By Rob and Amber Kirby
Absolute Press, £18.99
Delicious Gifts is the third publication from Rob Kirby, chef-director of Lexington Catering. For this book, he has partnered with his wife Amber to present their treasured family recipes, ranging from cookies to deli treats, sweets, marinades and jellies.
The book is primarily aimed at those who like to make foodie gifts for friends, but the well presented and thoughtfully styled treats would also make ideal personalised in-room gifts for hotel guests, in place of the standard bowl of fruit or bought-in chocolates.
Equally, they could be offered as a quirky replacement for biscuits in corporate meetings. A tub of sesame nut brittle squares or a flowerpot filled with chocolate swirly lollies would be far more exciting than the standard digestives.
The Pantry section is full of great jarred and bottled preserves, such as pancetta salt, caramelised onion, fig and toffee date chutney Asian pickled watermelon and homemade butter. These would provide a great offering for guests at the end of an event or upon leaving a hotel - plus the packaging can be personalised and branded with the venue's logo.
Many of the featured gifts are laden with sugar, but the Kirbys have rightfully addressed that in the Healthy Goodies chapter, where it's refreshing to see powerhouse granola, slow-burn porridge pots and power drinks with comical names such as Morning Glory. This section has much to offer cafés wishing to tap into the healthy-eating market.
The final chapter offers something different: a goats' cheese and asparagus bar tart, pork and apple scotch eggs and smoked chicken with apricot and thyme sausage rolls, which wouldn't go amiss on any takeaway menu, as well as proving a savoury alternative to the usual in-room sweet treats.
If you like this, you may enjoy these:
•Citrus: Recipes that Celebrate the Sour and the Sweet by Catherine Phipps
•Gifts From Your Kitchen: How to Make and Gift Wrap Your Own Presents by Deborah Nicholas
•The Cook and Baker by Cherie Bevan