“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” Virginia Woolf famously said—and she could have easily added that one cannot travel well without some good meals, too. Not only does a memorable dining experience help elevate a trip, but it also creates a sensory memory that can transport us back to the place where we enjoyed it. With travel currently at a pause, these cookbooks from eight leading luxury hotels and hotel brands are filled with recipes that will take your taste buds on journeys to Italy, South Africa, Thailand and beyond—and that will help elevate your quarantine kitchen game.
PHOTO : COURTESY VILLA D’ESTE
Set on the shores of Lake Como, the spectacular Villa d’Este has been satisfying discerning palates for centuries. Executive Chef Michele Zambanini, who hails from the region and knows the local cuisine well, oversees menus that feature both classic and gourmet interpretations of Italian fare. Signatures include zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta, virgin olive oil, and parmigiano Reggiano; the embodiment of springtime in Italy, and a menu favorite year after year, this elegant and satisfying dish could not be easier to replicate in your home kitchen. Find that recipe and many more in A Culinary Experience: Villa d’Este, which not only showcases the hotel’s most famous dishes, but is also a stylish collection of vignettes about dining through the ages at this historic hotel. To order, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO : COURTESY SINGITA
It’s always a wonder how the meals on safari can be so good—how do they do it in the middle of the bush?—but five-star brand Singita elevates the dining experience even higher at its 15 lodges and camps across Africa. The company works with award-winning Cape Town Chef Liam Tomlin to create a bold, modern, African-inspired menus full of fresh, local ingredients that even the most well-travelled guest may not have tried before. If they can whip up these amazing dishes in the middle of the Serengeti, you should certainly be able to do it at home using the recipes in A Taste of Singita’s Food Journey. In addition to showcasing standout dishes, the cookbook’s sales help fund the Singita Community Culinary School in South Africa and the Singita Serengeti School of Cooking in Tanzania, both of which are helping to train the next generation of African master chefs.
PHOTO : COURTESY NIZUC RESORT AND SPA
Nizuc Resort and Spa
A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Riviera Maya’s Nizuc Resort and Spa is set on a 29-acre private beachfront estate surrounded by a protected mangrove forest and facing the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef—the second largest coral reef in the world. Along with its lush setting, the resort is also renowned for its six world-class restaurants, which serve seriously sexy food with a Latin and Asian flair. With this year’s launch of the Nizuc Sensory Cookbook by Chef Sylvain Desbois and his team, guests can now recreate signature dishes like Rack of Lamb with Dark Beer Sauce and Salmon Tataki with Seaweed Powder at home. To order, email email@example.com.
PHOTO : COURTESY COMO HOTELS & RESORTS
COMO Hotels & Resorts
Featuring 147 light and nutritious recipes from across the brand’s portfolio, The Pleasures of Eating Well, by COMO Hotels & Resorts founder Christina Ong, shows you how to mix textures and flavours to create Asian-inspired dishes that are not only eye-catching and delicious, but designed to maximise health and wellness. Ong developed a passion for food by watching her grandmother make family staples like rice flour and vegetable stock, and has now combined that with an expertise in well-being. Two standouts of the brand’s award-winning cuisine—COMO Shambhala Power cookies, loaded with nuts, seeds, raw honey and coconut, and Young Coconut and Vegetable Noodle Salad with tamarind dressing and an almond chili sauce—were created at COMO Parrot Cay, but became so popular they are now available at all the brand’s properties.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World is so food-focused—it boasts 38 member hotels with Michelin-starred restaurants—that it publishes no less than three annual editions of its cookbook, each featuring regional recipes from hotels in 80 countries. In the current edition of The Small Luxury Cookbook, find instructions for preparing the light-but-satisfying Grilled Salmon with Summer Vegetables from Casa Madrona in Sausalito, CA; the simple-to-make Chinese Lime Chicken from Pangkor Laut in Malaysia; and award-winning Executive Chef K Mam’s signature Pad Thai from 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai—which is an elegant version of the ultimate comfort food.
PHOTO : COURTESY ANANTARA
Launched in 2018, the Culinary Journey with Anantara cookbook is a collection of the most popular dishes from across the Anantara brand, all inspired by the local cuisine of the various destinations. From the family-friendly Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara you’ll find Balaleet, a sweet noodle and egg omelet that will satisfy the entire family; from Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort and Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, Khao Soi Kai, an outstanding northern Thai coconut curry noodle soup; and from Sri Lanka’s Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Maalu Kiratu, a fragrant fish curry. If the book whets your appetite for more, you can learn how to prepare signature dishes in person during a chef-led Spice Spoons class/market tour on your next visit to an Anantara property. The book can be ordered by contacting any of the Anantara hotels directly.
PHOTO : COURTESY RELAIS & CHATEAUX/ INN AT DOS BRISAS
Relais & Chateaux
Relais & Chateaux is well known for putting food first, and every few years, it comes out with books that highlight all aspects of its member hotels’ lifestyle experiences—from recipes from its award-winning restaurants to tips for creating lush gardens and setting the perfect table. In books like Art of the Garden and Art of Entertaining, you’ll find recipes for comfort food like the Honey Braised Collard Greens with Swiss Chard and Green Cabbage from The Inn at Dos Brisas in Texas Hill Country, a superb Summer Vegetable Ratatouille served at Ocean House in Rhode Island, and Local Asparagus and Golden Osetra Caviar with Scrambled Eggs and Garden Flowers from the bucolic Twin Farms in Vermont.
PHOTO : COURTESY CAL-A-VIE
Resembling a 17th-century Provencal village, and tucked amid rolling fields of jasmine, oleander and lavender, Southern California luxury destination spa Cal-a-Vie is known for its transformative wellness experiences. Part of that experience is dining on Executive Chef Curtis Cooke’s fresh, flavourful and healthy cuisine, which he creates with fruits and vegetables grown literally one hundred steps from the kitchen by the on-staff organic farmer. Beautiful Living: Cooking the Cal-A-Vie Health Spa Way not only features a selection of simple and tasty recipes—like a crisp and refreshing Green and Yellow Bean Salad, and Chef’s iconic Shrimp Taco Bowl—but it also manages to capture the heart, soul and flavours of a very special place.