Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cool Cookbook: IKEA!

IKEA seems to be focusing more and more on their in-store restaurants and food sections.  They are dabbling in cookbooks and growing their menus and product lines.  I found a 2009 IKEA cookbook release online.  It's obviously a marketing thing, with an add on every page for a kitchen item and a kitchen catalogue in the back.  But it has a cool vibe with it's simple recipes and European and Middle Eastern flair.  Check it out...

I had to try one of these recipes.  Being a salad junkie I opted for their "Vegetables Salad", a basic garden salad with a vinaigrette.  The dressing had a nice complex flavour thanks to the addition of soy sauce and sumac (a ground spice that has a sour/tart flavour).

Vegetables Salad
Origin: Manal El-Alem for IKEA, see recipe in above online magazine

IKEA has been in the cookbook game for 30 years now.  There was one released in 1980.  Described as "A cookbook with Swedish and foreign foods for daily family meals and parties".  There are a few copies floating around Ebay but it's not really a hot commodity.  Carl Butler, a chef and restaurant owner, included 75 of his original recipes in this cookbook, it looks like a legitimate showcase of Swedish recipes.

Another cookbook was released in 2000.  It contains swedish recipes, but most of the ingredients used can be purchased from the IKEA food section, making this more of a marketing tool than a legitimate cookbook.

Cookbooks are not new to IKEA but with the most recent release, Homemade is Best or Hembakat är Bäst, it looks like they stepped it up a notch.  It's a 140 page, coffee table baking book containing 30 recipes and beautiful photos shot by Carl Kleiner and styled by Evelina Bratell.  It is absolutely stunning and innovative.  The new cookbook is available for a limited time, free, at IKEA stores in Sweden only (sniff).

 Check out how gorgeous these photos by Carl Kleiner are...

These ingredients...

 Become Cinnamon Buns!

 These ingredients...

Become Vanilla Horns!

I happen to love some of IKEA's food products.  Their sweet mustard is great, I love it as a dip for things like eggrolls and chicken nuggets, they have amazing cookies and cinnamon buns and have you tried the Marabou/Daim chocolate they carry?  Heavenly, as most european chocolate is. Ikea restaurants offer organic and vegetarian options, and they strive to meet high environmental and ethical standards with their food products. If the line up to get in the door in the morning to enjoy their $1.00 breakfast is any indication...something good must be going on in the kitchen.

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