The best cookbooks

Who picked these books? Meet our 241 experts.

241 authors created a book list with cookbooks, and here are their favorite cookbooks. 

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97 Orchard

By Jane Ziegelman,

Book cover of 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement

Lizzie Collingham Author Of The Hungry Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World

From the list on food and history.

Who am I?

I first became interested in food when I was researching my PhD on the use of the body as an instrument of rule in British India. The British in India developed a language of food to demonstrate their power and status. I discovered that food is a rich subject for the historian as it carries a multitude of stories. I have since written five more books exploring these complex stories, always interested in connecting the broad sweep of historical processes to the more intimate level of everyday life and the connections between the food world of the past with the food world of the present.

Lizzie's book list on food and history

Discover why each book is one of Lizzie's favorite books.

Why did Lizzie love this book?

The information we have about the five immigrant families who lived in the tenement block at 97 Orchard Street is scanty but I love this book because Jane Ziegelman brings to life the food world of this area of New York inhabited by waves of immigrant Germans, Irish, German and East European Jews, and Italians. We learn about the krauthobblers who in the autumn went from door to door carrying a special knife which they used to shred the hundreds of cabbages the German housewives needed to prepare the barrel of sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) which saw their families through the winter. She makes us shudder at the thought of the shabby tenement kitchens and the goose pens in the basements. We can picture the Fleischmann café, a favourite haunt of police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt, who came for its soft, sweet Vienna bread; the cheap Irish eating houses offering ‘beef an’…

By Jane Ziegelman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 97 Orchard as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Social history is, most elementally, food history. Jane Ziegelman had the great idea to zero in on one Lower East Side tenement building, and through it she has crafted a unique and aromatic narrative of New York’s immigrant culture: with bread in the oven, steam rising from pots, and the family gathering round.” — Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World

97 Orchard is a richly detailed investigation of the lives and culinary habits—shopping, cooking, and eating—of five families of various ethnicities living at the turn of the twentieth century in one tenement on the…


Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

By Samin Nosrat,

Book cover of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Jessica Harlan Author Of Homemade Condiments

From the list on learning something new about cooking.

Who am I?

As the author of nine cookbooks, I strive to help readers master new skills and to become more comfortable in the kitchen. I’m constantly reading other cookbooks to keep my fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the food world, as well as to improve my own culinary prowess. It’s been nearly 20 years since I graduated from culinary school, and I love that I can open a book to refresh a forgotten skill, learn a new one, or delve into the “why” behind cooking’s biggest questions. These books have kept me entertained and intrigued, not to mention well-fed. I hope they do the same for you! 

Jessica's book list on learning something new about cooking

Discover why each book is one of Jessica's favorite books.

Why did Jessica love this book?

I’ll admit I first picked up this book because it was adorable, with its cartoonish drawings. But after trying out a couple of recipes, I was hooked. The book’s title references the building blocks of any successful dish, and the theme throughout elaborates on these principles so that you’ll become a better cook with every section you read or recipe you prepare. The recipes don’t even begin til halfway through the book: The first part devotes a section each to the titular elements with instruction told through the filter of Nosrat’s life stories and experience—a treat for anyone who loves to sit with a cookbook and read it cover to cover. Then come the recipes, and these have a decidedly exotic twist thanks to Nosrat’s Iranian background and adventurous spirit. I haven’t prepared anything from this book that isn’t a flavor bomb, even something as simple as Persian-ish Rice or…

By Samin Nosrat,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major Netflix documentary
A Sunday Times Food Book of the Year and a New York Times bestseller
Winner of the Fortnum & Mason Best Debut Food Book 2018

While cooking at Chez Panisse at the start of her career, Samin Nosrat noticed that amid the chaos of the kitchen there were four key principles that her fellow chefs would always fall back on to make their food better: Salt, Fat, Acid and Heat.

By mastering these four variables, Samin found the confidence to trust her instincts in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients. And with…


AMA

By Betty Hallock, Ren Fuller, Josef Centeno

Book cover of AMA: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen

Jackie Alpers Author Of Taste of Tucson: Sonoran-Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona

From the list on southwestern regional home cooking.

Who am I?

Jackie Alpers is an award-winning professional food photographer and author. She is a longtime contributing recipe developer & photographer for The Food Network, Refinery29, TheKitchn, TodayFood, Real Simple, National Geographic, and Edible Baja Arizona Magazine among others. She has been featured in articles for Reader’s Digest, CNN, Good Morning America, The New York Times & NPR. She writes, cooks, and styles recipes from her sun-lit studio in Tucson, Arizona.

