Cookbooks & Food Writing We’re Reading Now

Today I thought I’d merge my two great loves — reading and food — and talk a bit about food-related books.

Cookbooks aren’t going out of style, even with the endless repository of recipes easily accessible online. In fact, I think cookbooks are getting better because of that. There are plenty of classic cookbooks that will never go away, and today’s cookbooks are beautifully designed and connect to the reader through storytelling.

Food writing is also still very much in vogue. This year the popular Best American series launched the inaugural Best American Food Writing (more on that in a minute!) and there are still plenty of food memoirs and essays all over the place. We rounded up some of the best food writing and cookbooks on our shelves.

Cookbooks

For this category, we’re covering some new-ish and anticipated cookbooks rather than classics (we’ll cover those another time!). The cookbooks we’re crazy about right now all released within the last year or will be released in 2019.

North Wild Kitchen by Nevada Berg

I’ve talked about this a few times, but it deserves its own place on this list. Nevada Berg offers up delicious traditional Norwegian fare and updated versions of Scandinavian classics. The book is not only full of excellent recipes, but it’s also just gorgeous. Berg emphasizes how dishes relate to Norwegian culture.  Stunning images of her farm and Norwegian encounters fill each page. I’ve loved her rice porridge, fish dishes, and deserts, and I’m excited to take on many of the other recipes. North Wild Kitchen is available now.


Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

Okay, who isn’t obsessed with Joanna Gaines? Not me. I don’t own this one yet, but it’s high on my list. Magnolia Table offers up delicious home cooked meals in a beautifully-designed book. Of course it has Jojo’s aesthetic and would make a lovely coffee table book. This cookbook isn’t full of ‘diet’ recipes, but rather has yummy southern-style foods that will impress friends and family. Magnolia Table is available now.


How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry

For as much as I love to cook — and for how long I’ve been doing it — you’d think menus wouldn’t completely elude me. But they do, and that’s why I’m super excited about How to Eat a Peach. In addition to offering up flawless menus, Henry tells stories about food, culture, and love. This is a gorgeous cookbook that offers up an endless summer vibe. How to Eat a Peach is available now.


Every Day is Saturday by Sarah Copeland

On preorder for us is this cookbook from former Real Simple food director Sarah Copeland. The idea behind the title (and the theme of the book) is capturing the joyful, slow, and festive mentality of Saturday evening any night of the week. Copeland brings her signature minimalistic vibe and gorgeous recipes to this forthcoming collection. Anyone who wants to have more deliciousness and calm during the week should check this out. Every Day is Saturday is available for preorder now (release date: June 4, 2019).


In a similar fashion, Chris Kimball’s latest Milk Street collection focuses on delicious new ideas for weeknight cooking. Since his move to Milk Street, Kimball has broadened his horizons beyond traditional American-style cooking. Tuesday Nights offers a global-infused experience for every night of the week. I haven’t read this just yet, but I did see Kimball’s demo at the International Home and Housewares Show. Kimball made (or, more accurately, his food director made) a recipe from the book that I’m dying to try. Milk Street: Tuesday Nights is available now.


A few other cookbooks we’re interested in:



Food Writing

And in this category, we’ve got a mix of new books and modern classics.

Best American Food Writing 2018

The Best American series covers nearly every genre now, with the addition of food writing being the latest. One of the most famous food writers of our time, Ruth Reichl, acted as Editor for the inaugural edition, which covers topics ranging from school lunches to restaurants. While this isn’t my favorite anthology ever, there is enough diversity and solid writing to make me glad I read it. (And to look forward to future volumes.) The Best American Food Writing 2018 is available now.


Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

As a recent Bon Appetit article noted, “Everybody Loves Samin Nosrat.” Her Netflix series of the same name of the book propelled her further into stardom, though her New York Times bestselling book had already launched her. I found Nosrat through that Netflix show and am very much looking forward into diving into this book, which I actually just bought. For new cooks or experienced cooks looking to advance their skills, Nosrat offers up revolutionary ways of thinking about mastering the art. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is available now.


Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Though it’s been almost a year since we lost Tony Bourdain, his absence still feels like a punch in the gut. Those of us who loved Bourdain are fortunate in having a wealth of content from him — reruns of his shows and his books. Though I’m a fan of all his books, I still have a soft spot for his very first. It’s raw, funny, shocking, and extremely Tony. If you haven’t read it, or you haven’t read it in awhile, definitely immerse yourself in the book that gave us Anthony Bourdain — it’s a classic, and still holds up. Kitchen Confidential is available now.


Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl knows food, but more importantly, she knows how to write it well. Any one of her books is a feast for the imagination (and her latest, Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir, just hit shelves), but her first is a great place to start. A classic in food writing, Tender at the Bone is a wonderful peek at Reichl’s unusual childhood and love of food. And, if you love it, you’re in luck — she’s written several more. Tender at the Bone is available now.

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