From Nik Sharma's highly anticipated debut book, to Anita Lo's guide to cooking alone and Dorie Greenspan's latest book—this one features “elbows-on-the-table” food—there are almost too many great cookbooks to choose from this season. It's a good problem to have.

Devra Ferst
August 22, 2018

Every fall, just as home cooks are eyeing first-of-the-season apples at the farmers market, a new crop of cookbooks comes out—and this year's lineup is full of blockbusters. There are books that take us deep into the kitchens of beloved restaurants like L.A.’s Bestia, and into bakeries like Milk Bar and Detroit's Sister Pie. Others lead us through remote parts of Northern Thailand and China’s Yunnan province. Meanwhile, big names like Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Dorie Greenspan share more of their kitchen wisdom in new releases.

While most of these 26 books will call you to the kitchen, others are best for curling up with on a cold day. (And, speaking of reading, don’t miss Jose Andres’s We Fed an Islandnot a cookbook but a food book worth buy when it comes out next month). No matter what type of cookbooks you’re interested in, there’s something to get excited about this season. Check out our favorites below, and head over to your local bookstore, pronto.

When You Need to Get Dinner—or Breakfast—on the Table

Cravings: Hungry for Moreby Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman
September 18, Clarkson Potter, $30

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If you’re wondering if a model can cook, you clearly haven’t spent any time with Chrissy Teigen’s hit first cookbook Cravings. If you need a reminder, she provides more than a few in her second book, including the declaration: “Yes, I can cook because anyone can.” In her very real and funny voice, she offers recipes for black bean and mushroom enchilada casserole, jalapeno parmesan-crusted grilled cheese, and even a healthy-ish butternut squash and pomegranate salad with garlicky honey-Dijon dressing. There are also Thai recipes inspired by Teigen’s mom like crispy rice salad with a fried egg and pork glass noodle salad.

Now & Again Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers, by Julia Turshen
September 4, Chronicle Books, $35

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Julia Turshen’s follow-up to Small Victories is a cookbook with three clearly stated goals: to teach readers that cooking a whole meal can be easy and inexpensive, that leftovers can be “an invitation to really fun, inventive cooking,” as she writes, and to inspire readers to gather people around a table. Turshen accomplishes her goals with an inviting narrative and approachable seasonal menus like “No Stress Thanksgiving,” “Steak House Dinner for Vegetarians,” and “Middle Eastern Dinner Outside.” Each is stacked with recipes for making the original dishes as well as suggestions for what to do with the leftovers. Uneaten garlic and anchovy butter toasts are chopped finely and mixed with ground meat for garlic toast meatballs and leftover arugula salad becomes the base of a pesto. Along the way, readers feel that Turshen is in the kitchen with them, offering encouragement and bits of kitchen wisdom.

Waste Not: How To Get The Most From Your Food, by The James Beard Foundation
September 25, Rizzoli, $45

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“Forty percent of all the food produced in the U.S. gets thrown away in a nation where one in six people go hungry,” Tom Colicchio points out in the foreword to this book. Chefs are masters at cutting waste, using stems, overlooked cuts of protein, and byproducts like whey to save money and boost flavor. Editors from The James Beard Foundation pulled recipes like Swiss chard stem gratin and tahini pomegranate snapper collars that make use of food that is all too often thrown away, from chefs like Elizabeth Faulkner and Mourad Lahlou. Each chapter kicks off with a list of helpful suggestions for avoiding waste like roasting wilting celery and carrots and topping them with a fried egg for breakfast.

Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, by Nik Sharma
October 2, Chronicle Books, $35

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“Mine is a story of a gay immigrant, told through food,” Nik Sharma writes in his powerful debut book. “[It] taught me to recognize the inherent tensions between originality and tradition, and to opt for the former without rejecting the latter.” His recipes embody that sentiment, bringing together Indian flavors from his hometown of Bombay with those Sharma encountered when he moved to the U.S. There’s apple masala chai cake, tumeric-and-chile-roasted red snapper with melon salsa, and curry leaf popcorn chicken inspired by his husband’s Deep South roots, all illustrated with Sharma’s high contrast photos.

Ottolenghi: Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi
October 16, Ten Speed Press, $35

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Anyone who has cooked from Jerusalem, Plenty, or any of London chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s hit books, know his recipes aren’t simple (but always worth the effort). Ottolenghi’s aware of his reputation, joking in this book: “And, no, for anyone wondering, 'Ottolenghi Simple' is not a contradiction in terms! I know, I know: I’ve seen the raised eyebrows, I’ve heard the jokes.”