Jackie's book list on southwestern regional home cooking

Discover why each book is one of Jackie's favorite books.

Why did Jackie love this book?

Josef Centeno honors the food he grew up with in San Antonio. The book is named for his great-grandmother, “Ama´” and the influence of both his family, and his life as the chef of Los Angeles’s Bar Ama permeate the book. “Reimagined” is the word Josef uses to describe his recipes, and I think it’s a perfect descriptor for his particular vision.

Chef Centeno’s taste leans towards acidic, with lots of citrus and vinegars. Words like pickled and vinaigrette appear often in recipe titles and there is no shortage of chiles and salsas. I learn something every time I make a new recipe from this book, which is something I aspire to have my own cookbooks to do for others.

By Betty Hallock, Ren Fuller, Josef Centeno

Why should I read it?

1 author picked AMA as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Eating the West Award Finalist 2020

Tex-Mex is a delicious, irreverent cuisine that combines the deep traditions of Texan and Mexican cooking. Think meaty stews, breakfast tacos, and tres leches cake. Home cooks will learn how to make them all-in addition to crunchy salads, slow-cooked meats, and fresh cocktails-in this collection of more than 100 recipes from San Antonio native and Los Angeles chef and restauranteur Josef Centeno. Organized into chapters by type of food-including breakfast, vegetables, main courses, desserts, and a super nacho party-this is down-home cooking and grilling at its most inspiring. Presented in a colorful package…


Book cover of The Saddest Girl in the World

Jessie Harrington Author Of The Girl in the Pink Shoes

From the list on that are personal and important.

Who am I?

I'm a 24-year-old, 1st time Author with big plans to call for major changes within our current social system, to bring the taboo subject of child abuse, to conversation. My own story, yes is an extreme case, but isn’t an uncommon occurrence and affects many. My book, The Girl In The Pink Shoes, was written not only for my own self-help but to also help many others to know they are not alone and someone is fighting their corner. I hope my book will open the right doors to raise awareness and make my charity, Your Voice UK, a success and help bring a brighter future to children who have suffered abuse.

Jessie's book list on that are personal and important

Discover why each book is one of Jessie's favorite books.

Why did Jessie love this book?

Cathy has written many books about children from abuse, but I feel this book resonates with me, as the story of the little girl Donna, is very similar to my own story. Placed in care after being neglected by her alcoholic mother, all Donna really wanted was to be loved. 

I think this really is true with most children who are placed in the social system, the feeling of abandonment and detachment runs deep and we all just want to feel part of something, to be part of a family. 

Many of Cathy’s books are written to explain what can happen and the reality of life, when living in certain situations that many are just not aware of, or choose to ignore. This book is well worth a read, it certainly brought a tear to my eye.

By Cathy Glass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Saddest Girl in the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of Damaged tells the true story of Donna, who came into foster care aged ten, having been abused, victimised and rejected by her family.

Donna had been in foster care with her two young brothers for three weeks when she is abruptly moved to Cathy's. When Donna arrives she is silent, withdrawn and walks with her shoulders hunched forward and her head down. Donna is clearly a very haunted child and refuses to interact with Cathy's children Adrian and Paula.

After patience and encouragement from Cathy, Donna slowly starts to talk…


The Forager's Harvest

By Samuel Thayer,

Book cover of The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants

Leda Meredith Author Of The Skillful Forager: Essential Techniques for Responsible Foraging and Making the Most of Your Wild Edibles

From the list on foraging free wild edible plants and mushrooms.

Who am I?

I started foraging when I was a toddler and my Greek great-grandmother took me to a park to gather dandelion leaves. I read foraging field guides almost incessantly (still do). Eventually, I got a certification in Ethnobotany and went professional. I love teaching and sharing my passion for wild foods through my books, workshops, and videos. One of the most rewarding moments for me is when a student realizes that something I’ve just identified as a safe and delicious edible is a plant that grows all around them. It’s a game-changer. They can’t go back to seeing any plant as “just a weed."

Leda's book list on foraging free wild edible plants and mushrooms

Discover why each book is one of Leda's favorite books.

Why did Leda love this book?

Like all of Sam’s books, this one is a gold mine of detailed, in-depth information about the plants he features in it. His information is beyond trustworthy: he is so familiar with his subject that it is as if he is inviting you to get to know some of his best friends (the plants). My copy is dog-eared and field-stained from all the use I have put it to.

By Samuel Thayer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Forager's Harvest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A guide to 32 of the best and most common edible wild plants in North America, with detailed information on how to identify them, where they are found, how and when they are harvested, which parts are used, how they are prepared, as well as their culinary use, ecology, conservation, and cultural history.


