The Cook shelf of fame

The best kitchens aren’t nec­es­sar­ily the fullest. Team Cook re­turns to the same set of trusted gear time and again. Be­hold the books and kit we’ve loved most in 2016 ...

The Guardian - Cook - - Christmas -

A tip from Cook fave Jeremy Lee, these are aprons to make you stand up straight and cook like a leg­end. Avail­able in many hues, though the Chi­nese yel­low is where it’s at for us. vol­ga­li­nen.co.uk, £49

The sieve dou­bles up as a colan­der and fits its bowl snugly; you can use a cou­ple at a time with­out han­dle clash. Stashed away, they take up no more space than a stack of bowls. muji.eu; sieve £12.95, bowl £6.95

Per­fect for cut­ting dough, yes, but also for mea­sur­ing slices, scrap­ing sur­faces, gather­ing chop­pings … its uses are le­gion, and its price is just right. john­lewis.com, £6.99

The prici­est items on our list are ac­tual art­works. Peter Shire has been mak­ing these play­ful, sculp­tural ce­ram­ics since the 1970s, but they are ab­so­lutely hav­ing a mo­ment right now. mo­mosan­shop.com, £62

An ad­ven­tur­ous cook­ing primer from the per­son who’s per­fected the recipe for just about ev­ery­thing. Fig Tree, £25 Not so much a cook­book as an en­cy­clo­pe­dia of tastes from a part of the world you in­stantly – from page one – want to travel the length and breadth of. Phaidon, £29.95 Recipes from Sqirl, the LA hotspot that ev­ery­one seems to want to go to – don’t miss the ri­cotta toast and the sor­rel pesto rice bowl. An­other tome to travel with; Dun­lop’s prose is as mas­ter­ful as her Chi­nese: un­beat­ably au­then­tic. Blooms­bury, £26

A beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated per­sonal me­moir of a year of eat­ing good plate­fuls. To shelve along­side Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Di­aries. Faber & Faber, £20

A tiny stub of a spoon is a sur­pris­ingly pretty (and use­ful) thing. We don’t just want one. We want them all, in a row. mo­mosan­shop.com, £14-£24

A snap­shot of an ex­hil­a­rat­ingly alive part of London’s food scene. Nuno Men­des lov­ingly wrote the in­tro. We de­light­edly put it on our shelf. Hox­ton Mini Press, £28

Solid and pleas­ingly sim­ple, these are as easy on the fingers as they are on the eyes. haus­lon­don.com, £9

As sturdy as Le Creuset – and burn­proof, to boot. A min­i­mal­ist cook’s dream. cranecook­ware.com; fry­ing pan £85, casse­role £135

Com­fort­ingly rus­tic to the touch and visu­ally sub­tle – ves­sels to make your food shine bright. kanalon­don.com, £16-£40

Sodha’s sec­ond book con­firmed what we sensed from the first: her’s is the tasti­est, liveli­est, spice-in­fused fare this side of the Saba­marti river. Ex­tra points for the veg­e­tar­ian fo­cus. Fig Tree, £20

Ex­actly what any bud­ding pre­server needs: glass lids so noth­ing rusts, wide mouths for easy fill­ing, and shapes for all pur­poses. twen­tytwen­ty­one.com, £4.50-£6

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