Michele Cranston

Michele Cranston

Food stylist and magazine food editor

https://www.michelecranston.com.au
Michele Cranston has been cooking and styling for 25 years in a career that has included working in various restaurants, setting up an acclaimed café, cooking creatively for a food production company in London and writing about food. She was the Food Editor at marie claire magazine for 5 years and has written 10 books under the marie claire title. She recently published a new book, ‘A Simple Table’ under her own name.

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Michele's favorite cookbooks

The Cook's Companion

The Cook's Companion

Stephanie Alexander

Never did a book so grandly live up to its name. Indeed, having this book perched on your kitchen bench is like being guided by a warm and generous Aunt who has spent a lifetime cooking and researching food. There are recipes for every event and occasion, knowledgeable information and my most favourite bit, the 'go with' lists that compile a selection of flavours and ingredients that compliment each other. This is a well thumbed and food-splattered book that answers just about every question and has inspired many generations of home cooks.

Mediterranean Food

Mediterranean Food

Elizabeth David

Reading this book is all about travelling back to a time when the world and its food was constrained by villages and customs, seasons and states. You can hear in the re-telling the excitement with which an English woman discovered the extraordinary flavours of provincial Italy and France and as a reader you can imagine how thrilling it would have been to have had, for the first time, the extraordinary blending of pine-nuts, fresh basil, garlic and Parmesan cheese. I also love the conversational tone of the recipes which reflect an era when a certain degree of knowledge was assumed.

The Kitchen Diaries

The Kitchen Diaries

Nigel Slater

I could have named any of Nigel Slaters books but I've chosen this one because I once stood in a queue waiting to purchase the book and found myself crying over one of the introductions, and that is what makes Mr Slater such in incredible writer. He can raise the humble cheese sandwich, baked apple or garlicky casserole to such a revelatory experience with a few magical words that you not only want to dive into the kitchen and get to work, but perhaps also, be invited around to his place for tea and a chat!

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Marcella Hazan

In an era when Italian food can be purchased in any supermarket aisle tinned, frozen or dried, this hefty book, filled with so much information, reminds us of what real Italian cooking is all about. Simple delicate sauces, perfectly cooked pasta, richly flavoured vegetables and a chapter on traditional baking that leaves you reminiscing about noisy Italian cafe's and bars lined with little glasses of Grappa and strong espresso's.

Plenty

Plenty

Yotam Ottolenghi

It may be called Plenty, but this is a book that makes you hungry, hungry, hungry. There isn't a page or a recipe that doesn't make you want to shout out about the wonders of vegetables, grains and spices. It also makes me want to give the Ottolenghi team the biggest hug for combining such brilliant assemblages of flavour, colour and texture and for reminding us that food can be humble and exceptional at the same time.

Roast Chicken & Other Stories

Roast Chicken & Other Stories

Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham

I'm not sure if it's the name, combining two of my favourite passions or the lovely tone of the writing, which is all about celebrating wonderful chefs and great food, but this is definitely a book I can pick up over and over again and always find a small gem of a recipe that I had maybe forgotten. Whether its the perfect chocolate tart, a wonderful coriander sauce or a delicious aubergine salad, this is a book that always inspires and makes me smile.

Kylie Kwong: Recipes and Stories

Kylie Kwong: Recipes and Stories

Kylie Kwong

This book is a celebration not only of Kylie's amazing food but also a wonderful memoir of family, friends and the stories that have surrounded her life. It not only features a great collection of Chinese classics, that make you want to dive into the world of ginger, shallot and Shao Hsing wine, but it also has the recipe for the best ever fried eggs as well as her Mum's fairy cakes which became a children's birthday staple in my house.

Mediterranean Cookery

Mediterranean Cookery

Claudia Roden

I first bought this book in London more than 20 years ago and it's much worn pages are testament to the number of times I've researched a recipe or looked for a simple solution to a mid week meal that packs a big flavour punch. This was a book that lead me down the many spice laden alleyways of the Middle-East at a time when I knew very little about the cuisine and took me on some fun flavour filled adventures along the way. The research is perfectly articulated and every chapter introduces you to classic dishes that have now become mainstream favourites.

Available on ckbk now
The Sugar Club Cookbook

The Sugar Club Cookbook

Peter Gordon

I love Peter Gordon's food. It's always been delicious, exciting and packed with the flavours that I adore. I think its the slightly crazy Antipodean mix that I'm drawn to but then who could say no to a bowl of spiced laksa or chilli and rocket mussels, plantain fritters or beef pesto. These are all recipes with gusto, as is the sweet chilli sauce, which is still a constant in my fridge.

Jane Grigson's Fruit Book

Jane Grigson's Fruit Book

Jane Grigson

As a recipe writer, there are some books that become constants in your life, and this is one of them. It may be an encyclopaedic collection of fruit recipes but it is also an ode to the wonders of fruit and to the stories that surround many a family favourite. I love perusing the pages, chuckling over old fashioned puddings, being surprised by unsung heroes of the orchard and kitchen and being inspired to create a modern twist on a long forgotten tart, pie or pud.