Book cover of The Complete Whiskey Course: A Comprehensive Tasting School in Ten Classes

Frank Caiafa Author Of The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book

From the list on to start a drinker’s library.

Who am I?

I was raised in a ‘hospitality forward’ household to say the least. My parents always had family and friends over the house eating and drinking and although no one was in the food and beverage industry, most of the folks all had something to say about food and beverage. It was a fundamental part of the conversation. It carried over to me and became something that I focused on even before I was ever in the service industry. With experience, I became more knowledgeable, and my tastes became wider and a bit more refined, but the seeds were planted long ago.

Frank's book list on to start a drinker’s library

Discover why each book is one of Frank's favorite books.

Why did Frank love this book?

Knowing what we drink and how it’s made can be as interesting as knowing what to do with it once it’s on your table (or bar). Among the many whiskey books out there, The Complete Whiskey Course does a great job at covering a lot of ground in an unpretentious and welcoming manner. From the distilling process to label identification (a very handy chapter for newbies and pros alike), origin stories, and unique tasting notes, this book makes for a fun gateway platform for deeper educational dives as the drinker’s interest and experience grows.

By Robin Robinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Whiskey Course as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the definitive book on understanding and appreciating the world of whiskey. Renowned whiskey educator, Robin Robinson, demystifies the "water of life" in a definitive, heavily illustrated tome designed to take readers on a global tour of the ever-expanding world of whiskey. Across ten robust "classes" ,Robinson explains whiskey history, how it defined the way whiskey is made in different countries and regions, the myriad styles, how ageing and finishing works and the basics of "nosing" and tasting whiskey. In chapters dedicated to American whiskey (including bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye), American Craft whiskey, Scotch, Irish, Canadian, Japanese and…


The Cat Who...Cookbook

By Julie Murphy, Sally Abney Stempinski,

Book cover of The Cat Who...Cookbook

Dana Mentink Author Of Pint of No Return

From the list on hungry armchair sleuths who love their snackies.

Who am I?

Maybe it’s due to my Cuban heritage, but I was raised to appreciate a delicious meal. Beans and rice, roasted pork, plantains, my mouth waters at the thought. When I launched into the writing business twenty five years and fifty books ago, I managed to sprinkle my novels with plenty of tasty treats. Diving into the culinary mystery world allowed me to combine my fancy for food and fiction into one glorious place. The best kind of mystery novels are the ones that tickle your taste buds while they tweak your little grey cells, don’t you think?

Dana's book list on hungry armchair sleuths who love their snackies

Discover why each book is one of Dana's favorite books.

Why did Dana love this book?

As a young adult, I absolutely devoured all the books in Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who series. I was infatuated with the dashing Qwilleran and his sleuthing cats Koko and YumYum. Qwilleran is a foodie and he seeks out excellent vittles when he relocates from the big city to Moose County and schmoozes with all the locals. This cookbook was an absolutely geeky delight, since it features recipes mentioned in the books and snippets directly from the novels which describe when the foods are mentioned. The dishes are quite fancy, but there is a selection of easier ones included also. (Brownies, Mac and cheese, and meatloaf to name a few.) I am partial to Mrs. Cobb’s meatloaf. (It turned out perfectly!) Really though, I adored this book just because it was so much fun to rediscover Qwill and the quirky Moose County residents through this clever cookbook!

By Julie Murphy, Sally Abney Stempinski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cat Who...Cookbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Those who love Lilian Jackson Braun's Cat Who... mysteries know that the residents of Moose County are as discerning in their gastronomical tastes as the finicky felines who star in the novels. Now readers can enjoy the kind of feast that can only be found four hundred miles north of everywhere—with recipes for Polly's Picnic Brownies, Sea Scallops with Saffron Cream on Angel Hair Pasta, Mulligatawny Soup, Marinated Mushrooms, Thanksgiving Potatoes, Vonda's Chocolate Whoppers, and more. And for those who want to pamper their pets, The Cat Who...Cookbook features a section called "Feline Fare"—featuring some of Koko and Yum Yum's…


Neurogastronomy

By Gordon M. Shepherd,

Book cover of Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters

Stan Hieronymus Author Of For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops

From the list on about aroma and flavor.

Who am I?

When I began research on For the Love of Hops about 70 percent of the hops grown worldwide were valued simply for the bitterness they added to beer, but that was about to flip completely. Today, new varieties like Citra and Mosaic are powerful brands, with aromas and flavors that hops never exhibited in the past. That’s why the book begins with a deep dive into how and why we smell and taste what we do, something these books helped me better understand.