The book works on the understanding that cooks define simple differently. For some, it’s putting dinner on the table in 30 minutes, others want to cook from the pantry, and there are those who want to tuck a pot in the oven and leave it there for five hours. The book offers recipes for each of these cooks, guiding them to recipes that suit their “simple style,” like braised eggs with leeks, za’atar and feta; grilled beefsteak tomatoes with chile, garlic, and ginger; and grilled lamb fillet with almonds and orange blossom. Sure, the recipes might not appeal to those looking for a five ingredient 20-minute meal—this is Ottolenghi after all—but the book speaks to all kinds of home cooks.

Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks, by Ina Garten
October 23, Clarkson Potter, $35

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“My goal with this book is to ensure that everything you cook looks and tastes like it was ‘homemade by professionals!’ Ina Garten writes in her 11th cookbook. To help readers reach that level, her book is stacked with fully illustrated sections like “Arrange a Bar Like a Pro” and “Cut Like a Pro.” Between the pro-tips, Garten offers recipes that are approachable, but still impressive enough to serve at a dinner party like Campari and orange soda granita, cauliflower toast with mascarpone and prosciutto, and an updated version of The Silver Palate’s iconic chicken Marbella.

Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook, by Dorie Greenspan by Dorie Greenspan
October 23, Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin, $35

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If you’ve ever wanted to stop by Dorie Greenspan’s house for dinner, this book is a nice consolation prize. This is “elbows-on-the-table” food, Greenspan says in the introduction. Dishes like oven-charred tomato-stuffed peppers, a caramelized onion galette with parm cream, fresh-off-the-cob corn chowder, and braised lamb shanks with tomatoes and olives. “These days I have only one rule,” Greenspan explains. “There must be dessert! Please follow it.” With recipes for boozy jumbled fruit croustade and triple-layer parsnip and cranberry cake, that won’t be hard.

Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One, by Anita Lo
October 30, Knopf, $29

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Anita Lo has been dumped, in her words, “almost as many times as I’ve been in relationships.” Couple that with a life as a chef and you’re left with a lot of solo meals. Don’t pity her. “Cooking and dining alone can be one of the most blissful and empowering experiences you can have,” she writes. Her guide to solo cooking is peppered with stories, illustrations, and recipes for dishes like salt-broiled Spanish mackerel with broccoli rabe and orange, twice-cooked sweet potatoes with kale, mushrooms, and parmesan, and mac and two cheeses (yes, please!).

Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day, by the editors of Extra Crispy
October 23, Oxmoor House, $25

Courtesy of Oxmoor House

This one's part of the family, and it's a fun one. Whether you're looking to make homemade versions of Taco Bell Crunchwraps, a Pop-Tart Haus, or an Instant Pot burrito, the recipes in this book from the team at Extra Cripsy will without a doubt get you out of bed. And then there are the tips and techniques—for the perfect French toast or the fluffiest pancakes—that will help you out if the coffee hasn't kicked in yet. Use this as your guide to perfect the most important meal of the day, and make it the best one, as the title promises.—Alison Spiegel

Potluck: Food & Drink to Share with Friends and Family, by the editors of Food & Wine
September 18, Oxmoor House, $30

Courtesy of Amazon

And speaking of in the family... self-promotion alert! We'd be remiss if we didn't toot our own horn, because Food & Wine has a brand new cookbook coming out this fall, too. This one's all about large format meals to share with family and friends—perfect for fall parties and heading into the holiday season. Expect 150 modern recipes from the Test Kitchen that are ideal for serving a crowd, along with batchable cocktails and wine pairing suggestions. All of us here at F&W are excited to flip through this one. —Alison Spiegel

When You Want to Head to the Kitchen, Not the Airport

Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover's Paradise, by Marti Buckley
September 4, Artisan, $35

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This small section in Northern Spain is home to eight Michelin-starred restaurants. This book, however, is not about the food from those grand kitchens, but rather from the regions, towns, and cooks who celebrate simplicity and a love of eating. It’s about dishes like tuna and potato stew, braised rabbit, and of course the region’s iconic pintxos like croquettes and anchovies in vinegar. Those looking for a dive into Catalan cuisine, from a region several hours East, shouldn’t miss Catalan Food Culture and Flavors from the Mediterranean, which also debuts this fall.

Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Storiesby Naz Deravian
September 4, Flatiron Books, $35

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The complex blend of sour and herbaceous flavors that are hallmarks of Persian food can be daunting to recreate for novices. Naz Deravian, who was born in Iran and left as a child during the revolution, helps classics of the cuisine feel accessible by sharing not only the dishes’ roll in her family but also on the Persian table. The book opens with: “It begins with rice. It always has.” Fittingly, Iran’s most essential ingredient is treated to a chapter that helps readers master tahdig, the crispy pieces of rice that Deravian nicknames the Trojan horse of Persian cooking.

