This is going to be a long post…
If you’re totally addicted to cookbooks and collect them, you’re gonna have a ball scanning all these images. If you’re not a book person, well… I recommend that you have a look at my newborn photographic portfolio HERE ;)
I’ve walked passed this gorgeous store in Glebe many time but had a hungry husband or ultra dynamic kids with me. Recently I found myself by miracle alone… in Glebe! Yay! I pushed the door and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting such an immense cookbook section! The choice here is mind boggling! You will find a lot of local authors or restaurateurs and many from all around the world.
At Gleebooks, the organisation of themes and books is well… a bit hectic. Books are everywhere, in curved (by the weight) wooden shelves, on the floor, on top of shelves, in display rotating shelves, anywhere.
That day I bought the marvellous Spice Temple book by Neil Perry, a real gem for people passionate about authentic Chinese food especially from the Sichuan province.
Next trip I will buy Matthew Evans’ Summer. I had the privilege to meet the famous farmer in Canberra last year at the Australian Food Blogging Conference. I had to fix my make-up after an hour conference. I was crying of laughter non stop… He is such a clever, passionate and indeed funny guy, his books reflect all this and are delightful. His battle for real good food is mine too. His book Not Just Jam is wonderful.
There is no alphabetical order and only rare themes (vegetarian, alcohol). It’s a bit like flee market shopping except that everything’s new and many of the books are very trendy. On this shelf I have bought (somewhere else), the World Cheese Book which is a fascinating read and reference book and also Preserving the Japanese way. The latter is a wonderful journey into the life of the American wife of a Japanese farmer. What an interesting character she is! The recipes seem very authentic by the list of ingredients and the narrative makes you take a cheap trip to Japan.
Of course you will find the classics but also the latest releases.
So many books I don’t have!
There are some gems here: A. Wong The Cookbook is the recipe book of the famous London restaurant. The cuisine is very close to Neil Perry’s Spice Temple. The cumin lamb is an absolute cracker. I cannot wait to make a great many dishes from these pages.
Then there are these two Polish cookbooks Sugared Orange and Rose Petal Jam. I bought both last year starting with one, enjoying it so much that I bought the other. When my mum came over from France to visit us in Sydney we read it together enjoying every story, image and recipe. They are much more than cookbooks but the plunge of Beata Zatorska and her photographer husband into her Polish heritage during one (or maybe several) trips back.
Another great book is The Dumpling Sisters. I just bought it so I haven’t tried any recipe but they look delicious and I love that you can basically make your own Yum Cha from scratch! I gotta buy a trolley…
I should have bought this one! It’s soooo funny. I saw it at Berkelouw in Berrima too. They are fantastic cocktail recipes and some apéritif food too on the theme of Shakespeare’s work. I love it! It would be a great present for my friend Klee.
Geez, when I look at the photos from my sofa, I’m thinking… why didn’t I spend more hours in there and have a real look at all these books! Look at The Food of Oman! I would love to see what’s in there.
I bought Tex-Mex from Scratch. It is a great book on which you abundantly dribble while turning the pages. You will see pulled meat, glistening wings and drums, tacos with the right recipe for the right use.
See how books are everywhere. It’s a real Ali Baba’s cave!
You will find the whole collection of Jamie’s books or Yotam’s.
The drinks, vegetarian and special diets sections are quite organised. Don’t trust them though as people move books around so you might find a book you’re looking for somewhere else in the shelves or on the floor.
Another future purchase will be The Mexico Cookbook. I am a huge fan of Phaidon, the editor, and had a quick look in it. It’s huge, complete and authentic, the same way the book INDIA (they published recently) presents Indian cuisine.
That’s the vegan section. I never look at those because, of course I am not vegan. But it’s a mistake. I am very interested in different dishes and ways of cooking. Being vegan forces you to a real challenge: make good food with fewer ingredients. And look at that book up there Afro Vegan! That sounds interesting!
I feel very ashamed and guilty to say that I haven’t been to the Sydney café and picklery called Cornersmith despite the fact that I am totally passionate about pickling and that I follow their great Instagram feed.