Stan's book list on about aroma and flavor

Discover why each book is one of Stan's favorite books.

Why did Stan love this book?

Gordon Shepherd gave the developing science of neurogastronomy – which studies how the human brain perceives food from the information processed through smell, taste, sight, touch, and hearing – its name. A leading expert on olfaction, he is perfectly qualified to draw the link between aroma and flavor, and why Luca Turin would claim that smell provides 90 percent of what we taste. His description of the importance of retronasal smell, and the mechanics involved, turned a term that was fun to toss around tasting beer with friends into a revelation.

By Gordon M. Shepherd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Neurogastronomy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leading neuroscientist Gordon M. Shepherd embarks on a paradigm-shifting trip through the "human brain flavor system," laying the foundations for a new scientific field: neurogastronomy. Challenging the belief that the sense of smell diminished during human evolution, Shepherd argues that this sense, which constitutes the main component of flavor, is far more powerful and essential than previously believed. Shepherd begins Neurogastronomy with the mechanics of smell, particularly the way it stimulates the nose from the back of the mouth. As we eat, the brain conceptualizes smells as spatial patterns, and from these and the other senses it constructs the perception…


Apéritif

By Rebekah Peppler,

Book cover of Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way: A Recipe Book

Jackie Kai Ellis Author Of The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris

From the list on taste of France.

Who am I?

Jackie Kai Ellis is a designer, bestselling author, pastry chef, entrepreneur, lifestyle writer, and other bits n’ bobs. Jackie left design to pursue her passion for pastry in Paris. After finishing her studies, she founded the award-winning pâtisserie, Beaucoup Bakery & Café in Vancouver – featured in countless publications and media including Bon Appétit Magazine. Jackie turned her passion for authentic storytelling and launched her bestselling memoir, The Measure of My Powers: A memoir of food, misery, and Paris,.

Jackie's book list on taste of France

Discover why each book is one of Jackie's favorite books.

Why did Jackie love this book?

Another beautiful book with beautiful photography by a dear friend in Paris, Rebekah Peppler. This James Beard nominated recipe book takes you through how to create a classic apéro through the seasons, and then inventive riffs. I’ve personally tried so many of these recipes and they have you dreaming and yearning for that moment with friends, setting suns, chilled glasses and the sound of crystal in celebration of another day.

By Rebekah Peppler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apéritif as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

JAMES BEARD AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FOOD NETWORK

Grab a light drink and a bite, and enjoy cocktail hour, the French way.

For the French, the fleeting interlude between a long workday and the evening meal to come is not meant to be hectic or crazed. Instead, that time is a much needed chance to pause, take a breath, and reset with light drinks and snacks. Whether it's a quick affair before dashing out the door to your favorite Parisian bistro or a lead-up to a more lavish party, Apéritif is…


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

By Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L Hopp, Lily Hopp Kingsolver

Book cover of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Heidi Matonis Author Of Hatching Love

From the list on optimists and animal lovers.

Who am I?

I am an optimist. I jump out of bed in the morning ready to read and write. With my dog and cat by my side and a cup of coffee in hand, I lose myself in whatever I am working on. I am deeply curious about a gamut of subjects and constantly challenge myself to learn more. I am persistent and not afraid of hard work. Nature and animals are my bottomless well of inspiration and joy. I very much believe life is a journey and I try to enjoy each step.

Heidi's book list on optimists and animal lovers

Discover why each book is one of Heidi's favorite books.

Why did Heidi love this book?

This book was crucial in my path to veganism.

It is a memoir where Barbara Kingsolver writes humorously about a year of living off the land. She is not a vegetarian but must raise, kill, and butcher animals if she wants to eat meat. The result is, every time she eats meat, she weighs the emotional cost.

This reckoning has been my bible. I ask myself, would I be willing to kill the chick I raised to eat? Inevitably, the answer is “no.” 

The book is not a treaty encouraging people to live off the land, it’s the opposite. It makes you appreciate every bit of food you put in your mouth and the fact you did not have to grow, harvest, clean and cook it. 

By Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L Hopp, Lily Hopp Kingsolver

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Animal, Vegetable, Miracle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"We wanted to live in a place that could feed us: where rain falls, crops grow, and drinking water bubbles up right out of the ground."

Barbara Kingsolver opens her home to us, as she and her family attempt a year of eating only local food, much of it from their own garden. Inspired by the flavours and culinary arts of a local food culture, they explore many a farmers market and diversified organic farms at home and across the country. With characteristic warmth, Kingsolver shows us how to put food back at the centre of the political and family…


Canadian Whisky

By Davin de Kergommeaux,

Book cover of Canadian Whisky: The New Portable Expert

Kevin R. Kosar Author Of Whiskey: A Global History

From the list on whiskey and whisky.

