The best gift is time spent together over delicious food, but we've also rounded up a few things you'll want to wrap and unwrap.
Mister Jiu's in Chinatown by Tienlon Ho and Brandon JewTienlon Ho and Brandon Jew's cookbook is not for the faint of heart (or light of equipment), but serious home cooks will delight in turning out food that wouldn't look out of place at Mister Jiu's. Among the easier recipes are those for nián gāo, a steamed fruitcake made of glutinous rice flour, and steak fried rice. Chef Jew's restaurant in San Francisco focuses on Cantonese cuisine spiced by the occasional Sichuan specialty bearing hyper-seasonal local produce and a liberating dash of creativity. The book is the same, with the welcome infusion of Jew's family history and the history of Chinese food in the US.
Mister Jiu's in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food by Brandon Jew and Tienlon Ho, copyright © 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Pete Lee © 2021
How Wild Things Are by Analiese GregoryTake a trip to the end of the earth with this beautiful cookbook from chef Analiese Gregory of the late Franklin in Hobart, Tasmania, a covid closure. The photographs transport you to a wild, rugged place where you take bracing dips in the sea and wholesome rambles in a pair of Blundstones, and forage mushrooms on your drive to work. Embrace northern hemisphere winter with hearty potato gnocchi with lap cheong and kombu butter, or pretend it's still warm out with ricotta with bottarga, peas, broad beans and asparagus. Photo by Adam Gibson
Baking With Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, Mark WeinbergDrool over Greenspan's recipes for and Weinberg's photos of apricot-pistachio olive oil cake, rye cranberry chocolate chunk cookies, and savoury plates like summer-on-a-plate tomato tart.
The Good Book of Southern Baking by Kelly Fields with Kate HeddingsTowering, unimaginably flaky biscuits, fruity, juicy cobblers, cornbread, and pies galore fill the pages of New Orleans baker Kelly Fields' homage to ovens of the South.
Jubilee by Toni Tipton-MartinThis is far more than a cookbook. Tipton-Martin, a food and nutrition journalist, intersperses 100+ recipes for mini curried meat pies, Nigerian black-eyed pea fritters, and a divine sweet potato mango with profiles of Black American chefs, cookbook authors, and food pioneers. The result is an unparalleled dive into two hundred years of Black American culinary tradition, made even more enticing by Jerrelle Guy's vibrant photos.
New Native Kitchen by Freddie BitsoieNavajo chef Freddie Bitsoe, formerly of Mitsitam Native Foods Café at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in DC, introduces the cuisine if Indigenous Americans to readers. Learn to cook sautéed fiddleheads with appl, sumac seared trout with onion and bacon sauce, and an unfussy, delicious pumpkin bread pudding with chocolate.
Bavel by Ori Menashe, Genevieve Gergis and Lesley SuterLearn to make dishes from Bavel in Downtown LA with the restaurant's cookbook, which presents the diverse cuisines of the Middle East in relatively simple, relatively healthful, and colorful recipes. Tomato and feta with smoked harissa, grilled oyster mushroom kebabs, and Turkish eggs are as pretty as they are delicious. Reprinted with permission from Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East by Ori Menashe, Genevieve Gergis and Lesley Suter, copyright© 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Nicole Franzen Illustrations copyright © 2021 by Kathy Kim.
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad and Yotam OttolenghiFresh off the printer is this unpretentious cookbook that will carry you through winter and yelp you utilize ingredients in your pantry, avoid extra supermarket trips, and make less of a mess in the kitchen (OK, this one we can't guarantee, but the one-pot meals should help). Za’atar salmon and tahini is an easy, nutrient-dense weeknight dinner; the very large couscous cake with a lightly zingy red pepper sauce is an unexpected party dish that will have guests practically licking the plate.
Reprinted from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love. Copyright© 2021 by Yotam Ottolenghi. Photographs copyright © 2021 Elena Heatherwick. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.
Italian American by Angie Rito and Scott TacinelliThe dynamic couple behind One Star Don Angie in Greenwich Village highlight the difference between Italian food and Italian-American food through recipes like a warming pinwheel lasagna, Sicilian-style roasted cauliflower with a raisin-caper vinaigrette, and an aromatic San Marzano tomato sauce. Reprinted with permission from Italian American by Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli. Copyright © 2021. Photographs by Christopher Testani. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
228 Grant Street CandlesKendal Brown pours his natural soy candles by hand in Baltimore's Pigtown neighborhood. There are 15 scents available in three sizes—a 16oz glass jar, a 9oz glass jar, and a 4oz travel tin (what better way to battle holiday-travel stress?). Fill your space with the aromas of coconut and bergamot, amber and sandalwood, and wild blackberry and absinthe. Photo by 228 Grant Street
Junes Tote BagThis is the last tote bag you'll ever buy...until you want to gift one to everyone you know. Junes totes are made by a women's sewing co-op in Juarez, Mexico; its tiny all-female team manages ops from El Paso. A portion of sales from the bags goes to Global Fund for Women, which supports, advocates for, and defend women's human rights worldwide. The bags are chic, sturdy, and kind to the planet; thread comes from UNIFI, a sustainable textile manufacturer in North Carolina. Beach gear, farmers' market hauls, school books, and snacks all fit in totes of varying sizes and colors.
Photo by H.F.L, courtesy of Junes
K+M ChocolateFrom Three Star The French Laundry chef-owner Thomas Keller and olive oil producer Armando Manni are new flavors of bars—dark yuzu, chocolate truffle fries, and golden milk. Photo by David Escalante
Pineapple Collaborative's Olive OilOwned by four women and with the expertise of oleologist Kathryn Tomajan, Pineapple Collaborative deals in olive oil made from organic Arbequina olives grown by ENZO Olive Oil Company, a farm outside of Fresno. Delicious, eminently drizzle-able, and the tins look chic, too. Photo by Lindsey Swedick
Caviar From Caviar RusseZhuzh up your Christmas spread with a dollop of luxe caviar from One Star Caviar Russe in New York. Tins of caviar start from $60; a set for one to two people, with caviar, blinis, and crème fraîche, starts from $145. Photo courtesy Caviar Russe
Great Jones Distillery RyeManhattan's newest distillery makes its bourbon and rye in a gleaming space in the heart of Soho. Go for the rye, available only at the distillery itself. It's made of rye from New York State, aged four years in American Oak barrels, and has notes of rye pepper, dried fruit from Great Jones' partner orchard, and vanilla.
Connor McGinn Studios CeramicsConnor McGin makes his ceramics in Tarrytown, New York for restaurants like 63 Clinton, Goosefeather, and One Star Musket Room.
DTK CeramicsCeramics by David T. Kim in Chicago are a favorite of the city's stop restaurants, including Mako, Two Star Oriole, One Star Kasama, One Star Schwa, and One Star Temporis (see top image).
Hero image: DTK Ceramics. Photo by Brad Danner