For the past couple of years, a lot of you have emailed and messaged to ask about my favorite cookbooks. I’ve hesitated for many reasons but above all because having not written a cookbook until now, I felt it would be a bit unfair for me to decide. Now having written Season, I know how much work goes into producing a book. There are so many parts to it, the writing, the photography, the illustrations, the design, etc. and then the recipes need to be approachable depending on their targeted audience. In many cases, the books might touch on some history, share knowledge about a culture or even technique or ingredient. A cookbook could also share a personal story. This year was no exception and there were so many exciting books that I came across and got to read and cook from. It wasn’t easy narrowing this list down from the books I read this year but here are some of my favorites;
How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley) - This book came out earlier in Spring this year and Diana’s book is exceptional just like her previous books. There’s an elegant quality to the way she artfully folds her inventive recipes with her stories that is harmonious yet approachable for the home cook. The strawberry ice cream was full of flavor and easy to prepare.
At My Table by Nigella Lawson (Flat Iron Books) - Nigella has been the champion for home cooks and rightly so. Her latest book is a collection of practical recipes for home cooks, complete with kitchen tricks that make flavorful recipes achievable.
The Nordic Baking Book by Marcus Nilsson (Phaidon) - A follow up to his previous highly successful cookbook, The Nordic Cookbook, this one is all about baking. Chef Marcus Nilsson has included an impressive collection of recipes and includes recipes for the holiday season too.
Now & Again by Julia Turshen (Chronicle Books) - A good and solid collection of recipes for the home cook from savory to sweet. Julia’s beet salad with poppy seeds in a buttermilk dressing was flavorful and colorful.
Honey & Co by Sarit Packer and Itamar Surlovich (Pavillion Books) - I had the pleasure of visiting the famous London establishment earlier this November and try their food. The husband and wife duo behind Honey & Co are well known for their food as well as their cookbooks and this one was one of my favorites from this year. Expect lots of beautiful Middle Eastern flavors and fun recipes to play with in your kitchens!
Simple by Ottolenghi (Ten Speed Press /Ebury) - He certainly needs no introduction but London based chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest book is gorgeous and full of easy recipes geared towards home cooks. The techniques are simple as the title suggests yet sure to impress your dinner companions!
Japan by Nancy Hachisu (Phaidon) - Another highly comprehensive volume to add to the Phaidon cookbook series that focus on food from different countries across the globe, Japan is a beautifully photographed book with equally intriguing recipes that I’ve found myself drawn to.
Bottom of the Pot by Naz Deravian (Flat Iron Books) - This was one of two books on Iranian food that I really enjoyed this year. Based in LA, author Naz Deravian shows you how to make her signature tahdigs from scratch yet keeping things simplified and easy for newcomers to this beautiful cuisine.
Cooking in Iran by Najmieh Batmanglij (Mage) - This massive book takes you through a visual and edible tour of Iran with the author. Through her words, food and photographs, you’re transported to a whole new world of flavor and ingredients. It’s a love letter to the author’s home in Iran.
Let’s Eat France by François - Régis Gaudry (Artisan) - The design and art work in this book is simply fun and reminded of the classic French cafe menus. This is a comprehensive book with brief notes on the history behind some of France’s most iconic foods, drinks and the people that prepare them.
Some other books that you should consider are the Air Fry Every Day: 75 Recipes to Fry, Roast, and Bake Using Your Air Fryer by Ben Mims (Clarkson Potter) and Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way by Rebekah Peppler (Clarkson Potter) , they’re fun and make good gifts for friends.
For those of you that are looking for signed copies of my book, Season, you can get them at Omnivore Books (San Francisco) but here is the entire list of stores where I’ve signed stock that is available for grabs!