Five cookbooks serving up festive food inspiration

At a loss as to what to cook for the many gatherings that come around at this time of year? Candice Botha rounds up some cookbooks that'll provide plenty of ideas

11 December 2019 - 16:53 By Candice Botha
'Cape Mediterranean The Way We Love To Eat'.
'Cape Mediterranean The Way We Love To Eat'.
Image: Supplied


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-style or in the form of 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 this, her first cookbook.

Her favourite recipe, a festive pavlova with lemon curd and passion fruit, is a must-try for this Christmas season.

'Summer Food'.
'Summer Food'.
Image: Supplied


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 also 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.

'Life is a Party'.
'Life is a Party'.
Image: Supplied


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 glamorous 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 Burtka's décor, playlist and cocktail suggestions making this a step-by-step manual for successful entertaining.

Image: Supplied


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 Sarah Graham 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.

Graham also shares stories of her travels throughout Africa and her chatty style makes it feel like you’re cooking with a friend.

Image: Supplied


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 offering that celebrates the way South Africans really cook and eat.

It's accurately described as a repository for a variety of recipes from the keepers (recipes known for their longevity) to 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’re sure to find something equal parts novel and nostalgic here.

• This article was originally published on Wanted Online. Visit for all the latest in luxury lifestyle news.