17 Cookbooks That Made Us Better Chefs in 2017
Just because we have a bunch of cookbooks we use again and again (and again…until they’re spotted with grease and unidentifiable sauce) doesn’t mean we aren’t constantly on the lookout for newbies. Here, 17 from 2017 that we absolutely adore.
Feed the Resistance: Recipes + Ideas for Getting Involved by Julia Turshen
This Hudson Valley home cook’s latest is a practical and inspiring handbook for political activism—with recipes. These dishes are created to foster community and provide sustenance for the mind and soul, including recipes from Turshen herself as well as more than 15 other celebrated chefs.
The Fearless Baker: Simple Secrets for Baking Like a Pro by Erin Jeanne McDowell
The first book from PureWow’s own recipes editor, The Fearless Baker features indulgent recipes and foolproof tips for baking like a pro. Think: strawberry-filled popovers and apple cider pie. Yum.
The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman
In his breakout book, the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef dispels outdated notions of Native American fare like fry bread and Indian tacos, and instead embraces contemporary and authentic dishes including cedar braised bison, griddled wild rice cakes and amaranth crackers with smoked white bean paste.
America the Great Cookbook by Joe Yonan
One hundred of America’s top food personalities (including David Chang, Dan Barber and Ruth Reichl) share their most treasured home recipes. (Buy it if only for the recipe for Molly Yeh’s Vanilla Cake with Rhubarb Buttercream.)
Downtime: Deliciousness at Home by Nadine Levy Redzepi
Redzepi is married to famed chef Rene Redzepi (of Noma) and never knows who might drop by for dinner. That’s why she’s developed a stripped-down repertoire of starters, mains and desserts (like a Giant Macaron Cake) that can always accommodate a few more at the table.
Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat
Chef and writer Nosrat has developed a revolutionary, yet simple, cooking philosophy: Master the use of just four elements—salt, which enhances flavor; fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; acid, which balances flavor; and heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you make will be delicious.
Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi
If you’ve been to a dinner party in the last decade, you’ve probably been served something from one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s terrific, vegetable-forward cookbooks. Now he tackles the dessert course, incorporating his signature arsenal of Israeli flavors (figs, honey, saffron and cinnamon galore).
Bravetart by Stella Parks
Pastry chef Stella Parks uses the magic of science and obsessive recipe testing to create utterly perfect versions of favorite dishes (think: blueberry muffins and gooey fudge brownies), as well as more than 200 customizable variations to keep you from getting bored.
Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark
The New York Times columnist makes dishes that are simultaneously familiar and fresh, from sheet-pan chicken laced with spicy harissa to burgers amped with chorizo. A straightforward—and scrumptious—collection to have on hand.
Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman
Deb Perelman is a treasure. Follow her blog, buy her cookbook, coo over her adorable children and marvel at the utter perfection of every single one of her recipes. She simply knows what you need to make, every single day.
F*ck, That’s Delicious: An Annotated Guide to Eating Well by Action Bronson
This rapper-slash-chef-slash-TV-host’s memoir-cookbook hybrid sends us on a hilarious (and unsurprisingly, uncensored) journey through his favorite food memories, from sampling cheap eats in New York City to dining in the fanciest restaurants in the world.
WD~50 by Wylie Dufresne
Dining at WD~50, Wylie Dufresne’s palace of molecular gastronomy, wasn’t just a meal. It was a magic show. The New York City restaurant is now closed, but Dufresne’s cutting-edge culinary techniques live on in his book. (Warning: Unless you’re a master of dry ice, you probably won’t be making many of these in your home kitchen. But it’s always fun to see what’s behind the curtain.)
King Solomon’s Table by Joan Nathan
The James Beard Award-winning cookbook author’s latest is a compendium of Jewish recipes from around the globe and across the ages, from Yemenite classics like Slow-Cooked Brisket with Red Wine, Vinegar and Mustard to Sri Lankan Breakfast Buns with Onion Confit. (Are you drooling yet?)
The New Camp Cookbook by Linda Ly
Going camping doesn’t just mean s’mores and hot dogs. Linda Ly’s guide to open-air cooking will have you making Korean flank steak with Sriracha and pickled cucumbers, and Dutch oven deep-dish soppressata-and-fennel pizza.
The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook by Jim Lahey
If you’ve been to New York City’s Sullivan Street Bakery, you get it. If you haven’t, trust us: This stuff is good. In his third cookbook, James Beard Award–winning baker Lahey teaches us normal folk how to apply his Italian-inspired methods to dishes like pizzas, pastries, eggs and café classics.
Basic Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
We live in an age of kombucha, kimchi and gut-healing probiotic yogurts, and author and fermentation evangelist Sandor Katz is the consummate guide. Follow his lead, and get your funk on.
Night + Market by Kris Yenbamroong and Garrett Snyder
Subtitled “Delicious Thai Food to Facilitate Drinking and Fun-Having Amongst Friends,” Yenbamroong’s book aims to demystify Thai cooking and make it more accessible. Here he charts his food journey from the Thai-American restaurant classics he grew up eating at his family’s restaurant to the cooking of Northern Thailand he ate while traveling the countryside and the dishes he now serves at his Los Angeles street-food haven Night+Market.