Lately I've been inundated with cheesecake. No, not that kind of cheesecake. I mean sexy cookbook cover cheesecake. I think it all started with Nigella Lawson. Attractive to both men and women Lawson's photogenic qualities made even non-cooks sit up and pay attention. Then there was the famous FHM photo series of celebrity chef Rachael Ray. She ranked #92 in FHM 100 sexiest women in the world 2004.
Now the men seem to be getting in on the act. The rule seems to be the sexier they are the more likely their photo will end up on the cover of their cookbook. Following fast on the heels of pretty boy Jamie Oliver, the latest two sexy chefs are Bill Granger from Australia and Peter Gordon from New Zealand (he now cooks in London). Both chefs are not only cover boys, but are prominently featured in photographs throughout their respective cookbooks, Bills Open Kitchen and Peter Gordon's World Kitchen.
The good news is the recipes and accompanying food photography is mouthwateringly good. Both spent time cooking professionally in Australia and use Asian, Mediterranean and Indian ingredients. I love the fact that while both are successful restaurant chefs, their recipes are easy, straight-forward and short. Each recipe fits on a page. Many of the recipes can be prepared in under an hour and the unique combinations will spice up your repertoire. Each also have plenty of vegetarian recipes as well as a handful of desserts.
High on my list of recipes to try are the zucchini, oregano and almond linguine from Peter Gordon's book and chickpea stew with tomatoes and green chili in Bill Granger's book. Both are available in bookstores now. Drooling optional.