The Bread and Salt Between Us: Recipes and Stories from a Syrian Refugee’s Kitchen, by Mayada Anjari
September 7, Lake Isle Press, $24

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Early in Syria’s Civil War, Mayada Anjari and her family were forced to leave their home city of Homs. They first fled to Jordan and later, with the help of Rutgers Presbyterian Church, came to the United States as refugees. A dinner hosted by Anjari in her adopted homeland sparked the idea for a fundraiser at the church and ultimately for this cookbook. The result is a collection of recollections of life in Syria and recipes from her life there including tabbouleh, juz muz, or scrambled eggs and tomato, and dishes for a feast like kibbeh and stuffed zucchini hearts. Proceeds from the book will go to Anjari’s family and to the church’s refugee relief fund.

Cooking South of the Clouds: Recipes and Stories from China’s Yunnan Province, by Georgia Freedman
September 25, Kyle Books, $35

Courtesy of Amazon

Reaching from the Tibetan plateau to Laos and Vietnam, the Yunnan region is the most diverse in China, explains Georgia Freedman. And, “In a food-obsessed country, Yunnan is the food destination everyone wants to visit.” Yet, she admits, there’s no such thing as “Yunnan food.” Instead of trying to define it, she takes readers along with her as she travels through the region, featuring local chefs and regional recipes for dishes like “grandma’s potatoes,” a comfort dish of mashed potatoes with dried chilies, garlic chives, and pickled greens; clay pot noodle soup with ground pork; and Tibetan momos that migrated to the region. Woven throughout the text are arresting photos of the region by Josh Wand, Freedman’s husband.

Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious, by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook
October 16, Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35

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In May, Israel turned 70 and its cuisine is just starting to come into its own. Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook, the owners of Philadelphia’s Zahav restaurant take readers on an odyssey around the small country, to Jewish towns and Arab ones, to markets and boureka shops to help readers understand what Israeli cooking is today. Like their first book, Zahav, this project is deeply personal, with a blend of recipes from Israeli chefs and the team’s growing collection of restaurants in Philadelphia. Those short on time should head straight to the recipe 5-minute hummus with quick tehina sauce.

Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking, by Isaac Toups and Jennifer V. Cole
October 23, Little, Brown and Company, $35

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Isaac Toups’s family has been in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin since the 1700s. The New Orleans chef takes us into his Cajun world complete with boucheries, the tradition of a community hog or sheep slaughter, butchering, and cooking recipes like hog’s head cheese, boudin, and backbone stew. He also takes us to a crawfish boil, offering his mixtape lineup — with songs from Elvis, Hank Williams, and Rafael Ruiz (the creator of the Macarena) — alongside a recipe. If you can’t get to Louisiana, this is an excellent stand-in.

The Food of Northern Thailand, by Austin Bush
October 23, Clarkson Potter, $40

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In early 2013, I met Austin Bush, an American born photographer and food writer who moved to Bangkok in 1999, for a day of eating around the city. An exceptional guide, I still remember the rich duck broth and nam prik we ate. In this book, Bush takes readers along with him on an in-depth tour of six of Northern Thailand’s provinces, offering powerful photos of the region, its people, and their cuisine from the familiar khao soi to dishes rarely seen overseas like aep ang aw, or grilled herbal packets of pork and brains. As Bush admits early in the book, some experience cooking Thai food will come in handy if you’re planning to make these recipes.       

I Am a Filipino And This Is How We Cook, by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad
October 30, Artisan, $35

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Part cookbook, part manifesto, Nicole Ponseca (the owner of New York’s Jeepney, Maharlika and Tita Baby’s) wants to change the conversation around Filipino food. For Filipino readers, the book is a statement of pride in Filipino identity and culinary heritage and for those still learning about the cuisine, the book is an excellent course in the flavors that ground it and how to bring them into your home. For the latter group, don’t skip the book’s Filipino 101, which grounds cooks in the essential methods and ingredients of this complex and intensely flavorful cuisine.

When You Want to Bake Like It's 2018

Rose's Baking Basics: 100 Essential Recipes, with More Than 600 Step-by-Step Photosby Rose Levy Beranbaum
September 25, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35

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Rose Levy Beranbaum made her name with the three bibles: The Cake Bible, The Baking Bible, and The Bread Bible. Her latest book is a good prequel to the bibles, focusing on mastering the basics like no knead bread, cakes like a glazed mocha chiffon, and a babka swirl loaf. Levy Beranbaum offers tested variations for many of the recipes, allowing readers to tweak sweets to their taste. But, the most valuable attribute of the book are the step-by-step photos that accompany each recipe.

