Favorite Cookbooks: Béatrice Peltre

Favorite Cookbooks: Béatrice Peltre


It has been quite a while since I've run a guest cookbook list (over a year!?). Needing a bit of time to regroup from this trip, and knowing that the lovely Béatrice Peltre has a beautiful new book out (La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life), I thought I'd invite her to share with us some of the cookbooks that have left a mark on her, and continue to inspire. I'll be back Thursday with more Morocco pics and a favorite way I use up lots of winter citrus.

Beatrice Peltre
Beatrice Peltre

I know many of you are familiar with Béa's work, but for those of you who aren't, she's a much-loved food writer, stylist, and photographer (note those shots above). She maintains a gorgeous food blog, La Tartine Gourmande, and if you'd like to see a sample of her book, you can start here. Thanks for taking the time to share with us Béa, and congratulation on the new book. xo -h

Beatrice Peltre
Beatrice Peltre

BEA'S COOKING STYLE (in her own words):

I grew up in rural France in a family obsessed with food. My grandparents and parents all maintained vegetable gardens and orchards, so my natural attraction to homegrown food, vegetables and fruit started there. With this cultural heritage, my cooking is naturally French rooted. But because I've traveled the world and lived in different countries, including New Zealand, I know it's also largely influenced by the places I've been to.

I'd call my cooking style contemporary French with exotic touches (hello coconut milk, ginger and lemongrass!). It ranges from simple and earthy everyday dishes--with a lot of vegetable tarts and soups, stuffed vegetables, gratins, meat stews, grains, risotto, ratatouille and tians, steamed fish, mixed salads, clafoutis and crumbles--to more elegant and dressed-up meals because I love to entertain too.

Because I believe that we eat with our eyes first, I love to make foods look beautiful. And focus on their natural beauty, especially vegetables and fruit (who knows if this is partially due to the fact that I was a vegetarian for over 8 years?).

I also love to revisit old recipes and use new ingredients to transform them. I'd build a recipe around a favorite ingredient or concept. And in the process, I'd always be thinking, "every meal, whether it's simple or more elaborate, deserves to be celebrated."

Because that's really what I believe.

BEA'S FAVORITE COOKBOOKS:

I should confess that I own a lot of cookbooks--but I am glad I am not the only one! Which however doesn't mean that I necessarily cook often from them. I love each one for different reasons. Each brings a different type of inspiration. This list is a condensed one of many favorites, but not all, as it'd be impossible to fit them all in this space.

Thank you Heidi for the inspiration, too. Always.

- Tessa Kiros's Falling Cloudberries: I love the feel of this book with its pretty pictures and humble recipes. They are all inspired by Tessa's multicultural heritage: from Cyprus to Finland; South Africa to Italy and Peru. They are colorful and exotic, which I love, and have an obvious "homemade" and "it's been made with love" feel that draws me directly in thinking, "I want to eat this now."

- Michelle Cranston's Seasonal Kitchen: This book is simply beautiful, recipes and pictures alike. Everything in the book speaks fresh and sunny, with recipes that are both simple and inspiring-- the kinds I want to eat every day. Often, when I am looking for visual inspiration, I'm likely to turn to this book.

- Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty: After visiting one of Ottolenghi's cafés in London, I knew I had to own his books. This is one of them. I am very fond of middle-eastern cuisine and of incorporating spices and herbs in my own cooking. Then there are the vegetables. I knew I'd love the book just because it combines many of my favorite flavors and ingredients.

- Donna Hay's cookbooks: All of them. I love the fresh and clean food styling and photography inside the books. Maybe I am a tad more attached to them, too, as Donna's books remind me of my time spent in New Zealand and Australia.

Maurice Alexis's Brocante Gourmande: I first bought this cookbook for its absolutely gorgeous pictures, and large format (the pictures really stand out). The book offers a delightful blend of old fashioned and new, with an array of traditional French recipes to which a modern touch was given. When you love the countryside, vintage dinnerware, vegetable gardens, France and French food, this book is truly a treat for the eyes and senses.

Nigel Slater's Tender: Slater's (informational too) book is one that witnesses of my genuine love for the English countryside and vegetables. I want Nigel's vegetable garden! I like that his recipes are simple and straightforward. I often turn to this particular cookbook when I am looking for inspiration on new ways to cook some of my favorite vegetables.

Chef Thomas Keller's The French Laundry: This one is definitely high on my list (like Michel Richard's Happy in the Kitchen)when I want to impress friends and guests with dishes that prompt ohh and ahh to the table. Obviously not something I do every day--especially these days with a 3-year-old little girl to look after. But I really like that Keller's recipes challenge me, and push my cooking skills a step beyond.

