You already know that cookbooks make for excellent gifts for the food lovers on your list. With a bit of extra shopping, it can be a truly special one, too. When I give a cookbook, I like using it as the jumping off point for a whole series of gifts themed around the book. I look for ingredients the author recommends, tools that are specifically called for, or other products that otherwise bring the world of the book to life. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make a proper gift basket with a sturdy wicker basket like this.
Below are ways to make a gift bundle with five of the most giftable cookbooks of 2023. Happy gifting!
Look, obviously I’m biased, but you should absolutely plan on gifting the restaurant lovers in your life Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes. Use the basket to give some of the must-haves and great-to-haves that the pros recommend throughout the book, including ingredients like Tarazi tahini, snacks like Fishwife sardines, a game-changing tool like a digital scale, plus some cute cookbook merch.
Hetty McKinnon’s Tenderheart: A Cookbook About Vegetables and Unbreakable Family Bonds weaves together the story of McKinnon’s late father, a wholesale fruit and vegetable seller, and her own experimentations with cooking vegetables and transforming them into something magical. The book is thoughtful and infinitely useable, for vegetarians, vegans (there are tons of helpful instructions on how to substitute), and omnivorous vegetable lovers. To enhance the book, consider adding some of McKinnon’s go-to pantry staples like yuzu juice and Sichuan peppercorns, a chic farmers market bag, and an on-trend veggie accessory.
A gorgeous anthology of interviews and recipes from Black women and femmes in food by Klancy Miller, For the Culture: Phenomenal Black Women and Femmes in Food makes for a showstopper book gift. To round it out, add products created by some of the people featured in the book and their businesses — from big names like Carla Hall to smaller outfits like Soul Fire Farm and restaurants like Comfort Kitchen. It would be fun to color match some red tissue paper or wrapping to the red of the cover to really tie it all together.
Picking up where her massively popular debut Snacking Cakes left off, Yossy Arefi’s Snacking Bakes: Simple Recipes for Cookies, Bars, Brownies, Cakes, and More delivers easy, non-project bakes that don’t rely on special equipment or advanced baking techniques. Arefi does have some go-to ingredients and tools, however, which make for the ideal companion gifts. She loves instant espresso powder for the way it intensifies chocolate flavor, vanilla bean paste instead of extract so you get those black flecks in the final dish, as well as square cake pans and #40 cookie scoops.
This year, Madhur Jaffrey updated her iconic debut cookbook An Invitation to Indian Cooking in honor of its 50th anniversary. It’s as essential as ever and perfect for anyone who loves classic cookbooks, Indian cuisine, and/or excellent writing. To fill out a gift basket, add some of the spices Jaffrey relies on in her recipes as well as some of the serving vessels she suggests.