Lima the Cookbook by Virgilio Martinez is another future purchase of mine. Peruvian cuisine seems so interesting and this cover…
I bought The Japanese Farm Food from the same author of Preserving the Japanese Way I’m talking about above. She tells her story and what she does for her family and her community. She is truly fantastic.
I’ve talked about The Blue Ducks’ Real Food cookbook HERE. I loooove it.
I just got Heston’s Fat Duck Cookbook for my birthday two weeks ago, from my friend and chef Troy. What a strange and precious book! I need to read a lot more to be able to talk about it in a special post.
OK, I’m going to be repeating myself all along this article… but I really want to buy this book too. It is photographed by David Loftus, Jamie Oliver’s photographer and despite the fact that I already own about 5 Moroccan cookbooks, I think this one would have its very special place in my collection.
I need more Nguyen in my life… The French cookbook is not really my cup of tea of course, because it’s a bit too close to home but the Vietnamese ones (I have the one written by his sister) and the books made after his epic trip along the Mekong river. I loved this SBS show. The photography was absolutely beautiful. Luke’s permanent smile and candid approach to things make the show very enjoyable.
I decided I’d go to Biota first and then buy the book. It is a very highly praised restaurant in the Southern Highlands (near Sydney) where they have a proper veggie patch and grow the food they cook. There is a lot of foraging involved there too. I love this approach and I am eager to take the trip and enjoy the complete experience.
Of course, you will find a large collection of Women’s Weekly cookbooks.
If you have time to read all the titles here, you’ll have a good time :)
More books which are dying to get a little space in my bookshelf! I would love to buy Falafel for Breakfast by Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley from the restaurant at the border of Surry Hills and Redfern (Sydney) especially after I have met one of the cooks there: Kade from Bligh Street Bistro, a private dinner concept in Kirribilli.
This is the special diet and healthy eating section. I bought the Quinoa book for my mum who is gluten free.
That day I also bought Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School and already made a lot of recipes from it. It is easy, clear and simple. You can use it as a base and add you own touch to it. I love it. His videos are excellent too.
I bought the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook because the recipes of American cakes and cookies seem so exotic to me. I’m yet to try them out!
More Jamie and Yotam…
I’ve got a girl crush for Rachel Khoo… She is so sweet, so healthy and voluptuous, so British and yet she understands so well what French cuisine is about. I recommend her Little French Kitchen book and one I bought yesterday which is strangely called Sweet and Savoury pâtés. It has super cool and easy recipes to spread.
So many great books on this shelf, to name a few: the Messina Gelato recipe book, it’s just extraordinary (don’t forget to buy the pro ingredients too), The Indian Family Kitchen I talked about extensively HERE, and Anne-Sophie Pic’s Haute Cuisine “Complete cookery course” is very high on my list. I’m very proud of French women Chefs. It takes guts to make it in such a macho world!
The Alcohol section is pretty extensive. I bought the Craft Spirit World by Emily Miles. It’s a great book, very interesting and right up my alley :)
There are some interesting books in here too. Bistronomy was wrapped in plastic so I didn’t dare to open it. How many bookshops have lost money with me, when they put sealed books in their shelves… I will never open them…
It looked like a great book “Recipes from the Best New Paris Bistros”…. it sounds pretty cool… I’m very intrigued by the Biergarten cookbook and the Shred Diet Cookbook. Does shredding you food make you thinner???
The complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon is one of Wendell’s. I never open it because we have it in an old edition and the photos are totally dreadful… I know… one should never judge a recipe on the photo but it’s stronger than me…
I had a nice chat with the lady at the counter who went to great lengths to find me a book she recommended and finally couldn’t put her hand on it. She explained to me that the very strong point of Gleebooks’ selection was the vegetarian, vegan and special diet section. The owner of the bookstore is passionate about food and very interested in alternative eating. And it shows! The overhaul selection is just fantastic.
If you’re passionate about food, books and cookbooks, do not miss this store. It’s a real gem!
I’ll be back very soon. I hope they have a loyalty card…
NOTE: This post is not sponsored.
49 Glebe Point Road Glebe NSW 2037 Sydney Australia