This Year’s Required Reading
There have been too many wonderful cookbooks published in 2013 to mention, but here are 25 of my favorite. No matter what type of cook you consider yourself to be, these are cookbooks that should be in your library. From recipes for simple weeknight meals to authentic Asian dishes and impress-your-guests 4-course feasts, with these books you’ll have an exciting year of cooking ahead of you.
By Andy Ricker & JJ Goode
Andy Ricker’s a rock star and I adore his new cookbook. Perfect for people who want to make Thai food at home that rivals an Asian grandmother’s. Seriously.
By David Kinch
David Kinch creates the most exciting food I’ve tasted in years, and I was thrilled to nab a copy of his first cookbook. Recipes are sophisticated, but I love a good challenge in the kitchen. For those of you who aren’t sure, just know this stunning book is also perfect for your coffee table.
By Hank Shaw
When it comes to conquering recipes inspired by the great outdoors, there is no better guide out there than Hank Shaw. Consider this the culinary bible for all things geese and duck; an essential cookbook for hunters.
By John Besh
John Besh can do no wrong. Amazing recipes, heartwarming stories, gorgeous photos. A gem of a book.
By Fuchsia Dunlop
Chef and James Beard award-winning food writer Fuchsia Dunlop divulges the approachable, vegetarian-friendly side of Chinese home cooking. Really, you can easily make authentic Chinese cuisine at home.
By Ivan Orkin
Born in New York, Orkin unfurled one of the most critically acclaimed ramen shops in Tokyo—certainly notable in a city full of noodle joints. His techniques will have you cooking masterful ramen at home. Trust me, this ain’t the 30 cent meal of your freshman year.
By Zoe Francois & Jeff Hertzberg
I am continually stunned at what Francois & Hertzberg’s no-knead, simple dough method can do. From gorgeous baguettes to gluten-free pizza crusts, you’re a fool if you think the store-bought stuff is better than what you can DIY.
By Amy Thielen
Devoid of the Watergate salad and hotdish recipes typically associated with the region, Thielen showcases the heart and soul of honest Midwestern cooking. Comfort food at its finest.
By Michael Ruhlman
Fat is flavor, and schmaltz is the fat I grew up on. Leave it Ruhlman to write an entire book on it, demystifying a key ingredient in Jewish cooking.
By Einat Admony
If you love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, the Balaboosta cookbook ought to be in your collection. Gorgeous photos, great stories and flavorful recipes that showcase the best of the region’s cuisine.
By Edward Lee
In the hands of Lee, Asian flavors meld perfectly with the recipes of the American South. Lee is one of my favorite chefs and people—smart, inventive and doesn’t take anything too seriously. Cooking your way through Smoke & Pickles is a fun and crazy ride.
By Naomi Duguid
The newest cookbook from Naomi Duguid is all about Burmese cuisine. Located at the crossroads of China, India, and the nations of Southeast Asia, Burma’s melting pot of flavors makes for dazzling flavors you’re sure to love (with photos so stunning, you might consider licking the pages).
By David Tanis
You might not have time to cook a three-course meal at home, but you can do one good dish, can’t ya? Tanis shares some of his favorite simple & elegant recipes.
By Matt & Ted Lee
In 2007, the Lee Bros. took home the James Beard Award for Cookbook of the Year with their Southern Cookbook. Their latest project is equally wonderful and much more personal, focusing not only on recipes, but stories of growing up in Charleston. We meet their friends, family and important folks that make Lowcountry cooking what it is today.
By John Currence
I recently read that Currence “would rather punch you in the mouth with his fantastic flavors than poke you in the eye with fancy presentation.” That pretty much sums it up. Currence, who calls Oxford, MS home, shares fantastic southern-inspired recipes in P, P&W.
By Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat
When you think Japanese food, familiar staples from your local sushi bar might come to mind. But that’s just one itty-bitty fragment of this country’s food scene. I love Ono & Salat’s look at Japan’s more heartfelt, homey recipes. Gyozas, ramen soups, curries packing lots of flavor, plus recommendations on the best restaurants serving Japanese soul food.
By Alex Atala
I can’t even say Atala is arguably South America’s best chef. He simply is the continent’s best chef. His first major cookbook features modern dishes using Brazil’s finest ingredients. Sure, some items will be difficult to source outside of the Amazon, but an adventurous home cook will undoubtedly find inspiration it this book’s pages.
By Roy Choi, Tien Nguyen, & Natasha Phan
Part cookbook, part love letter to LA, Choi’s exploration of the different cultures and cuisines of his hometown is a fun, interesting read. I love the in-depth look at ethnic restaurants and hybrid cuisines (kimchi and pork belly stuffed pupusas… come on!) and can’t wait to try his instant Korean pickle recipe. Sounds damn good.
By Suzanne Goin
Goin is the queen of elevating comfort classics, and in her latest cookbook, you’ll find all sort of awesome ways to love up your friends and family with food. It’s not a 30-minute meal approach, but the extra effort pays off.
By Michael Anthony & Dorothy Kalins
The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook chronicles the people, stories and recipes that brought this iconic restaurant to the forefront of New York’s dining scene. It’s an insiders look at the rise of a legendary business; a must for your collection.
By Chad Robertson
Do you bake? Get this book. You’re welcome.
By Sami Tamimi & Yotam Ottolenghi
The American edition of this debut cookbook FINALLY dropped this year. Stuffed with recipes from Ottolenghi restaurants and inspired by the Mediterranean’s culinary traditions, you’ll love cooking these rustic dishes at home.
By Gabriel Rucker, Meredith Erickson, Lauren Fortgang & Andrew Fortgang
The best high-low cookbook I’ve seen in awhile. Think duck nuggets, lamb belly BLTs and hot wing-inspired sweetbreads. It’s like a stoner-meets-food truck-meets-ingenious-chef mashup. What’s not to like?
By Daniel Boulud
Celebrating 20 years of business at Restaurant Daniel, My French Cuisine showcases the Boulud’s stunning plating, recipes and stories.
By Rene Redzepi
Let’s be honest: few people will every attempt a recipe from this book. And who cares? It’s meant to be more of a showpiece than a manual. Go ahead. Buy it. Put it somewhere you’ll page through it regularly. The book is a work of art all on its own.