A collection of cookbooks featuring recipes and stories from Oxfordshire's exceptional chefs, eateries, food businesses, and artisan producers, as well as the Oxford University college community.
The county of Oxfordshire has a rich history, from world-renowned academic institutions to stunning architecture and surrounding areas of outstanding natural beauty. Yet one of the lesser-known wonders of this county is the thriving food and drink scene.
From the cafés, bars, restaurants and delis in the hustle and bustle of Oxford city centre to gastropubs nestled in picturesque towns and villages like Sparsholt and Swinbrook, there are a plethora of quality eateries to explore.
Here are 7 cookbooks (in no particular order) that showcase some of what the Oxfordshire region has to offer. Collectively, these cookbooks present recipes (and stories) from some of the exceptional chefs, British and multicultural eateries, food businesses, artisan producers, and the college community within the county.
1. Relish Cotswolds and Oxfordshire
Original Recipes from Cotswolds and Oxfordshire's Finest Chefs and Restaurants.
This cookbook brings together some of the most talented chefs in the region. It shines the spotlight on the remarkable ways in which fresh, local, seasonal produce are put to good use. It also gives you a taste of the food that makes this region so special.
Introduced by chef Gary Jones of Le Manoir, experience recipes from the heart of England's finest restaurants, in the comfort of your own home, with exclusive signature dishes and easy to follow instructions and tips from the chefs.
Illustrated with superb photography, and including wine recommendations for every course, an extensive larder and a Relish glossary of cooking terms, this recipe book is part of the award-winning series of Relish cookbooks and a must-have cookery companion.
2. The Cowley Road Cookbook
Culinary Tales and Recipes from Oxford's Most Eclectic Street
Cowley Road in Oxford is a wonderfully chaotic, cultural and culinary crossroads. Geographically adjacent to the university’s dreaming spires, ethnographically it might as well be on another planet. From its holy medieval origins to its attraction some 800 years later as another place of pilgrimage for the first wave of post-war overseas emigrants, this is a fascinating story of a street with its own unique ‘sense of place’.
Today this is evident in its myriad and multicultural food shops, restaurants, cafés, takeaways and other eateries as well as allotments, community gardens, street markets, and annual carnival. This is also a history of hospitality – for outcasts/lepers, pilgrims, travellers, scholars, refugees and migrants.
Cowley Road’s varied gastronomy is prepped, cooked and served up with a selection of over 65 historic and contemporary recipes to give a real taste for this culinary ‘terroir’. From a 13th-century pottage dish to modern day celeriac and potato mash with Oxford sausages, and Rick’s ackee and salt-fish, The Cowley Road Cookbook will appeal to anyone who wishes to try a taste of Oxford’s richly diverse food culture.
3. The Oxfordshire Cook Book
A celebration of amazing food & drink on our doorstep
The Oxfordshire Cook Book showcases some of the finest foodie businesses in the region, sharing stories and recipes from the chefs, restaurateurs, bakers, artisan makers and producers that make up this exciting culinary community.
With chapters from Michelin-starred restaurant The Nut Tree Inn to The Oxford Cheese Company, Tutu Delicious and The Crooked Billet; you'll find something to suit everyone s taste.
Additional wine-pairing notes for each dish from Eynsham Cellars will ensure this is your definitive guide to making the most out of the region s offerings. It's time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in.
4. Modern Baker: A New Way To Bake
Cakes, biscuits and breads made from natural ingredients and sourdough starters
Modern Baker is a simply-written book that will transform the way you bake, giving you the essential knowledge needed to create delicious and positively good-for-you bakes.
Featuring 120 recipes including loaves, buns, pizza, cakes, biscuits and bites, the bakes are all designed to promote gut health. They using use unrefined ingredients, natural alternatives to white sugar, and traditional, uncomplicated baking methods based on simple natural sourdough starters.
The recipes in the book are delightfully easy to follow, and the book will even guide you through the process of natural fermentation in your own kitchen and give you the tools to confidently experiment and create your own artisan healthy bakes at home.
5. St Cross College - Recipes and Stories
This cookbook from Oxford University's St Cross College is the College's first cookbook (and possibly the first Oxford College cookbook). Devised and edited by former DPhil student Olena Seminog, the cookbook features 50 recipes from all over the world and from across the St Cross College community.
As part of its 50th-anniversary celebrations, St Cross College, University of Oxford, put out a call to alumni and current students to submit recipes and the stories behind them for inclusion in a cookbook. St Cross College Recipes and Stories is the result.
It is a celebration of the diversity of the St Cross community, of their international and egalitarian ethos, and of good food.
6. Bill's The Cookbook: Cook, Eat, Smile
Ever eaten at Bill's? If you haven't, then put it on your To Do list. If you have, then you'll know it's all about the atmosphere and the food - it's delicious, it's different, it's full of fabulous flavours and textures; a unique celebration of eating.
From breakfast to bedtime, from the first green shoots of spring to the frostiest of winter days, Bill picks and cooks his way through the seasons. Choosing favourites as he goes and bringing colour and energy to even the simplest dishes, this book is packed with recipes and ideas that will inspire you to cook, eat and smile every day of the year.
7. Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Set in the rolling Oxfordshire hills, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is a bastion of haute cuisine and a beacon of l'art de vivre. It is also the only country house hotel in Britain to have held two Michelin stars for more than three decades, presided over by the great chef Raymond Blanc.
This book is Raymond's personal tour of Le Manoir through the four seasons; the ultimate host, he lovingly reveals the stories behind rooms that are luxuriously appointed and gardens that are ravishingly beautiful.
But it is food that is at the heart of Le Manoir, and here you will find the recipes for 120 of its most celebrated dishes, which range from those that can be recreated at home - such as Soupe au pistou and Soufflé de rhubarbe - to the sensational creations - including Thème sur la tomate and Cassolette d'abricot - which have earned the restaurant its status as one of the world's legendary gastronomic destinations.
With spectacular photography of the luxurious rooms and the ravishing gardens, as well as beautiful and witty illustrations, the fairy tale of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons has been brought charmingly to life.