1. CAPE MEDITERRANEAN THE WAY WE LOVE TO EAT by Ilse van der Merwe (Penguin SA)
With the Cape’s Mediterranean climate, it’s no wonder that its culinary culture is heavily influenced by the fresh-produce heavy, healthy style of cooking associated with the European coast, Middle East and northern Africa.
With a strong focus on seasonal produce and fresh ingredients, this book offers an array of recipes suitable for entertaining large groups, whether you like your meals plated, buffet or tapas. Author Ilse van der Merwe is known for her food blog, The Food Fox and her contemporary recipes have been gorgeously styled and photographed for her first cookbook.
Her favourite recipe, a festive pavlova with lemon curd and passion fruit is a must-try for this Christmas.
2. SUMMER FOOD by Tjaart Walraven (Penguin SA)
You'll probably recognise him if you’re a fan of Great South African Bake-Off, but judge Tjaart Walravan is an accomplished chef who, despite not being born here, has embraced the South African lifestyle which he showcases in his new cookbook, Summer Food. Featuring recipes that encourage easy entertaining and cooking outdoors there’s something to inspire all your summer celebrations here.
3. LIFE IS A PARTY by David Burtka (Grand Central Publishing)
David Burtka is an entertainer extraordinaire and in this new book he shares his expertise in an accessible way that’s sure to have you planning glamourous summer soirees. Focusing on easy recipes, the book covers sixteen themes that you can follow exactly or pick and choose to create your own menu designed to wow. An added bonus is David’s décor, playlist and cocktail suggestions making this a step-by-step manual for successful entertaining.
4. HOME by Sarah Graham (Struik)
Simple, unpretentious recipes that are ideal for sharing with friends and family are what South African food blogger turned celebrity chef is famous for — and those in her third book, Home are inspired by Africa and are ideal for a summer Christmas feast. Think summery poached chicken, prawn bunny chows, sweetcorn pot bread with blistered tomato jam and rose water panna cotta with smashed raspberries and sticky honeyed pistachios. She shares stories of her travels throughout Africa and her chatty style makes it feel like you’re cooking with a friend.
5. SHARE by Errieda du Toit (Penguin SA)
The concept behind this book is to collect recipes from over 150 community cookbooks and combine them into a single book that celebrates the way South Africans cook and eat.
Described as a repository for a variety of recipes from the keepers (recipes known for their longevity), the never-fails (those epic recipes that never let you down), communal food for come-on-overs, retro classics and those defining dishes and bakes treasured as heritage food.” You’ll find something equal parts novel and nostalgic here.