18 Cookbooks That Made Us Better Chefs in 2018
While there are some cookbooks we’ve had on our shelves for years, we never stop searching for new ones to spice things up (sometimes literally) in the kitchen. In 2018, we couldn’t get enough of these fresh titles.
Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski
After training at New York’s famed Milk Bar and Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Ludwinski took her talents to Detroit to open her own bakery, Sister Pie. With 75 of her most-loved recipes for sweet and savory pies—among them toasted marshmallow-butterscotch and sour cherry-bourbon—Sister Pie pays homage to Motor City ingenuity and delicious desserts.
Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman
Teigen’s second cookbook is unsurprisingly packed with tasty morsels, from her own take on avocado toast to an entire section of “potatoes and their friends.” Not convinced? Take a sneak peek at our favorite recipes from the book.
Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One by Anita Lo
Lo is a Michelin-starred chef and has been a contestent on Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters. Her second book is a delightfully self-deprecating guide to cooking for one, and has 101 recipes for home cooks, most of which take less than 30 minutes to make. Smoky eggplant and scallion frittata for one, please.
Almonds, Anchovies and Pancetta by Cal Peternell
This vegetable-focused cookbook contains 60 recipes that use three key ingredients: you guessed it, almonds, anchovies and pancetta. Arguing that a little of the right kind of meat goes a long way, Chez Panisse alum Peternell presents home cooks with healthy, sustainable recipes for veggie-centric meals like roasted sweet pepper and egg salad with anchovies, olives and capers and creamy salsa rustica with egg and pancetta.
Aperitif by Rebekah Peppler
Keeping true to the French apéritif tradition, Peppler’s book is jam-packed with cocktail recipes that use lighter, low-alcohol spirits, fortified wines and bitter liqueurs, along with light bites like radishes with poppy butter, gougères and ratatouille dip. Basically, it’s all you need for an effortlessly Parisian cocktail hour.
Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A. by Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis
Customers have been flocking to downtown L.A.’s Bestia since its opening in 2012. In this cookbook, chefs Menashe and Gergis share recipes for some of the restaurant’s signature rustic Italian dishes, like fennel-crusted pork chops, meatballs with ricotta, tomato, greens and preserved lemon and agnolotti made with cacao pasta dough. (And that’s not including all of the mouthwatering desserts.)
Emily: The Cookbook by Emily and Matthew Hyland
The Hylands are the husband-wife duo behind New York City’s Emily and Emmy Squared. Known for their pizza, their first cookbook shows you how to recreate it—no wood-fired oven needed. It’s not all carbs and cheese, though. Keep an eye out for the recipe for the famous Emmy burger (which has topped many a “Best Burgers in New York” list), along with salads, sandwiches, cocktails and more.
The Noma Guide to Fermentation by Rene Redzepi and David Zilber
Copenhagen’s Noma has been named the best restaurant in the world a whopping four times. Every dish at the famed spot includes some form of fermentation, from vinegar and miso to garum and black garlic. In this book, chef and co-owner Redzepi and Zilber, the chef who runs the restaurant’s fermentation lab, share more than 100 original recipes, along with photographs and illustrations, for harnessing the power of fermented foods.
Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi
We’ve been obsessed with Ottolenghi’s colorful, veggie-forward Middle Eastern-inspired recipes for years. His latest masterpiece is aimed at home cooks, and is filled with recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less with ten or fewer ingredients. More cauliflower, pomegranate and pistachio salad, please.
Now & Again by Julia Turshen
Julia Turshen’s recipes have short ingredient lists, clear instructions and an approachable tone. Her newest cookbook focuses on inexpensive meals that make amazing leftovers (think: pulled pork with vinegar slaw or stuffed mushrooms with walnuts, garlic and parsley).
A Very Serious Cookbook: Contra Wildair by Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske
Stone and von Hauske are the masterminds behind Lower East Side tasting-menu restaurant Contra and its more casual sister, Wildair. Their first book contains 85 surprisingly approachable recipes organized into chapters: Always (mainstay recipes); Sometimes (hyper-seasonal recipes); Never (dishes that were on the menu once); and Pantry.
All About Cake by Christina Tosi
In this sweet tome, the owner of Milk Bar (and creator of the naked cake trend) reveals all of her bakery’s secrets, with clear instructions that even kitchen rookies can follow. Now all that’s left to decide is what to make first: cake truffles, banana-chocolate-peanut butter cakes or cereal-milk ice cream.
The Austin Cookbook by Paula Forbes
In Austin, Texas, the food scene is equal parts traditional and modern. Organized by the city’s “major food groups”—barbecue, tacos, Tex-Mex—The Austin Cookbook explores the roots of Texas food traditions and the restaurants that are reinventing them. Basically, it’s like a love letter (complete with recipes) to a city and its most delicious foods.
Rose's Baking Basics by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Levy Beranbaum is a baker, cookbook author and blogger who’s published more than ten books about sweet treats. Her latest focuses on no-fuss recipes that everyone should know. Think: Chocolate sheet cake with ganache frosting, peanut butter and jelly thumbprints and peach cobbler. Ideal for newbies and experienced bakers alike.
Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines and Mariah Stets
The latest from Queen Joanna? One hundred and twenty-five recipes inspired by family favorites and selections from their Waco restaurant, Magnolia Table. Expect classics like chocolate-chip cookies, fried chicken and overnight French toast.
Cook Like a Pro by Ina Garten
Yessss, a new collection of impeccably tested recipes and hacks from one of our all-time favorite people. Truffled scrambled eggs and fried chicken sandwiches make an appearance, as well as signature entertaining tricks like how to set up an elegant home bar. Check out our three favorite recipes here.
Black Girl Baking by Jerrelle Guy
In her first cookbook, PureWow Coterie member Guy recalls and reinvents food memories while using better-for-you ingredients like whole flours, less refined sugar and vegan alternatives. (The orange peel pound cake alone is worth the price of admission, TBH.)