Sister Pie: The Recipes and Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit, by Lisa Ludwiski
October 2, Lorena Jones Books, $25

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Spend five minutes with this book and you will want to befriend author Lisa Ludwinski. The book, like the Detroit bakery it’s named for, celebrates community spirit, a serious love of baking, and a playfulness (Ludwinski hosted a 24-hour dance party to raise funds to open the bakery). Pies are organized here by season and are anything but ho hum, with options like blueberry plum balsamic pie and cardamom squash tahini pie. There are also helpful guides to the perfect roll-out, crust crimping, and lattice work. For those times when you want something other than pie, a section is dedicated to other offerings from the bakery like juniper olive shortbread and yes, a few salads to help make a “balanced” meal.

All About Cake, by Christina Tosi
October 23, Clarkson Potter, $35

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It’s hard to imagine an era when Christina Tosi, the confectionary wizard behind Momofuku Milk Bar, disliked cakes. But, that age wasn’t terribly long ago—13 years to be precise. In her latest book, she writes that in 2005, “I baked my way into my now deep and abiding love of cake.” Tosi’s enthusiasm for the medium and creativity in recipes like Arnold Palmer sheet cake and popcorn layer cake will easily win over any cake hater (are there any out there?). While some recipes like that popcorn cake require significant legwork and several sub-recipes, Tosi also celebrates microwave, crockpot, and bundt cakes for days when one simply needs a bite of cake in an hour—or less.

When You Want to Bring the Restaurant Home

A Very Serious Cookbook: Contra Wildair, by Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske with Alison Roman
October 15, Phaidon Press, $49.95

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When Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske, the chefs behind NYC’s beloved Contra and Wildair (who just happen to be part of 2016’s Best New Chef class) are asked if this book is for home cooks or professionals, they can’t quite decide. A half joking footnote early in its pages says: “We tend to think of the food we cook as the result of a few excellent ingredients transformed with minimal equipment or technology (you all have a Pacojet and a Cryovac machine, right?).” If you do, head to the kitchen. For everyone else, the book is a witty and entertaining memento from two stellar restaurants.

Sweet Home Café Cookbook: A Celebration of African American Cooking, by National Museum of African American History and Culture, with contributions by Jessica B. Harris, Albert Lukas, and Jerome Grant
October 23, Smithsonian Books, $29.95

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At the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., the museum’s restaurant Sweet Home Cafe is as much a functional dining room as it is an exhibit. The restaurant’s cookbook helps bring that experience home. Recipes like Thomas Downing’s NYC oyster pan roast are accompanied by historical notes like the story of Downing, a prominent black restaurateur in the 19th century, whose restaurant served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. And, mac and cheese, which is traced back to a state dinner President Jefferson hosted in 1802. The book also contains helpful primers on regions like the Creole Coast and the Western Range, illuminating the role black American cooks played in the development of regional cuisines.

The Noma Guide to Fermentation, by René Redzepi
October 16, Artisan, $24

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Fermentation is a critical part of the world-famous dishes coming out of Noma, and chef and owner René Redzepi, along with fermentation lab chef David Zilber, offer a window into the magic with this one, which contains techniques that have never been revealed—until now, that is. It's the first in a series of three books that will expose some of the inner workings of what is arguably the most famous restaurant in the world. —Alison Spiegel

Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A., by Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis with Lesley Suter
October 30, Ten Speed Press, $35

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True restaurant cookbooks, where recipes aren’t altered much from the chef’s kitchen, are best for two types of readers: Experienced cooks eager for a project (and to learn a few new skills) and those who simply love to read, experiencing a restaurant through the pages. Bestia is precisely this type of book. The recipes are uncompromising, calling for smoking, then dehydrating and finally grinding anchovies, and smoking pork fat to infuse bourbon to make an Old Fashioned. Those who push forward, however, are rewarded with dishes that smartly layer flavor like stinging nettle pappardelle with mushrooms and a fried egg, and a butterscotch-coconut tart. Readers looking to be transported won’t be disappointed either. If you are a fan (even from afar) of San Francisco’s Rich Table, the cookbook by the same name is another excellent option out this season.

Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse: Another Cookbook of Sorts, by David McMillan, Frédéric Morin and Meredith Erickson
November 27, Knopf, $45

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The second book from one of North America’s most beloved restaurants isn’t a treatise on building a survivalist cellar (though there is a recipe for soap), instead it is a darkly humored and deeply entertaining text that leads the reader back to a pre-Instagram era, when “we used to eat and drink with reckless abandon.” In Anthony Bourdain’s words: “This book will change your life.” Oh, and if you’re looking for recipes, there are 158 of them including one for Dutch babies rabbit à la moutarde, and a slew dedicated to Quebec’s tradition of celebrating Christmas in July.