(cross-posted from the Wishpot Gift Guru blog)

Cooking books make really good gifts.  They are useful, creative, personal and not too expensive.  In other words..almost as good as it gets for a gift!

Now, having said that, what’re some good cookbooks to give?

Of course you can give one from any of top chefs from the food network:  Racheal RayMario BataliBarefoot Contessa , Emiril LagasseBobby FlayGiada DeLaurentiis, just to name a few.  These are somewhat easy bets, especially if you know that the gift recipient likes their shows.  My favorite in this mix is Mario’s “The Babbo Cookbook”.   It’s also important to highlight that as previously reported Racheal Ray’s “365 No Repeats” is the #1 book wished for on Wishpot!

Now, you could go more upscale and uber-gourmet and get either the one by Adrian Ferre “El Bulli 1998-2002” or the one from multi three-Michelin-stars Alain Ducasse.   I personally have the El Bulli one in my personal wishlist.  I mean, it’s impossible to get a reservation to Ferre’s restaurant and at least I want a chance to try a recipe (assuming I can find the ingredients!).

There are some good alternatives in the dessert area (or should I say “course”).  I have read high praises for the “Sweet Life” by Kate Zuckerman.  The pix look amazing and the Lemon Tart is supposed to be the best ever.

One last idea could be to give a book about the fundamentals of cooking and food.  Two books that come highly recommended in this subcategory:  Cookwise and “On Food and Cooking”.

I included the recommendations above plus a few others on a new list “Cooking Books Wishlist” on the Wishpot’s GiftGuru page.