Who am I?

I am the author of two books on distilled spirits and have been blogging at AlcoholReviews.com since 1998. I have written about drinks, drinks history, and drinks politics for the New York Times and the American Spectator magazine. Whiskey is my favorite distilled spirit—there are so many fantastic types and brands of it. For consumers, it can be really bewildering to navigate. So, I take it as my duty to help people navigate the wide and wild world of whiskey!

Kevin's book list on whiskey and whisky

Discover why each book is one of Kevin's favorite books.

Why did Kevin love this book?

Canadians have been making whisky for a few centuries, but drinks experts long have given the nation’s hooch scant attention. This is understandable, as Canadian distillers spent much of the 20th century churning out an ocean of low-priced and bland-tasting blends like Seagrams 7 and Canadian Club. Times have changed, though, and Canada is producing single malts and various high-end, sophisticated whiskies that have garnered international acclaim. David de Kergommeaux is the preeminent expert on whisky in the Great North, and his book is an indispensable guide to anyone who wants to learn the what-and-how of Canadian whisky-making and its history through the current day. He also directs readers’ attention to the brands of Canadian whisky worth buying, and his recommendations are spot on.

By Davin de Kergommeaux,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Canadian Whisky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Savour the bold notes and rich varieties of Canadian whisky with this fully revised, updated,  and indispensable guide.

This fully updated and revised edition of the award-winning Canadian Whisky invites you on a journey across Canada and back through time to discover the story of this unique spirit. Independent whisky expert Davin de Kergommeaux weaves a compelling narrative, beginning with the substance of Canadian whisky—grains, water, and wood—and details the process of how it’s made and how to taste it. He traces the fascinating history of the country’s major distilleries and key visionaries, and introduces the present-day players—big and small—who…


Cook's Illustrated Baking Book

By America's Test Kitchen (editor),

Book cover of Cook's Illustrated Baking Book

Jessica Harlan Author Of Homemade Condiments

From the list on learning something new about cooking.

Who am I?

As the author of nine cookbooks, I strive to help readers master new skills and to become more comfortable in the kitchen. I’m constantly reading other cookbooks to keep my fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the food world, as well as to improve my own culinary prowess. It’s been nearly 20 years since I graduated from culinary school, and I love that I can open a book to refresh a forgotten skill, learn a new one, or delve into the “why” behind cooking’s biggest questions. These books have kept me entertained and intrigued, not to mention well-fed. I hope they do the same for you! 

Jessica's book list on learning something new about cooking

Discover why each book is one of Jessica's favorite books.

Why did Jessica love this book?

Most people identify either as cooks or bakers, and I can see why—it certainly takes a different mindset to bake bread or a cake. Baking is a far more precise science, which is one of the reasons I’m very picky about what baking recipes I trust. It’s one of the reasons I love having Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book in my arsenal. I have always been a big fan of the magazine, where the writers prepare countless versions of the same recipe, changing ingredients, methods, and other factors to arrive at the most perfect version. This cookbook follows the same format, covering savory recipes like tarts, quiches, pizzas, and rolls, in addition to every classic sweet recipe you could want. It was this book that ended my long search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie… the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie is a refinement of the classic Toll House Cookie. I’m glad…

By America's Test Kitchen (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cook's Illustrated Baking Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Baking demystified with 450 foolproof recipes from Cook's Illustrated, America's most trusted food magazine.

The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book has it all—definitive recipes for all your favorite cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, breads, pizza, and more, along with kitchen-tested techniques that will transform your baking. Recipes range from easy (drop cookies and no-knead bread) to more ambitious (authentic croissants and dacquoise) and the trademark test kitchen expertise shines through each one. Discover why spreading the dough and then sprinkling the berries leads to better Blueberry Scones, why cubed versus shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese makes all the difference in our irresistible Cheese…


Cook Korean!

By Robin Ha,

Book cover of Cook Korean!: A Comic Book with Recipes

Blue Delliquanti Author Of Meal

From the list on graphic novels that make you hungry.

Who am I?

I love writing about food, and it appears as a motif in nearly every comic I've ever drawn. Comics are an exceptional medium for discussing food – a talented artist can render a drawing into something that looks delicious, but they can tie it into a story that gives the dish meaning or connects to a particular character's inner life. With Meal I had the opportunity to tell a story about a kind of cuisine that delights me, but that most people know very little about – and I turned to my favorite comics about food for inspiration on how to translate that joy from the plate to the page.