John Pawson's Living and Eating: I first bought this book because of its minimalist design and lifestyle feel: everything in it, from pictures to recipes, spoke the words "clean", "simple but elegant too". I am fond of Scandinavian and Japanese designs, and this book meant both to me, while also demonstrating that you can entertain with delicious dishes without the fuss.

Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home: Again, another British book! I enjoy Jamie Oliver's book for the same reasons I like Nigel Slater's: down-to-earth and humble recipes that remind me of what my grandmother' s dinner table was like. Always comfy and nourishing.

 
 
 
 
For new recipes & inspirations

Your Comments


Hannah
February 27, 2012

I just love discovering new foodie blogs & this one looks divine :) Thanks for sharing! x

 

Dramatic Pancake
February 27, 2012

I love this feature, Heidi! Bea's blog is so inspiring, it's great to hear about some of the things that inspire her. I have been eyeing Falling Cloudberries and now I'm pretty convinced it belongs in my library! Great suggestions.

 

Bea's book is gorgeous, and so is all of her work. The two of you, have more photography and cooking skills in your little pinky fingers than most of the rest of the world does with 10 people combined :)

Great post, beautiful imagery!

 

Venessa
February 27, 2012

I love these lists. And of course, Bea's an amazing writer and photographer. And like Dramatic Pancake up there, her list has just bumped a couple of books up there to the top of my list.
Can't wait to see hear more about Morocco!

 

This is a beautiful post! I absolutely agree in the food philosophy here. Fruits and vegetables are certainly the most beautiful :), inspired indeed! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

 

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet
February 27, 2012

I love her photos and blog. So inspiring, as I am sure her book is. Thanks.

 

Harriet
February 27, 2012

What a great post! It's really inspiring to read about people's favourite cookbooks and food philosophy. I've read Bea's blog for a while, so it's lovely to gain some more insight. Thanks Heidi!

 

Joy
February 27, 2012

So wonderful to see some of my favourite food bloggers together. I've always enjoyed reading her blog and found this interview just super fascinating.

 

Reem | Simply Reem
February 27, 2012

This is such an awesome post, it is absolutely inspiring and beautiful to see two of my favorite blogger together!!
Nice suggestions, i am sure going to check these out.

 

Larissa
February 27, 2012

Since I saw her blog I fell in love with all the photos, I want her book ! :)

 

Anjali @ The Picky Eater
February 27, 2012

Thank you so much for this post! I love discovering new blogs and cookbooks :) Btw - I love Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty also - it's one of my favorites!

 

emmycooks
February 27, 2012

I love learning what cookbooks inspire others and why. I think a good cookbook provides a little window of transcendence for the home cook--I can make that! I can go there! And this is a fun list because it includes some books that I don't regularly come across but will be watching for now. Thank you for the recommendations!

 

Jennifer
February 27, 2012

I've been a fan of Beatrice's blog for years, in fact her blog and yours were two of the first food blogs I started following! It was lovely to read more about Beatrice and having a peek at her favourite books. I discovered a few books in that list that are new to me, that I must now go and search out, but it was also lovely to see Donna Hay's books on her list. I am a huge fan of Donna Hay, and well it's great to see a fellow Australian mentioned.

 

Mike @TheIronYou
February 27, 2012

She's really an awesome photographer: the pictures you post above are gorgeous!
I'm gonna check out her blog because I'm very curious!
Peace
Mike

 

Skye from Skye Loves...
February 28, 2012

Looks like a stunning book - will definitely have to add it to my collection.

 

Susan
February 28, 2012

Lovely to hear from Béatrice on 101 Cookbooks. The photos from the upcoming book are inspiring.

I spent some time looking over Brocante Gourmande on Amazon.fr the other day, and this endorsement is all I need to buy it! I'm up for the translation challenge...

 

Simply Life
February 28, 2012

I was JUST looking at this book over the weekend- looks phenomenal!

 

Bev Weidner
February 28, 2012

Ohhhh, I've just loved Bea for the longest time!

This is gawgeous. I love that you featured her!

 

Tracy A.
February 28, 2012

Lovely inspiration - thank you!

 

Oana from dishchronicles
February 28, 2012

I absolutely adore the photos in this post. Like a lot. The colors are amazing. I can feel spring :).

 

Matthew@figandfork
February 28, 2012

She had an awesome Gluten-free Chocolate and Hazelnut Financiers recipe back in fall that I've made twice. Wonderful! Her photography is out of this world too!

 

Melanie
February 28, 2012

My husband has become so used to the names "Heidi" and "Bea" when he asks me where a certain recipe comes from. I have been cooking from Bea's new cookbook since I got it in November and like my Super Natural cookbooks, I'm not sure how I ever got along without it!

 

Wayve
February 28, 2012

Did I miss something big? You have a little girl?


HS: Thats Bea's little sweet pea. :)

 

Seriously Sassy Mama
February 28, 2012

The pictures are beautiful.

