13 Cookbooks by LGBTQ+ Authors of Color to Buy Right Now
From Coconuts and Collards to Masala Farm, here’s what we’re reading.
This story is part of "Queer As Food," a series that explores the role of food in LGBTQ+ communities.
During Pride month, there are endless ways to support the queer community. You can donate or volunteer with LGBTQ+ nonprofits, spread awareness by marching in a parade (virtually, this year), or simply support queer-owned businesses. But, you can also buy books penned by queer authors. In addition to food magazines and TV shows, the publishing industry as a whole underrepresents LGBTQ+ authors, but, even more so, it vastly underrepresents queer people of color. Since cookbooks, cocktail guides, and food memoirs are an essential tool for sharing history, experience, and perspective, what better way to celebrate LGBTQ+ authors of color than by reading their stories and cooking their recipes? Here are some of our favorites.
Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One
Author: Anita Lo
Publisher: Knopf, 2018
Order here: Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One, $18 at amazon.com
In Solo, Anita Lo (Food & Wine Best New Chef 2001) proves that cooking for one is the ultimate act of self-care. Her nourishing, practical, home-cook-friendly dishes are as delicious as they are inspired.
A Simple Feast: A Year of Stories and Recipes to Savor and Share
Author: Diana Yen
Publisher: Roost Books, 2014
Order here: A Simple Feast, $16 at amazon.com
Through an undeniably beautiful lens, Diana Yen shares simple and elegant recipes that are organized by life moments, like snow days, tea parties, and apple picking. The recipes in A Simple Feast are elevated versions of classic American dishes that couldn’t be more gorgeous or approachable.
Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican-American Kitchen
Author: Esteban Castillo
Publisher: Harper Design, June 2020
Order here: Chicano Eats, $30 at amazon.com
Esteban Castillo, creator of the popular blog, Chicano Eats, has written a cookbook by the same name. Scheduled to release on June 30, 2020, this playful and colorful cookbook showcases outstanding recipes that are fundamentally both Mexican and American.
Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques: A Cookbook
Authors: Kristen Kish with Meredith Erickson
Publisher: Clarkson Potter, 2017
Order here: Kristen Kish Cooking, $22 at amazon.com
In her stunning first book, Kristen Kish (winner of season ten of Top Chef), shares recipes that not only nod to her Midwestern upbringing but showcase her impeccable skills as a fine dining chef.
Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul
Author: Lazarus Lynch
Publisher: Avery, 2019
Order here: Son of a Southern Chef, $20 at amazon.com
Lazarus Lynch’s Son of a Southern Chef is unlike any cookbook on Southern cuisine. Lynch’s vibrant personality and style is shared through gorgeous photography, joyful stories, and delicious recipes that are a nod to his Alabama-born father and Guyanese mother.
The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South
Author: Michael Twitty
Publisher: Amistad, 2018
Order here: The Cooking Gene, $20 at amazon.com
In this memoir, Michael Twitty—culinary historian and creator of the blog Afroculinaria—takes us across three centuries of his ancestral culinary history and the politics surrounding the origins of Southern cuisine. Twitty confronts the ongoing struggle over race by examining the history and connection of slavery and food. The Cooking Gene was the 2018 winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Book of the Year and Best Food Writing awards. Fascinating and enlightening, The Cooking Gene belongs on every shelf and deserves to be reread time and time again.
Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food
Author: Nik Sharma
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2018
Order here: Season, $22 at amazon.com
The passion and love that Nik Sharma has for food, cooking, and photography shines in his first book, Season. Sharma’s recipes combine familiar American ingredients and bold spices of Indian cuisine, creating dishes that are exciting but not intimidating.
The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts
Authors: Pichet Ong with Genevieve Ko
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks, 2007
Order here: The Sweet Spot, $7 at amazon.com
In The Sweet Spot, Pichet Ong showcases the techniques and vibrant flavors of Asia in both traditional Asian desserts and American classics. As far dessert cookbooks go, The Sweet Spot bridges the East and West like no other.
The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook: Indian Spice, Oakland Soul
Authors: Preeti Mistry with Sarah Henry
Publisher: Running Press Adult, 2017
Order here: The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook, $11 at amazon.com
In her first cookbook, Preeti Mistry—chef and owner of Juhu Beach Club in Oakland, CA—shares recipes that are as eclectic and energetic as her. Mistry merges cuisines from all over India with American influences to create recipes that will knock your socks off. Throughout the book, Mistry also reflects on her career with notes and super-engaging stories.
Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails
Authors: Shannon Mustipher
Publisher: Rizzoli, 2019
Order here: Tiki, $27 at amazon.com
In Tiki, Shannon Mustipher reintroduces the tiki cocktail to the world through a modern, sophisticated lens. Mustipher’s knowledge and expertise comes through in every recipe and note, making this book an incredible resource for any tiki fan. You will love this book as much as the cocktails you make from it.
Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country
Authors: Suvir Saran with Raquel Pelzel and Charlie Burd
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2011
Order here: Masala Farm, $12 at amazon.com
Using Indian techniques and flavors, Suvir Saran documents life on the upstate New York farm he shares with his partner, Charlie Burd (who co-authored the book along with Raquel Pelzel). Unlike his first two books, Indian Home Cooking and American Masala, Saran’s recipes in Masala Farm are inspired by farmhouse cuisine.
Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South
Author: Von Diaz
Publisher: University Press of Florida, 2018
Order here: Coconuts and Collards, $19 at amazon.com
In Coconuts and Collards, Von Diaz shares her deeply personal story of family and food, resulting in one of the best-ever memoirs with recipes. Through her recipes, Diaz celebrates a cuisine that is not strictly Puerto Rican or Southern, but one that reflects her family’s history and their love for both cuisines.
Zoe's Ghana Kitchen: Traditional Ghanaian Recipes Remixed for the Modern Kitchen
Author: Zoe Adjonyoh
Publisher: Mitchell Beazley, 2017
Order here: Zoe's Ghana Kitchen, $11 at amazon.com
In Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, chef Zoe Adjonyoh showcases contemporary African recipes that celebrate her story of having a Ghanaian father and Irish mother. The easy, adaptable recipes are exciting and unique. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is an outstanding introduction to a cuisine that deserves greater exposure.