Features 2 minutes 21 December 2018

9 Cookbooks for Gifting This Christmas

The perfect present for all the foodies in your life.

This is one of the busiest travel times of the year, with family and friends finishing up last minute shopping trips and hitting the road to see loved ones.

We saw a lot of great cookbook releases in 2018. From Harlem’s Afro-Asian-American flavors to luxe Nordic cuisine, these nine picks make excellent additions to anyone's cookbook collection.


Rich Table
by Sarah and Evan Rich with Carolyn Alburger

Sarah and Evan Rich, chefs and proprietors of one-Michelin-starred Rich Table, where they execute casual Californian fare with fine dining precision in San Francisco, debuted their first cookbook this fall. The 288-page book features 85 recipes from both the restaurant and the duo’s personal repertoires reflective of their native Louisiana and New Jersey (respectively).


Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes
by Todd Richards

Chef/owner of Richards’ Southern Fried in Atlanta and director of culinary for Jackmont Hospitality released his first cookbook this spring, and is the epitome of what soul food is today and gives a glimpse of what it will be in the future. "Soul food is the original cuisine of the South, born from an involuntary collision of cultures," Richards writes in the book's introduction. Though many equate this genre of cooking with dishes such as fried chicken and collard greens—which yes, he includes recipes for in his book—Richards goes beyond the expected to incorporate today's more global pantry.


Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day
by JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers

JJ Johnson, chef/owner of Henry in the LIFE Hotel in New York City, kicked off 2018 with the debut of his ode to the melting pot of flavors and cultural history of Harlem. “Between Harlem and Heaven presents a captivatingly original cuisine,” says Sean Brock of the book. “Afro-Asian-American cooking is packed with unique and delicious layers of flavor. These stories and recipes lay praise to the immense influence the African Diaspora has had on global cuisine.”


All About Cake
by Christina Tosi

Now’s your chance to make the world famous and very Instagrammable funfetti layer cake—Milk Bar owner and general sweets enthusiast Christina Tosi released her fourth cookbook this year dedicated to all things cake. You’ll find hot cakes, sheet cakes, layer cakes, vegan cakes and an entire chapter dedicated to the ins and outs of proper baking ingredients and gear.


by Fredrik Berselius

Fredrik Berselius’s 240-page tome is a collection of 85 recipes all hailing from his two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Brooklyn. “There may be one that carried over from the first Aska,” he says. Furthermore, it’s a flipbook of personal essays—some of them deeply so—as well as beautiful photography. Berselius says the book is an extension of what he and his team do in the dining room. “There are these moments [both] inside and outside of the restaurant where I find myself in a place where I want to capture it,” he says. “I find [them] magical and compelling—I wanted to write a cookbook because I wanted to paint a picture of what we do at Aska.”


Chasing the Gator
by Isaac Toups and Jennifer V. Cole

“He has been steeped in Cajun traditions his whole life—it’s in his blood, and that’s evident as soon as you meet him,” says Emeril Lagasse of New Orleans chef Isaac Toups in the foreward of Toups’s first cookbook. Those unfamiliar to Bayou cuisine will revel in the Cajun 101 section of the book (think caramel-colored roux and crawfish stock recipes); other classic recipes include boudin, smoked duck gumbo and fried frog’s legs.


Ottolenghi Simple
by Yotam Ottolenghi

London-based Middle Eastern chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s sixth cookbook features 130 recipes that are cleverly color-coordinated “to help you plan meals, and then make them with minimum hassle and maximum joy.” Think dishes that can be made in 30 minutes or less, feature 10 or fewer ingredients, use pantry staples like lemons, garlic and dried pasta or using one pot or sheet pan for the even laziest of cooks.


A Very Serious Cookbook: Contra Wildair
by Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske

Recently released by the dynamic chef duo behind Contra and Wildair restaurants in New York City, Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske’s first cookbook showcases the chefs’ signature dishes and cooking styles in 85 recipes, as well as their love for natural wine. Chapters are organized into Always (mainstay, non-seasonal); Sometimes (hyper-seasonal, guest chef collaborations, international travel inspiration); Never (dishes on the menu once, not existent yet, all important); and Pantry.


The Nordic Baking Book
by Magnus Nilsson and Richard Tellström

Acclaimed Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson of two-Michelin-starred Fäviken fame explores the baking traditions of the Nordic region in his latest cookbook. Nilsson traveled throughout Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, collecting and documenting 450 recipes all tailored for home bakers.


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