 

Inés
February 28, 2012

Thank you. Great pictures.
Big hugs!
Inés

 

Kelly
February 28, 2012

Is that Paper Source paper in the first picture? LOVE!

 

Julia {The Roasted Root}
February 28, 2012

Thanks for the cookbook review! I just got a Food & Wine Cookbook in the mail and literally said out loud "well I know what I'm going to do today" I'm always looking for a wonderful visual presentation with great recipes. I think I may have seen a review on Bea's cookbook on a different site as well, so that's a definite sign. Thanks!

 

I'm so happy you interviewed Peltre! Hers was the first food blog I started following as well. Her photographs are gorgeous. It is so cool to see what books, pictures and tastes inspire her! Thank you.

 

Christyna
February 28, 2012

What a visually stunning book! And, the recipes look amazing. My husband recently decided to try a gluten free diet for getting in shape purposes. I'm an avid baker, with him being the main consumer of my baked goods, so I was a little skeptical and sad. Your post for this book is coming at a perfect time. Just bought it on Amazon, and am looking forward to trying the recipes!

 

Katie
February 28, 2012

I already have been STUDYING and so inspired by Beatrice's book, which I got last week. Now I am sure to love these recommendations here. Coming from two of my favorite bloggers (and photographers) these are sure to be winners. Thank you!

 

Sini
February 28, 2012

Béa and her blog have been a constant source of inspiration for me since 2008. Loved to hear her favourite cookbooks!

 

clémence
February 28, 2012

Tried to resist... but i had to have it!!

 

Anna @ the shady pine
February 28, 2012

Love the list of cookbooks and had to chuckle as I had a lot of them! Bea's blog is so stunning and an inspiration!

 

ileana
February 28, 2012

It's so fun to look at different lists of cookbook faves. Plenty is such a wonderful book!

 

RisaG
February 28, 2012

I have never heard of Bea before but I will check out her new book and her blog.

I totally agree with her when it comes to Jamie's book. Actually I feel this way about all of his books. You can see his passion for good fresh ingredients and I love his style of cooking. I have all of his books and the pictures alone make me want to cook.

 

Kathleen
February 28, 2012

You are a lovely compass Heidi. Thank you for pointing the way towards Béatrice. My cookbook collection is so large (I'm embarrassed to say how many) but it is calling for her last book.

 

thelittleloaf
February 29, 2012

Thanks for this lovely insight into Beatrice's foodie world...I'm off to investigate the cookbooks listed above - I own quite a few but there are some that are new to me as well!

 

Caffettiera
February 29, 2012

What a treat. I already knew and loved Beatrice's work, but reading her favourites list was a revelation! I would include half of the books she cites in my favourites too, and I simply don't know the other half - soon to be remedied, surely.

 

stacey snacks
February 29, 2012

Ha! My FAVORITE cookbook of all time is LIVING and EATING too! No one in the States knows this book ,and it's old, but if you can find a copy, it's wonderful.
Every recipe is perfect and I love having it on my shelf, like an old friend.

I love Bea's blog, it's so beautiful, like her.
Stacey

 

Annie
March 1, 2012

I just noticed that this groupon seems to have "borrowed" one of your photographs:

http://www.groupon.com/deals/nutrition-northwest-co-chicago-1?c=all?p=21

 

Just got Bea's book yesterday and it's just so tremendously lovely. I can see you two being fast friends.

 

christine
March 2, 2012

These colours are soooo spring!

 

Jen Laceda
March 4, 2012

i love bea's LTG! but also, i have a collection of Tessa Kiros' cookbooks!!! i ctually havean extra copy of La Tartine Gourmande that I am giving away at my blog, so if anyone's interested...
ciao,
jen

 

lisa gozashti
March 6, 2012

I work at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Ma. We are so in love with the beautiful work of art that is La Tatine Gourmande. We greet each sale with joy, knowing all the pleasure and meaningful kitchen/home/life that awaits the lucky purchaser. I've just ordered Falling Cloudberries thanks to this lovely post.

 

abayomi
March 7, 2012

can i have some of this tips sent to my box on daily or weekly basis? because i love it.

 

samantha jillian
March 8, 2012

thank you so much for sharing this. i'm not sure what i love more, beatrice's food or her images. i've been a fan of hers for a while and anxiously awaiting her book.

 

lisa piel
March 22, 2012

Favorite Cookbooks: Béatrice Peltre

can someone please tell me what the food in the lower left (of the first group of three largish pix that appear on this post) is? It looks like some sort of a free-form tart with a dark crust and lots of red something inside?

Thanks.

 

Laura
March 22, 2012

How thrilled I was to see a list of Bea's favorite cookbooks and to discover that mine is almost identical. Now I can add Bea's book to my list!

Thanks for including her.