Blue's book list on graphic novels that make you hungry

Discover why each book is one of Blue's favorite books.

Why did Blue love this book?

Korean food has quickly become one of my favorite cuisines to make and enjoy, and I owe a lot to Ha's book for making that possible. This is an excellent visual guide for wannabe cooks who want to check how finely to chop their ingredients or identify unfamiliar vegetables at the store – and Ha's beautiful art showcases the bright, inviting colors of Korean banchan while making it personal to her own journey with the dishes.

By Robin Ha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cook Korean! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestseller • A charming introduction to the basics of Korean cooking in graphic novel form, with 64 recipes, ingredient profiles, and more, presented through light-hearted comics.
 
Fun to look at and easy to use, this unique combination of cookbook and graphic novel is the ideal introduction to cooking Korean cuisine at home. Robin Ha’s colorful and humorous one-to three-page comics fully illustrate the steps and ingredients needed to bring more than sixty traditional (and some not-so-traditional) dishes to life.

In these playful but exact recipes, you’ll learn how to create everything from easy kimchi (mak kimchi) and…


Good & Sweet

By Brian Levy,

Book cover of Good & Sweet: A New Way to Bake with Naturally Sweet Ingredients

Nick Malgieri Author Of How to Bake

From the list on getting you baking like a pro.

Who am I?

Whenever I’m asked about when I knew I wanted to be a pastry chef/baker, I always answer, “birth!” My maternal grandmother lived with us and she loved to bake; I was playing with dough as soon as I was old enough to stand on a chair next to the kitchen table. After college I faced a crisis: graduate school or culinary school – I chose the latter and I’ve never looked back. Adding teaching and writing to my love of baking led me to travel, taste, research, and learn new techniques and recipes to share. It’s a passion from which I’ll never retire.

Nick's book list on getting you baking like a pro

Discover why each book is one of Nick's favorite books.

Why did Nick love this book?

In Good and Sweet, Brian Levy takes a radical approach to preparing delicious desserts – he uses no refined sugar but finds the necessary sweetness of his desserts from fruits (dried, juiced, or fresh), grains, dairy products, and nuts.

Before I tried any of the recipes, I have to admit that I was somewhat skeptical, but one taste of any of the recipes I tried made me realize that there are other ways to sweeten besides refined sugar. My favorites include Blueberry Biscuit Cobbler, Cherry Coconut Clafoutis, Figgy Cheesecake, Rosemary Lemon Shortbread, and Spiced Pumpkin Pie.

Levy also incorporates whole grain flour when appropriate as high-quality flour provides a sweetness of its own.

By Brian Levy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good & Sweet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Los Angeles Times, Serious Eats

Groundbreaking recipes for real desserts—sweetened entirely by fruit and other natural, unexpectedly sweet ingredients—from a pastry cook who’s worked at acclaimed restaurants in New York and France.

Brian Levy spent years making pastries the traditional way, with loads of refined sugar and white flour, at distinguished restaurants, inns, and private homes in the United States and Europe. But he discovered another world of desserts—one that few bakers have explored—where there’s no need for cane sugar or coconut sugar, for maple syrup or honey, or for anything like…


Stuffed

By Patricia Volk,

Book cover of Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family

Alex Witchel Author Of All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother's Dementia. With Refreshments

From the list on to read in the waiting room.

Who am I?

I am the oldest of four children and was always close to my mom. She was a trailblazer, earning her doctorate in educational psychology in 1963 and teaching at the college level. In her early 70’s her memory started to falter, and she lived with dementia for 10 years before she died. I was a reporter at The New York Times and had published three books by that point. My fourth became All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments. I spent years in doctors’ and hospital’s waiting rooms and these are some of the books that helped make that time not only tolerable but sometimes, even joyful. 

Alex's book list on to read in the waiting room

Discover why each book is one of Alex's favorite books.

Why did Alex love this book?

“My family struck me as larger than life, bigger than news,” Volk once said. This memoir imbues her relatives’ stories with all the wonder and glamour children confer on the mere mortals who raise us. In the waiting room, you may still feel that way about the person inside. Volk’s family ran restaurants in New York City – her grandfather owned 14 – and four generations lived within five blocks of each other. The details of their clothes, their couches, and their craziness (Uncle Al had an affair with Aunt Lil for 11 years then refused to marry her because she wasn’t a virgin), hark back to those Sundays forever ago when families chose to visit each other on their only day off. Reading this feels like home. 

