Michelle Peters-Jones

Michelle Peters-Jones

Food writer

https://www.thetiffinbox.ca
Michelle is a food writer, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer based in Edmonton, Canada. She runs her own foodsite, The Tiffin Box and also writes for popular websites, The Kitchn and Food 52. Michelle was born in India, and has lived in the UK for over ten years, before moving to Canada with her family. While in the UK, she appeared on Masterchef, which started her professional interest in food and food writing. Michelle has been featured on CTV and CBC Radio and in national newspapers. She is currently working on her first cookbook.

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Michelle's favorite cookbooks

The Professional Chef

The Professional Chef

This is of the books that I use on a daily basis. I am not a professional chef, though I did apprentice in a teaching kitchen for about two years. This is the book I used to teach myself to cook and I have been using it on a constant basis for over five years. It's easily my cooking bible and the first book I recommend for people who want to learn how to cook, and people who want to improve their skills.

River Café Two Easy

River Café Two Easy

Rose Gray

I reach for this restaurant cookbook when it is 5pm and I have no clue what I am cooking that evening. There are quite a few books in the River Cafe series, but this is my favorite, simply because it is geared for busy lifestyles, while keeping big flavors and sophisticated food at its heart.

Preserving Made Easy

Preserving Made Easy

Ellie Topp

I was looking for a book on canning and making use of all the produce my husband had been bringing back from our local urban farm. This book comes out during canning season (and anytime I have a glut of vegetables or fruit) and is one of the best-used books in my collection, as I love small-batch preserving.

The Mangalore Ladies Club Cookery Book

The Mangalore Ladies Club Cookery Book

This was the cookbook that my mom packed into my suitcase when I moved to grad school in England. In it, you'll find everything from traditional Mangalorean recipes to North and South Indian classics, as well as surprisingly interesting sections on baking and salads. The recipes defy categorization – they are personal recipes from the club's members and they span the globe. It is a funny book, in the sense that the recipes are all in the voices of the women contributing, and they assume that they are giving the recipe to a peer. This means that you really do have to know how to cook, and to talk the Mangalorean talk — that is what makes cooking from this book a real adventure.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi

What can I say about this book that hasn't been said before? This is one of the best used books in my kitchen and I love that all of the recipes can be easily adapted to suit the tastes of my family. It's one of those cookbooks that is both inspirational and practical, in that it inspires your own twists on those classic recipes, but you can also follow the recipes as they are, if you're in a hurry or you just want a foolproof recipe that works every time. Shout outs for Plenty, Plenty More and Ottolenghi the Cookbook too.

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How to Cook Indian

How to Cook Indian

Sanjeev Kapoor

As a cooking instructor specializing in East Indian cuisine, I get asked for my cookbook recommendations all the time. While a lot of my recipes come straight from my family, or through oral traditions, there are a few cookbooks I refer to when I need to look up something or to get a basic recipe for a dish from a different region of India. This is the bible of Indian cookery, and Sanjeev Kapoor is the high priest. Along with Tarla Dalal, Kapoor redefined the concept of the celebrity chef in India. He was one of the first people to cook on television, and his show Khana Khazana has been the number one cookery program in India for forever. We all grew up watching him, and it's no wonder — with over a hundred and fifty books — he is probably one of the least known, but bestselling, cookbook authors in the world (to be fair, there are over a billion or so Indians out there buying his books...). This is one of his ultimate cookbooks, and it is specifically designed and written for North American audiences. With over 500 recipes, you can be sure that you'll find a recipe for every season and for every event. There are no photographs in this book, which is disappointing, but if you really want to improve and learn more about Indian cooking, this is one book that you can't be without.

Thai Food

Thai Food

David Thompson

This book, along with its companion, Thai Street Food, just does not get enough credit in North America, in my humble opinion. This is my personal secret weapon when it comes to cooking Thai food, a cuisine I have been obsessed with, ever since my adolescent backpacking around this gorgeous country. This in an uncompromising book, there are no shortcuts or 'quick' 'easy' recipes. It's obvious why Thompson is the doyenne of Thai cooking, his attention to detail and his careful sourcing and crediting of recipes is unparalleled. This book feeds my obsession with Thai cooking, but I also use it as a handy referencing guide when I do Thai cooking classes. I can't be without this book and it is a book that I am going to pass down to my daughter (as soon as I convince her that spice is not the enemy :))

The Cuisines of Mexico

The Cuisines of Mexico

Diana Kennedy

You can obviously see a theme here in my picks, yes? What can I say? I love ethnic cuisines, of all kinds and when it comes to Mexican food, Diana Kennedy is the bees knees. This book is actually a combination of three of her bestselling books on Mexican cuisine (real Mexican, not Tex Mex) and covers everything you want to know and learn about the culture and food of Mexico. I struggled a bit between picking Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless, but in the end Kennedy's painstaking research and her quest for real Mexican food won out.

The Essential Goa Cookbook

The Essential Goa Cookbook

The Essential Goa Cookbook - Maria Teresa Menezes Being a Mangalorean Catholic myself, we are a community that are closely aligned with Goan culture, especially religiously. Mangaloreans speak Konkani, which is the state language of Goa, albeit in a different dialect. We also share a lot of cultural markers, including our names. Along with culture, the other important element that we share with Goa is the food. Mangaloroeans, like Goans, love their spicy hot meat dishes. Hot red chillies give our sauces their characteristic red colour, while a liberal use of vinegar (and ocasionally, tamarind) give them a delicate tanginess, that is associated heavily with Goan dishes. The use of tomatoes in sauces is relatively rare, and the thick sauces are a result of slow cooking the dishes, which encourage meats to release their juices and make a natural stock and spice based gravy. This little book is a gem! I picked it up from a tiny bookshop in India, and I adore the recipes, and Tessa's beautiful stories that go with them. The book doesn't have pictures, but does have some cute, quirky illustrations by the celebrated Indian cartoonist Mario Miranda. For me, it's the stories in the book that catch my imagination. When I am 'suffering' minus 40 C temperatures here in Canada, I pick up this book and I am transported to the beaches of Goa, with their swaying coconut palms and picking over steaming plates of spicy, red fish curry and red rice.

Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond

Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond

Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat

My friend introduced me to Japanese home cooking. Japanese food has the reputation of being complex and ritual based, however, as my friend Jamie reckons, it is because not many people understand that basic Japanese food is also based on comfort. I love this book, as it starts with basic/ master recipes and then takes you on a journey around Japanese food, one that goes beyond sushi and into the heart of Japan and its cuisine. The photography is beautifully evocative, and the recipes work perfectly in home kitchens, Japanese or otherwise.