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There Are Still Plenty of Good Cookbooks to Come This Year

Including Ina Garten’s latest, which is being gloriously fast-tracked

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Cover of Ina Garten’s new cookbook, Modern Comfort Food, on left; on right, cover of new Xian Famous Foods cookbook, with noodles

This post originally appeared on May 5, 2020, in Add to Cart — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.


So much has been thrown off track by the novel coronavirus pandemic — plans changed, launches postponed, events canceled. One thing that hasn’t been totally quashed: cookbooks.

With so many people stuck at home, interest in home cooking is higher than ever, and in the world of cookbook publishing, plenty of planned 2020 releases still appear to be on track — or even fast-tracked. Ina Garten posted today, “GOOD NEWS!! Because we all need it ASAP, we decided to move up the publication date of my new book MODERN COMFORT FOOD to October 6th!” (Preordering has already begun.)

Other exciting new books are on the horizon. Xi’an Famous Foods in NYC has its first cookbook coming out in October, featuring “over 100 recipes of top XFF dishes, and stories of the journey that led us here,” as CEO and owner Jason Wang wrote on Instagram. Julia Turshen and chef Hawa Hassan both shared that their book, with recipes and stories from eight African countries, is coming out in October. And Nik Sharma posted the juicy-looking cover of his upcoming book, The Flavor Equation, on Twitter recently (deemed by my colleague Hillary Dixler Canavan “a Good Cover”) — also due out in October.

Basically, don’t despair, because fall will bring a cookbook bounty. And by then, maybe you’ll already be a pro home chef who’s cooked through their existing cookbook collection. Twice.

Things to buy

Things to know

  • Feeling slightly annoyed by how sourdough has become The Bread of the moment when there are so many other good breads out there? (Just me??) Here’s a guide to a few more good ones to tackle in the kitchen.
  • Two more food trends for our pantry-diving moment: tinned fish and chile oil.
  • While big-name cookbooks may have to wait until fall, there are several new cookbook projects emerging in support of the restaurant industry and its workers during the pandemic. Family Meal: Recipes from Our Community, a digital-only collection of recipes from folks like Samin Nosrat and Alison Roman, was released today, with all proceeds going to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Fund’s COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund. Available for preorder is Serving New York: For All The People Who Make NYC Dining Unforgettable, with recipes from Olmsted, Momofuku, and other NYC icons that will benefit ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants) and Robin Hood’s restaurant relief fund. There’s Staying In: Recipes and Stories from Isolation, another collaborative recipe e-book that benefits Chefs in Schools, which provides kids in need with the school lunches they’re missing right now. Then there’s Recipes for Relief, a site where you can buy interactive recipes from chefs and mixologists, with proceeds going to those individuals’ staff or their organizations of choice.

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