By Patricia Volk,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stuffed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'We were a restaurant family, four generations in a six-block radius. When you opened our fridge, food fell on your feet.' Three generations of Patricia Volk's family have been in the restaurant business. Her hallway was the colour of ball-park mustard, the living room was cocoa and the floor was like Genoa salami. At Morgen's, the famous restaurant in the garment district which her grandfather started and which her father ran, she was the princess. Waiters winked at her and twirled her napkin up high before draping it on her lap and when she wanted a hamburger, her grandfather would…


Honey and Jam

By Hannah Queen,

Book cover of Honey and Jam: Seasonal Baking from My Kitchen in the Mountains

Tammy Donroe Inman Author Of New England Desserts: Classic and Creative Recipes for All Seasons

From the list on seasonal baking.

Who am I?

I’m an award-winning cookbook author, photographer, and culinary instructor with a passion for local food and dessert. As a trained chef, I’ve worked behind the scenes of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and the TV show America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve also been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and CBS Evening News. For cookbooks, I love beautifully styled photography that pulls me in and delicious, well-written recipes that work in a real home kitchen. I also like a cookbook that you can curl up with and read like a novel. I live outside Boston with my family, two high-maintenance cats, and a pair of well-worn roller skates.

Tammy's book list on seasonal baking

Discover why each book is one of Tammy's favorite books.

Why did Tammy love this book?

Inspired by the natural rhythms of her land in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Queen presents more than 70 recipes for homespun desserts (mostly cakes) with a few savory items scattered in.

I learned of her cookbook through her gorgeously photographed food blog and Instagram feed, but her recipes are what convinced me to buy a copy. Her Southern influence comes through in the Green Tomato Cornmeal Cake, Sweet Potato Cupcakes, and Black Pepper Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, but she’s equally comfortable tackling the apples, cranberries, and pears I love, too.

By Hannah Queen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Honey and Jam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the tradition of cooking with each season's bounty, Hannah Queen applies the same spirit to her baking, turning out an abundance of fresh cakes, trifles, biscuits and more.
From the citrus of winter to the bright squash of summer, more than 70 classic and modern dessert recipes celebrate locally sourced ingredients. Relish the sweet fruit of the spring with the delectable Rhubarb Custard Cake and savour the ripe flavours of autumn with the Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Bourbon Buttercream. The wide range of flavours and recipes for year-round baking ensure you will never tire of these fresh indulgences.
Featuring…


Sweetness and Power

By Sidney W. Mintz,

Book cover of Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History

Brian Cowan Author Of The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse

From the list on the history of coffee and coffeehouses.

Who am I?

I went to college in Portland, Oregon when the Pacific northwest’s coffee boom was just getting started. My love of coffee turned academic as I began to research and write what would turn out to be a prize-winning book on the early history of coffee and coffeehouses in Great Britain: The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse (2005). I’ve continued to publish articles on coffee history and the history of sociability ever since, and I regularly teach a research seminar on the history of coffee at McGill University. Now I serve as president of the board of directors for an international research group on the history of sociability.

Brian's book list on the history of coffee and coffeehouses

Discover why each book is one of Brian's favorite books.

Why did Brian love this book?

Mintz’s book is about sugar, but it is still a key work in the history of coffee. It served as one of the major inspirations for my own study of the reception of coffee in early modern Britain. Sugar was a key ingredient in coffee by the later seventeenth century and would become a staple in the hot drinks consumed by the English working class. Mintz shows us how this symbiotic relationship between sugar and coffee developed, and he places the construction of an Atlantic slave system and the industrial revolution at the heart of his story. This is a classic work of both anthropology and history; it inspired a whole new way of thinking about the Atlantic world and the history of consumption at a time when both of those fields were still newborn. 

By Sidney W. Mintz,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sweetness and Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fascinating persuasive history of how sugar has shaped the world, from European colonies to our modern diets

In this eye-opening study, Sidney Mintz shows how Europeans and Americans transformed sugar from a rare foreign luxury to a commonplace necessity of modern life, and how it changed the history of capitalism and industry. He discusses the production and consumption of sugar, and reveals how closely interwoven are sugar's origins as a "slave" crop grown in Europe's tropical colonies with is use first as an extravagant luxury for the aristocracy, then as a staple of the diet of the new industrial…


Book cover of When Champagne Became French: Wine and the Making of a National Identity

Rod Phillips Author Of French Wine: A History

From the list on the history of wine.

Who am I?

I’ve been passionate about wine since I was a teenager in New Zealand and I now teach and write about it, judge in wine competitions, and travel the world to visit wine regions. I teach European history and the history of food and drink at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. As a wine historian, I spend weeks each year in archives, studying everything from changes in vineyard area and the weather in specific years to the taxation of wine and patterns of wine drinking. Currently, I’m working in several French archives for a book on wine in the French Revolution. It will be my ninth wine book.

