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9 Beautiful Cookbooks

All available in Manila.
9 Beautiful Cookbooks All available in Manila.

All photographs by Zarah Abu

The gastronomic world is now synonymous to beauty. Now, with digital art and photography entering new levels, even cookbooks have become their own masterpieces. Below we present nine of the most beautiful cookbooks we have laid eyes on, all available in Manila.

1. “Milk Bar Life” by Christina Tosi


Milk Bar is one of the most famous bakeries in the world. This cookbook not only hosts recipes to some of their most famous concoctions, but the stories behind it (hence the “life” in the title). With adorable pictures and anecdotes accompanying each recipe, flipping through this cookbook is an adventure in itself.

Buy it at: Fully Booked, Php 1,399

2. “Mexico - The Cookbook” by Margarita Carrillo Arronte

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The book describes itself as “the definitive bible of Mexican home cooking” – and it’s really not kidding. This cookbook will transport you to the streets of Mexico, with stories about the country’s culinary history, their famous, homegrown ingredients, and traditions important to their culture. It’s often said that you are what you eat – well, this book shows us the Mexican people.

Buy it at: Fully Booked, Php 2,276

3. “Surprise-Inside Cakes” by Amanda Rettke


This cake tome is pure fun – from the pictures to the recipes, it is sure to turn any frown upside down. The main focus of this cookbook is, like the name suggests, cakes with an element of surprise inside. It has step-by-step guides with pictures and detailed instructions to really help you out. So if you want to see a house every time you slice your cake, this book is for you!

Buy it at: Fully Booked, Php 1,199

4. “Momofuku” by David Chang and Peter Meehan


This, much like the cookbook of its sister bakery Milk Bar, presents not only the food, but also the story behind the world-famous Momofuku restaurants. The recipes are amazingly detailed, explaining each and every aspect of the dish and how to properly cook them. Reading this cookbook is an experience – cooking the dishes in it, even more so. Pork buns, anyone?

Buy it at: Fully Booked, Php 1,680

5. “Macarons - The Recipes” by Ladurée Paris


This beautiful cookbook is encased in a small box adorned with sketches of macarons – looking almost like a box of the French confection itself. Inside the book, you will find every single macaron Ladurée has ever created, with the year it was released, creative shots of the macarons, and detailed recipes. Bonus: There's a color-illustrated pullout guide of all the macaron flavors ever. We want to decoupage it onto our walls.

Buy it at: National Bookstore or Powerbooks, Php 1,999

6. “The New Patissiers” by Olivier Dupon


This book showcases the work of the finest pastry chefs in the world – 38 of them, to be exact. Each chef has a profile with their background and their unique style, followed by their most famous masterpieces and how to make them. It’s filled with amazing photographs, so it’s a fun read – even for those who don’t plan to replicate any of them (it’s a must for aspiring pastry chefs, though).

Buy it at: National Bookstore or Powerbooks, Php 1,845

7. “Bouchon Bakery” by Thomas Keller


In this cookbook, Thomas Keller (one of the most famous chefs in the world) shows us how to do it right. From familiar favorites (like his take on the Oreo, called the “TKO”), to the more complex French pastries (like how to laminate dough for puff pastries and croissants), this book shows you how to do it all – with pictures and detailed descriptions to help you along the way.

Buy it at: National Bookstore, Powerbooks, or Fully Booked, Php 2,299

8. “Larousse Gastronomique”


While this is not a cookbook, per se, it is the world’s most famous culinary reference book. It contains every term that exists in the gastronomic world, with helpful diagrams (how to properly slice fish, for example) and properly labeled photographs (it has a full spread with all the different kinds of pasta). It’s a kitchen staple, especially for those who cook (or want to learn how to).

Buy it at: National Bookstore, Powerbooks or Fully Booked, Php 3,599

9. Chocolat and the Art of the Chocolatier by Les Marquis de Ladurée


Ladurée has mastered the art of the cookbook - the fact that they have two tomes on this list is proof of that. In this book is everything you need to know about chocolate – how the art of the chocolatier developed throughout the years (in fact, it provides a very extensive timeline), and recipes of Ladurée’s most famous chocolate concoctions. If you love chocolate and everything about it, this cookbook is for you. That cover is prime flatlay material, too.

Buy it at: National Bookstore or Powerbooks, Php 1,999

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