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9 Cookbook Recommendations from a Little Corner of Paradise

Alex Chams By Alex Chams Published on November 28, 2017
This article was updated on December 22, 2017
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Sylvia Georis

Sylvia Lopez Georis lives and breathes food, wine, and ambrosial produce. Co-owner with her husband, Walter, of the Corkscrew Café, and Georis Vineyards and Winery, in Carmel Valley, California, a little corner of paradise, she has done her share of gardening, cooking, examining recipes and researching food—most lately in Mexico. When her sons were in school, she helped develop a culinary teaching program at their lower and middle schools in partnership with Alice Waters of the iconic Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. She was an inspiration to her family to understand delicious and healthy food by cooking daily for their family dinners. One of her sons is now on his way to becoming an exceptional chef himself. In the holiday spirit, Sylvia recommended some of her favorite cookbooks here for Bookwitty readers who might be searching for gifts:  

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Tartine Bakery and Café co-founder Elisabeth Prueitt's Tartine All Day:

Just let me start by saying this owner/ co-founder has one of the best bakeries on the West Coast, and it happens to be in San Francisco. This cookbook is filled with down to earth recipes that are healthy, fresh, delicious and easy to follow for the home cook.

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Purple salad from Tartine All Day

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There's Sara Forte's the Sprouted Kitchen, Bowl + Spoon with photographs by her husband, Hugh.  

I’m a sucker for food in bowls!

I have followed Sara's blog for a while and have tried many recipes. Her focus is on fresh vegetables and whole grains. Nothing wrong with that! When you're making your New Year's resolutions and want to cook healthily, this is the cookbook for you.

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Sprouted Kitchen/Hugh Forte

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Then there's It's All Easy, by 

Gwyneth Paltrow.

I know, it’s Gwyneth Paltrow! But she has some very tasty and solid recipes in this cookbook. It's super easy for the busy cook.

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Scallops from Naomi Pomeroy's Taste & Technique

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Naomi Pomeroy's Taste & Technique is a beautiful cookbook. It's for the competent home cook, her recipes have a very restaurant-style technique to them, but they are actually very doable.

If you're in a hurry, though, this is not the book for you. But if you want to take your cooking to the next level and impress guests at your next dinner party, this is the one!

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When you're wondering what to make for dinner and want to put something on the table quickly, Melissa Clark's Dinner, Changing the Game is my go to. It's fun, and includes delicious, nutritious, recipes. 

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Jalapeño honey steak from Melissa Clark's Dinner

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Margarita Carrillo Arronte's Mexico is the Bible of Mexican cooking.

There are nearly 700 recipes from across the entire country in it. If you want to make authentic Mexican dishes or just dream about some amazing food, then this is the book for you.

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Margarita Carillo Arronte's Mexico

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For a taste of Mexico in the US, there's Guerrilla Tacos by Wesley Avila.

Get your L.A. street tacos on! This guy is in downtown L.A. making some killer tacos and now he has a cookbook.

For the taco-lover in your life...

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Guerilla tacos

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Then there's Mimi Thorisson's French Country Cooking, meals and moments from a village in the vineyards.

Get your French on! The recipes, the pictures, the food, the kids, the dogs, the house.... Perfection! My dream life!

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Mimi Thorisson
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Last but not least, and because everyone in California has a grill, right? Charred & Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang is for anyone who loves to grill, has ever thought about grilling, or just wants to up their game. 


Journalist, globe trotter and food lover