Rod's book list on the history of wine

Discover why each book is one of Rod's favorite books.

Why did Rod love this book?

This prize-winning book is an impeccably researched and very readable history of champagne, the only wine that’s a household name. Kolleen Guy traces the way champagne, even though a latecomer after the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy, became more closely identified with France and Frenchness. Focusing on the period from the early 1800s to the early 1900s, Guy traces the way champagne houses carefully constructed an image of champagne that complemented the nation-building process that was underway at the same time. It’s a fine demonstration of the way that wine is often connected to broad political and cultural currents.

By Kolleen M. Guy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Champagne Became French as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Outstanding Manuscript Award from Phi Alpha Theta, this work explains how nationhood emerges by viewing countries as cultural artifacts, a product of "invented traditions." In the case of France, scholars sharply disagree, not only over the nature of French national identity but also over the extent to which diverse and sometimes hostile provincial communities became integrated into the nation. In When Champagne Became French: Wine and the Making of a National Identity, Kolleen M. Guy offers a new perspective on this debate by looking at one of the central elements in French national culture-luxury wine-and the rural…


Dinner with the President

By Alex Prud'homme,

Book cover of Dinner with the President: Food, Politics, and a History of Breaking Bread at the White House

Andrew T. Huse, Bárbara Cruz, and Jeff Houck Author Of The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers

From the list on reads for when you’re hungry.

Who are we?

Our obsessions with food and history mean that recipes are not the end of the journey, but the beginning. Recipes are an answer to a whole host of questions, challenges, and opportunities, and those are the stories that interest us. A recipe with no history is like the punch line with no preceding joke, incomplete at best.   

Andrew's book list on reads for when you’re hungry

Discover why each book is one of Andrew's favorite books.

Why did Andrew love this book?

It’s all here—from George Washington’s penchant for cracking walnuts with his teeth to Biden’s famous weakness for ice cream—Dinner with the President is a fascinating peek into the First Families’ eating habits en famille, as well as the diplomatic maneuvers behind state dinners and the gastro-intrigue girding geopolitics.

By the coauthor of Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France, this meticulously researched account of White House meals is part history book, part food biography. Juicy behind-the-scenes accounts shed light on events like Andrew Jackson’s 1829 inauguration party, Richard Nixon’s improbable gastro-diplomacy in China, and Jimmy Carter’s brokering peace in the Middle East over 13 days of food. 

Last, readers will appreciate a compendium of selected White House recipes (some modernized to today’s tastes and accessibility of ingredients), historical photographs (such as notable events at the White House and a few of the kitchens through the years), and images of…

By Alex Prud'homme,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dinner with the President as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A wonderfully entertaining, often surprising history of presidential taste, from the grim meals eaten by Washington and his starving troops at Valley Forge to Trump’s fast-food burgers and Biden’s ice cream—what they ate, why they ate it, and what it tells us about the state of the nation—from the coauthor of Julia Child’s best-selling memoir My Life in France

"[A] beautifully written book about how the presidential palate has helped shape America...Fascinating."—Stanley Tucci

Some of the most significant moments in American history have occurred over meals, as U.S. presidents broke bread with friends or foe: Thomas Jefferson’s nationbuilding receptions in…


Victorian Cakes

By Caroline B. King,

Book cover of Victorian Cakes: A Reminiscence With Recipes

Jenne Bergstrom and Miko Osada Author Of The Little Women Cookbook: Novel Takes on Classic Recipes from Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Friends

From the list on food and cooking in Victorian America.

Who are we?

Miko and Jenne are librarians who love to eat. Their love of classic children’s literature led them to start their 36 Eggs blog, where they recreate foods and experiences from their favorite books. In 2019, they published the Little Women Cookbook, which required extensive research into the food of the Victorian era.

Jenne's book list on food and cooking in Victorian America

Discover why each book is one of Jenne's favorite books.

Why did Jenne love this book?

This delightful memoir/cookbook of a girl and her sisters growing up near Chicago in the late 1800s gives us a glimpse of what kinds of things a middle-class family ate--there were trendy foods back then, just like we have now!

What’s it like? Just imagine if you took all your favorite 19th-century children's books, mashed them all together, and edited out everything except talking about cake. Oh and maybe keep in a few things about fancy outfits and picnics.

By Caroline B. King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Victorian Cakes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The author recalls her Victorian childhood and shares popular recipes from the 1880s for cakes, doughnuts, pastries, buns, cookies, and desserts