The best food and drink books to ease away the January blues

Last year saw some great releases in the food and drink book market, here are 5 of our favourites.

Published 11th Jan 2019
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Gary MacLean: Kitchen Essentials

(Price: £20.00)

Kitchen Essentials: The Joy of Home Cooking, combines Scotland's national chef Gary MacLean’s experience of teaching complete beginners with his skills as a professional chef to provide recipes and techniques that everyone can use in their own kitchen.

Perfect for any skill level, it gives options for starting with basic techniques, extending your choices at dinner time, or discovering new recipes to show off to family and friends.

The Beer Kitchen: The art and science of cooking and pairing with beer

(Price: £20)

Beer and food? What could be better?

Award-winning beer expert Melissa Cole has put together this fun book that offers over 70 recipes, combining her expertise in both the brewery and the kitchen.

Not designed just for those looking to cook a meal or two, the Beer Kitchen offers lots of information on beer styles and flavour combinations to ensure that drinks fans will have as much fun with it as budding cooks.


Vegan Man

(Price: £22.99 and available from

The iconic Haynes Manual range has turned its attention to one of the country's fastest growing lifestyle trends and Vegan Man provides a manual for anyone wanting to successfully follow a meat-free diet but who still want to eat their favourite foods.

The Whisky Exchange has revealed the Whisky of the Year 2024

Ideal for new vegans, but also full of ideas for more experienced cooks, Vegan Man is packed with beautifully illustrated and easy-to-follow tasty recipes that use a wide range of accessible ingredients.

The book offers top tips on how to make nutritious breakfasts, mouthwatering main courses, and satisfying sweet treats using vegetables, fruits, nuts, oils and pulses. It also includes advice on how to convert your favourite dishes, and offers substitute recipes for making your own vegan condiments.

Tom Kerridge's Fresh Start

(Price: £25 approx.)

Not just a cookbook but a guide for changing the lifestyle of you and your family to be happier and healthier.

hugely popular celebrity chef Tom Kerridge turns his infectious passion to print as he pushes to move us away from ready-meals and takeaways, and back into the kitchen, cooking meals with your family and friends.

Mulled wine recipe: how to make the spiced Christmas drink, best wine and glasses to use - and history explained

Tom says: "I’ve learned from experience how important it is to take control over what you eat, for the sake of your health and happiness. Now I want to show you that cooking amazing meals really isn’t as difficult as you might think, with recipes that taste fantastic and will get you having fun in the kitchen.”

Malt Whisky Yearbook 2019

(Price: £13.95)

The ultimate whisky annual is back fully revised and packed with new and up-to-date information on more than 400 whisky distilleries from all over the world.

Distinguished whisky experts have contribute loads of new features written
exclusively for this new edition, meaning any whisky fan will have everything they need to get them ready for 2019 including details of hundreds of whisky shops, whisky sites and new bottlings.

Gin: Distilled: The Essential Guide for Gin Lovers

(Price: £8.99)

New Scottish restaurants added to the Good Food Guide

From the team behind the Gin Foundry - founders of Junipalooza, The Ginsmith Award and the Gin Kiosk (author) - this excellent little guide is the perfect book for anyone interested in the UK's top trending spirit.

With distilleries, producers and new gins popping up all around the country, this fun book includes the modern history of gin, a look at how gin is made, a guide to tasting gin, gin styles and Gin Foundry's insightful botanical flavour wheel.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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