can find all our best picks for books, CDs & DVDs of 2016 here.)

The Cook’s Table by Stephanie Alexander

There is comfort in knowing what needs to be done when, where and how. Stephanie Alexander’s latest collection of recipes provides meal plans for wonderful shared gatherings, from intimate settings to family feasts. Alexander breaks down complicated recipes into simple steps, and, in her most personal book yet, shares experiences and influences.

The Zen Kitchen by Adam Liaw

Adam Liaw has long been an advocate for the joys of Japanese cooking, and here he shows us why. Each recipe is designed to be made within minutes by following easy steps. Gather your spices, sauces and fresh ingredients and prepare to be amazed at what you can produce with a minimum of fuss.

Smith & Daughters by Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse

It’s vegan food but not as we know it. It’s cheeky and fun and perfect for those wanting to produce vegan dishes that won’t scare off the most dedicated carnivore. Martinez and Wyse know how to pack a punch and this wonderful collection shows how easy it can be!

Grown & Gathered by Lentil Purbrick and Matt Purbrick

This book captures a year in the life of a couple who decided to go back to basics and produce food that’s as good for the soul as it is for the environment. Inspirational on one hand, but also filled with practical ideas for meals from your veggie patch.

Salads & Vegetables by Karen Martini

Karen Martini has helped us over and over with her no-nonsense approach to family food that somehow still adds a little glamour to the most basic of meals. With this book your new year’s resolution of eating more vegetables will involve a smorgasbord of choices that will leave every family member wanting more.

Lamingtons And Lemon Tart by Darren Purchese

Secrets for cheeky meal finales are divulged in this wicked but accessible collection of dessert recipes. Not for the faint-hearted, but certainly for those wanting to surprise friends and family with unexpected flavour and texture combinations, astonishing visuals and creations of pure, sweet joy.

Neighbourhood by Hetty McKinnon

We loved her for her vibrant salads in the Community cookbook, and in Neighbourhood we have more colour with international food influences and a whole lot of warmth and flavour. This book is a treat for anyone that wants to share vegetarian feasts with friends and family.

Alimentari by Linda Malcolm and Paul Jones

If you’ve been fortunate enough to grab a sandwich or salad from Alimentari’s northside cafes, then you’ll already understand the wonderful mix of European-style food that is offered in this delicious collection of recipes. Think spreads that are all about mixing influences and creating a buffet of choices.

Not Just Jam by Matthew Evans

It’s time to buckle in for the long haul, and by following our favourite tree-changer’s advice you’ll have your pantry filled with preserves, chutneys and sauces that will last well into winter. This book is a treat for anyone who dreams of spending days in the kitchen stirring and creating.

Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour

Sabrina Ghayour has received accolades from across the world for this approachable collection of recipes from the Middle East. Absolutely packed with ideas for every meal, this collection turns the fundamentals of Middle Eastern food into an inspirational array of recipes. Perfect for those wanting to look further afield for flavours.

Cover image for Neighbourhood


Hetty Lui McKinnon

In stock at 6 shops, ships in 3-4 daysIn stock at 6 shops