Out of interest, we’ve rounded up five of the most expensive and lavish cookbooks retailing today, to find out whose golden ticket may be on a book shelf near you.
1. Wenzel’s Menu Maker RRP £664.99
Highly recommended in the culinary world, restaurant professional George Leonard Wenzel has composed a fantastic reference text for those preparing their own menus. Including over 2000 prize recipes from a variety of cultures, each of these dishes has been used in restaurants with great success for a number of years. Costing £664.99, this book is possibly intended more for the menu consultant than the food fan wondering how much ginger to use in their homemade Thai curry.
2. ElBulli 2005-2011 RRP £425
The iconic Spanish restaurant ElBulli has been voted best restaurant in the world an incredible five times, and lead chef Ferran Adria is often described as the best chef in the world. The restaurant has become legendary for its innovative dishes and high-end techniques, as well as its revolutionary front-of-house service. Sadly the restaurant closed in 2011, but lead chef Ferran Adria, creative director of the ElBulli workshop and Ferran’s brother Albert Adria, and restaurant manager Juli Soler have provided a spectacular insight into the high-end techniques and innovative dishes that earned them their fame with this collection. As the menu changed each year, the collection includes a volume for each year with detailed recipes and coloured photographs of the dishes they served between 2005 and 2011. This truly is the ultimate guide to their revolutionary cooking and well worth the hefty price tag!
An encyclopaedia on the science of contemporary cooking, you get six volumes for your money on everything from ingredients and preparation to techniques and equipment. Inducted into the Gourmand Cookbook Hall of Fame in 2010, the group also named the book “the most important cookbook of the first ten years of the 21st century”. Often referred to as reinventing cooking through its use of science-inspired techniques, this 2,438 page book certainly works hard for its pricetag.
4. The Cambridge World History of Food 2 Part Boxed Set RRP £297.99
This 2 volume work is a comprehensive history of food and nutrition, providing an essential read on human health and the culture surrounding the food we eat. Covering everything from the eating habits and hunter/gatherer system of our prehistoric ancestors to the issues and taboos around food that we face today, this volume is incredibly informative for those looking to strip back and analyse the origins of our diets. Applying historical, geographical and cultural influences to what we eat, this nutrition and food guide is incredibly detailed and exhaustive in its approach. £209.99 well spent for anyone looking to understand the very basis of food.
5. The Big Fat Duck Cookbook RRP £150
A book that has spared no costs in its design, The Fat Duck Cookbook explores the rise of Heston Blumenthal and his Michelin star restaurant The Fat Duck. Entirely self taught, Heston has broken every rule in his journey to success, resulting in weird and wonderful dishes such as snail porridge and bacon & egg ice cream. His restaurant has been voted the best restaurant in the world by a peer group of top chefs twice and he’s now a household name with many books and TV series based on his work. In this lavish book Heston has included 50 of his signature recipes, including chocolate wine and sardines on toast sorbet, and beautiful colour photography features throughout. Intended for chefs and home cooks with access to some pretty fancy equipment, the book is a huge shiny golden ticket to Heston’s world and comes with real cloth binding, ribbons and a slip case for that luxury feel.
Whose kitchen would you love to receive a golden ticket for? Let us know in the comments box below.