Books for Cooks \ Melbourne

Fifteen years ago, Tim and Amanda White stumbled across an ad reading “Cookbook shop for sale”. Just hours later, they became the new owners of Books for Cooks, and about 5000 cookbooks. Since 2000, the couple have expanded their range to well-nigh 40,000 books on wine and food. After outgrowing their Gertrude Street premises, Books for Cooks recently moved to the Queen Victoria Market. “There are many wonderful synergies in being next to one of Melbourne’s great food destinations and we now have sufficient space to run author events and display all of our treasures,” Tim says.

Who’s behind the counter?

Tim and Amanda are keen cooks and lovers of food and wine, as well as being bibliophiles. “We firmly believe in focusing on one thing that we love and doing it well,” Tim says.

What’s in store?

The collection ranges from contemporary books to rare, vintage, and antiquarian tomes dating as far back as 1780. Books on food trends are popular.

Who’s buying?

A sizeable portion of the shop’s customer base consists of chefs, sommeliers, or hospitality professionals. “All of our customers love cookbooks and we are often chasing obscure, out-of-print books for people,” Tim says.

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Our pick

Want to iron out the apron and dust off your casserole pot? The Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union of Victoria is here to help. Published in Melbourne in 1916, the union’s volume of household recipes features instructions to make potted steak, oyster sandwiches and shortbread creams. Books for Cooks has only one copy of this gem in stock, and it could be yours for $35.

Sales pitch

“Our guiding principle has always been ‘is it interesting to us? Would we cook from it or take it home to read?’”

Find us at

129/131 Therry Street, Melbourne. 8415 1415