All the 2019 James Beard Award-Winning Books You Need on Your Shelf
We’ve been in the thick of James Beard Award season for a while now—past announced winners include the 2019 Smart Catch Leader, given to San Diego’s Lionfish in February, and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award, which went to The Inn at Little Washington’s Patrick O’Connell. After the announcement of the 2019 finalist list a month ago, suspense has been mounting as we draw ever-closer to the final awards presentation on May 6. On Friday, however, some of that tension was finally alleviated when the foundation named all of the winners in the media categories—honorees include Parts Unknown, featuring the late Anthony Bourdain, and Samin Nosrat’s beloved Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat Netflix show.
In addition to broadcast media and journalism, the “Media” awards also recognize books—13 titles were honored, and the legendary Jessica B. Harris also took home the “Cookbook Hall of Fame” award. There’s something for every reader in this year’s finalist roundup, whether you’re into cocktails (check out Cocktail Codex from the Death & Co. team) or photography (Tokyo New Wave by Andrea Fazzari). So, to make it easy for you, we’ve included every winner from the book category below, along with Amazon links, if you want to order them. They’ll make for great reading ahead of the awards on the 6th—good luck picking which one to delve into first.
Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day
JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers (Flatiron Books)
Between Harlem and Heaven, from JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with co-author Veronica Chambers, explores intersections of Asian, African, and American cuisines, and how they’ve influenced food all over the world—Chef Pierre Thiam wrote, “this book is a testimony to the fact that food transcends borders.” The book is a celebration of how these cuisines have taken hold in Harlem—you’ll find over 100 recipes inside, including a creamy macaroni and cheese casserole with rosemary and caramelized shallots, and Feijoada with black beans and spicy lamb sausage.
Available on Amazon for $21.75 (list price $37.50).
Baking and Desserts
SUQAR: Desserts & Sweets from the Modern Middle East
Greg Malouf and Lucy Malouf (Hardie Grant Books)
Suqar means “sugar” in Arabic, and this book delivers with over 100 “sweet treats” inspired by Middle Eastern flavors, organized in 10 different chapters: Fruit; Dairy; Frozen; Cakes; Cookies; Pastries; Doughnuts, Fritters & Pancakes; Halvas & Confectionery; Preserves; and Drinks. According to the book description, the recipes were inspired by Australian-Lebanese chef Greg Malouf’s childhood, as well as his training in the West—resulting in a “Modern Middle Eastern” style.
Available on Amazon for $25.47 (list price $40)
Wine Folly: Magnum Edition
Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack (Avery)
If you liked Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine by Puckette and Hammack (released in 2015), you need to order the new expanded Magnum edition, with food and wine pairing tips, a guide to acidity and tannin, and over 100 grapes and wines (color-coded!) so you can become a well-versed oenophile.
Available on Amazon for $22.48 (list price $35)
Milk Street: Tuesday Nights
Christopher Kimball (Little, Brown and Company)
From the team behind Milk Street (a magazine, cooking school, tv and radio show), Milk Street: Tuesday Nights offers over 200 recipes that are simple, healthy, and easy to make. They’re broken into three categories: fast (under an hour), faster (45 minutes or less), and fastest (25 minutes or less). All you have to do is decide if you’re making the pasta with browned butter or peanut-sesame noodles first.
Available on Amazon for $23.79 (list price $35)
Health and Special Diets
Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World
Sam Kass (Clarkson Potter)
If you’ve ever wanted to eat like the Obamas, make sure you pick up Eat a Little Better—Sam Kass used to be their chef at the White House. As you can deduce from the title, this book focuses on taking small steps toward healthier habits, with 90 recipes, tips for shopping smart, and more.
Available on Amazon for $20.50 (list price $32.50)
Feast: Food of the Islamic World
Anissa Helou (Ecco)
We previously called out Feast as one of the 18 cookbooks we were most excited about for spring 2018—and it didn’t disappoint. In 300 recipes, Helou dives into Islamic food culture and history, covering everywhere from Morocco to India. If you’re craving a good biryani recipe, look no further.
Available on Amazon for $32.94 (list price $60)
Tokyo New Wave: 31 Chefs Defining Japan's Next Generation, with Recipes
Andrea Fazzari (Ten Speed Press)
Fazzari profiles 31 different influential chefs in this book, highlighting the mix of old and new that’s characterizing the local cuisine. There’s recipes and interviews in Tokyo New Wave—but it was Fazzari’s stunning photographs that won her the Beard.
Available on Amazon for $27.17 (list price $40)
Reference, History, and Scholarship
Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry
Anna Zeide (University of California Press)
Canned explores how Americans have shifted from distrusting packaged food to having a food supply that is dominated by it, moving away from fresh and locally grown produce. Zeide dives into how the industry made this change happen.
Available on Amazon for $19.05 (list price $29.95)
Restaurant and Professional
Chicken and Charcoal: Yakitori, Yardbird, Hong Kong
Matt Abergel (Phaidon Press)
Some of Hong Kong’s best yakitori is now available for you to make at home via a cookbook. Chicken and Charcoal details the process step-by-step, discussing everything from sourcing to cooking. According to the Amazon description, it’s also "the first comprehensive book about yakitori to be published in English.”
Available on Amazon for $25.44 (list price $39.95)
Goat: Cooking and Eating
James Whetlor (Quadrille Publishing)
Whetlor, the founder of Cabrito, wants to make the case in Goat for eating more, well, goat—“it’s sustainable, ethical, highly nutritious, and low in calories,” according to the book’s description. The meat is good in curries, kebabs, and even stir-fries, and Goat showcases recipes from all over the world to show how versatile it can be.
Available on Amazon for $20.39 (list price $29.99)
Saladish: A Crunchier, Grainier, Herbier, Heartier, Tastier Way with Vegetables
Ilene Rosen with Donna Gelb (Artisan Books)
If you think Saladish is going to be a rundown of classics like Caesar salad and Tuna Niçoise, think again. Rosen’s book is all about using unexpected ingredients—shirataki noodles, chrysanthemum leaves, Bosc pears—to elevate salad through contrasting textures and flavors. There are 100 recipes total, and each chapter in the book includes a party menu, should you be entertaining soon.
Available on Amazon for $14.10 (list price $24.95)
Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine
Edward Lee (Artisan Books)
Buttermilk Graffiti follows chef Edward Lee as he makes his way around America, road tripping for two years to learn about the melting pot cuisine this country is known for. Spotlights include an Uyghur café in New York’s Brighton Beach, and beignets from the iconic Café du Monde in New Orleans; overall, the book has 16 chapters and “adventures,” plus 40 recipes.
Available on Amazonfor $17.95 (list price $27.50)
Book of the Year
Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions
Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, with Devon Tarby (Ten Speed Press)
For all you Death & Co. fans out there, this book gives you an inside scoop to making world-class cocktails. The team reveals six “root recipes” for making and mastering drinks—the old-fashioned, martini, daiquiri, sidecar, whisky highball, and flip—which, in turn, can help you improvise and come up with a cocktail of your own.
Available on Amazon for $25.47 (list price $40)