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The Perfect Gift Is a Cookbook — Plus a Few Key Extras

Pairing a cookbook with the tools and ingredients it calls for makes for an especially thoughtful gift. Here’s how to do just that with five of our favorite cookbooks of the year.

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A collage with a t-shirt, the Eater cookbook, boxes of sardines, a jar of tahini, a jar of chile crisp, and a kitchen scale
Buy someone the Eater cookbook, and throw in a bunch of stuff that will come in handy when they cook from it.
Lille Allen/Eater
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

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!

Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes

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.

A collage of the Tenderheart cookbook, plus a tote bag, peppercorns, hair clip, miso, and yuzu juice Lille Allen/Eater


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 collage of the For the Culture cookbook with a bag of tea, wine, butter keep, and sweatshirt Lille Allen/Eater

For the Culture

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.

Snacking Bakes book plus a baking pan, containers of espresso powder, malted milk, and vanilla, and a cookie scoop Lille Allen/Eater

Snacking Bakes

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.

A collage with the cookbook “An Invitation to Indian Cooking,” a set of tongs, a stainless steel bowl, and canisters of spices Lille Allen/Eater

An Invitation to Indian Cooking: 50th Anniversary Edition

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.

The cover of the cookbook, ‘Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes.’

‘Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes’

  • $31

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Introducing Eater’s debut cookbook: Sourced from the best street carts to pillars of fine dining and everywhere in between, this diverse, powerhouse collection features recipes that have been carefully adapted for home cooks. Packed with expert advice from chefs, bartenders, and sommeliers on easy ways to level up your meals at home, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes is a must-have for anyone who loves to dine out and wants to bring that magic home.