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The Best Cookbooks of Fall 2018

Including new recipes from Ina Garten, Yotam Ottolenghi, Chrissy Teigen, René Redzepi, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Dorie Greenspan, and more

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I started collecting cookbooks when I was 12. While yard sale shopping, I would rummage through old boxes in neighbors’ garages and buy tattered copies of Better Homes and Gardens, stained recipe pamphlets, and, once, a massive Pillsbury guide to baking that I still have today. I love cookbooks. I have too many. I can never have enough. So, I look forward to every fall, when publishers offer their best and brightest in time for holiday gift-giving. Of the more than 100 cookbooks I received for consideration in this year’s guide, I read 39 cover-to-cover. Not every book is for every cook or reader, but I’m making room for several on my already crowded shelves.

Blockbuster new books from Ina Garten and Yotam Ottolenghi will fly off the shelves, as they should. Chrissy Teigen’s much-anticipated (and genuinely delightful) follow up to 2016’s Cravings is even more fun than her Twitter account — and its recipes are set to become new American classics. But beyond the biggest names, this list includes books that tell the story of a restaurant, like New York City’s Contra and Wildair, San Francisco’s Rich Table, and René Redzepi’s Noma, which is as much a restaurant as a culinary philosophy in itself.

There are books that tell a personal story — as in chef Anita Lo’s Solo and writer and photographer Nik Sharma’s Season. And there are books that dive into cuisines worth exploring, like Bottom of the Pot by Naz Deravian, I Am a Filipino by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad, and the Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson.

Here are 21 books that speak to how we eat, drink, cook, and bake today — and why.

Restaurant and chef-driven books

Rich Table

Sarah Rich and Evan Rich, with Carolyn Alburger
Chronicle Books, September 18

A cookbook, a culinary philosophy, the story of a restaurant, and a love story all wrapped into one gorgeous volume, Rich Table does the award-winning, always-busy San Francisco restaurant by the same name justice, capturing the voice of chef-partners Sarah and Evan Rich and their distinct brand of California cuisine.

The book, co-written by Eater editor Carolyn Alburger, counts its recipes as its biggest asset. Each ingredient is listed with volume as well as weight (metric) measures — a boon for home cooks as well as professionals seeking inspiration. While some dishes are more involved — Douglas Fir sourdough bread with house-cultured butter; ramen with charred allium and sherry vinegar; aged duck lasagna with Santa Rosa plums — most are made with fewer than 10 ingredients and come together in time for a weeknight dinner. (Among the good options: sweet onion soup with pickled plums; sugar snap peas with honey mustard and horseradish; beef tartare with kale salsa verde; and seared scallops with sour cabbage, candied almonds, and dill.) Desserts, like a cornmeal upside down cake with peaches and ice cream, and drinks, like the persimmon negroni, are how I want to weekend right now.

Headnotes offer origin stories from Sarah (in red) and Evan (in black) as well as tips on how to substitute harder-to-find ingredients for those that might be more accessible. More than anything, consider Rich Table a source for uncommon flavor pairings and menu inspiration.

A Very Serious Cookbook: Contra Wildair

Jeremiah Stone, Fabian von Hauske, and Alison Roman
Phaidon Press, October 15

It’s impossible to capture any physical space in a stack of two-dimensional words and images. A Very Serious Cookbook, by the chefs behind NYC’s Contra and Wildair, is infused with the spirit of those restaurants, but it’s really — as the authors reveal in the lengthy introduction — “a book about a friendship.”

With writer Alison Roman (Dining In), chefs Fabián von Hauske Valtierra and Jeremiah Stone tell their story in a tone that’s conversational, silly, and (occasionally) serious, letting the reader in on private jokes, brotherly bickering, and late nights in the kitchen. Here’s how the two chefs met, how they opened a restaurant (while still young and hopeful), and how they cook together today. That story is the meat of the book, but fans will enjoy seeing recipes for some of the two restaurants’ most popular dishes, including the pomme dauphin with uni and jalapeño; sumac crackers; peekytoe crab, black trumpet mushrooms, and vin jaune; beef tartare with smoked cheddar and horseradish; and the dessert they’ll never take off the menu: Wildair’s chocolate hazelnut tart. With a foreword written by Master of None co-star Eric Wareheim, this book is a fun peek behind the curtain at two of the country’s foremost purveyors of new romanticism.

Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious

Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook
Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 16

Zahav, the Philadelphia restaurant that put Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook on the global culinary map (and landed them their first James Beard Award-winning cookbook in 2015) serves what the American public has come to call modern Israeli food. But when Israel itself is only 70 years old, what does “modern Israeli food” mean? Starting with the book’s foreword and continuing through each recipe, the authors address this sometimes-confusing term and its many meanings — from dishes invented elsewhere in the Jewish diaspora to food brought back to Israel from other cultures and adapted within the young country’s borders.

Solomonov dives deep into the food of his heritage here. Israeli Soul chronicles his travels throughout his home country, tracing the histories and influences behind the cuisine he cooks, observing its ongoing evolution, and telling the stories of Israeli residents. Similar in format to Zahav, the book features colorful imagery, and those glossy photographs help sell a new batch of recipes, including a must-try five-minute hummus; crispy, seeded, green falafel; a spiced, chutney-like condiment called mango amba; so many fire-roasted vegetables; a Yemenite-style veal osso buco; and street-style foods like grilled ground veal on cinnamon sticks.

Israeli Soul also features recipes from Solomonov’s casual spots like Abe Fisher and Goldie: Fans of Goldie’s popular tehina shake made with sesame paste and almond milk will learn how to make it here. Like Zahav, this book is a celebration of great feasts and larger-than-life traditions.

Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook

Yotam Ottolenghi
Ten Speed Press, October 16

“Simple” means something different for every cook. Here, Yotam Ottolenghi, the author of best-sellers Jerusalem and Plenty, offers more than 100 recipes that suit a few different “simple” styles — from dishes that use fewer than 10 ingredients to those that take less than 30 minutes to those that can be made in advance. The Israeli-born chef with a mini-chain of namesake cafes in London is best known for his vegetable-forward cooking, and that’s on full display here in dishes like tomatoes with sumac, shallots, and pine nuts; zucchini, pea, and basil soup; and quick-roasted okra in a dressing of lime, cilantro, maple syrup, and chile.

It might take some Googling to source ingredients like rose harissa, fenugreek seeds, or baharat, but for those who know Ottolenghi’s rigamarole, this is indeed a collection of quick, everyday recipes. For those unfamiliar with Ottolenghi’s style, this is the perfect intro course.

Noma Guide to Fermentation: Including Koji, Kombuchas, Shoyus, Misos, Vinegars, Garums, Lacto-ferments, and Black Fruits and Vegetables

René Redzepi and David Zilber
Artisan, October 16

In this eye-opening volume, René Redzepi and the current head of Noma’s fermentation lab, David Zilber, share the secrets they (and a small cohort of mad scientists including Arielle Johnson and Lars Williams) invented and perfected over the years. Noma’s Science Bunker-turned-fermentation-lab, born in 2014, is partially why the Copenhagen restaurant has been so groundbreaking: Few chefs know how to use fermented foods to their full potential; fewer know how to make them.

Essentially a biochemistry textbook with a side of theory (there are instructions on how to build a lab from scratch, and detailed ingredient and equipment lists for committed fermenters), this guide wouldn’t be out of place on a university syllabus. It includes recipes that range from weekend projects to ambitious, many-month investments of time: Learn how to nixtamalize corn for masa, make miso out of pumpkin seeds, and grow garums — fermented proteins (like fish sauce) that can be made with everything from beef to rose petals to chicken wings. For those already proficient at making beer, canned tomatoes, or kombucha, this book on fermentation is the master class.

Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration

Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko
Harper Wave, October 23

Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s The Chew, fan favorite on Top Chef, and champion of soul food, has a new cookbook dedicated to that passion: Carla Hall’s Soul Food, co-written with recipe developer and author Genevieve Ko, traces Hall’s heritage and gets into the food history of Africa, the Caribbean, and the American South.

Recipes are inspired by, and have roots in, all of these places, from snacks and sides like shortcut deviled eggs with bread and butter pickles, sweet potato pudding that’s brightened with clementines, and black-eyed pea salad with hot sauce vinaigrette. Spoonbread dressing — a staple at many Southern Thanksgiving tables — makes an appearance, as do main dishes like sea island shrimp and bay-scented grits, tomato pie with garlic bread crust, and Ghanaian peanut beef stew with onions and celery. A woman after my own heart, Hall doesn’t forget dessert: The standout is a poured caramel cake in which a yellow sheet cake gets covered in freshly made salted caramel.

Soul Food takes a deeper look at identity and black American culinary history, or what Hall simply calls “cooking with love.”

Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One

Anita Lo
Knopf, October 30

“Some days you’ll want to eat light and healthy; on other days, butter is a perfectly good substitute for love.” In her latest cookbook Solo, Anita Lo writes with such bracing candor and slips of self-deprecating humor that it feels like she’s in the room, conferring the unsexy facts of life while nudging you into the kitchen.

Thanks to her love of home cooking, long career in professional kitchens, and 17-year stint as chef and owner of Annisa in NYC’s West Village, Lo is uniquely suited to translating professional techniques into home cooking tips. No other book out this year achieves this particular concept so well. For example, Lo cooks salmon using a sous vide-inspired hack: Pour boiling water over a filet of seasoned salmon, and it turns out just as tender as if it’d been sealed in a plastic bag and dropped into simmering water. Scraps get turned into new meals or side dishes. Bolognese made with duck instead of beef or pork cooks more quickly without sacrificing flavor. And Lo’s not above using the microwave or toaster oven — especially when it hastens the process without ruining flavor or texture — as in a recipe for twice “baked” sweet potatoes.

But what makes this book so special is Lo’s recipe notes, which could be a book of their own: glimpses into her thoughts and inspiration, travelogues, and educational diatribes on ingredients she’s either caught or killed or set aflame. There’s a story about the time she found a dead body in the Hudson while on a date, a memory of watching sesame seeds get ground into tahini between two 300-year-old lava stones in Jerusalem, and a vignette about the time she ran into a woman in Bologna dressed as mortadella. Thanks to engaging prose, they all come alive on the page.

Solo captures Lo’s kaleidoscopic life while speaking to the universal desire for nourishment, be it physical or emotional. Here, at a time when we need it most, is a book that will “help you to remember how to take care of yourself.”

I Am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook

Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad
Artisan, October 30

I Am a Filipino, the first book from NYC restaurateur Nicole Ponseca and chef Miguel Trinidad, tells the story of how an advertising executive filed away her suits, put on a chefs’ coat and apron, learned the ins and outs of the hospitality business, met her chef and business partner, and opened two restaurants devoted to Filipino food, Jeepney and Maharlika.

This extensive collection of Filipino recipes was sourced from Ponseca’s childhood, Trinidad’s travels, and the recipes the two serve at their restaurants, including menudo (duck leg stew enriched with liver paste), pata (crispy pig’s foot with garlic and coriander), puqui-puqui (an eggplant mash with cassava), and the Chori burger (Jeepney’s signature smash, made with chorizo). Between chapters and within lively headnotes, the authors tell the story of regional Filipino food, its many influences, the ingredients it relies upon, and the way they personally like to cook at home today.

It’s too bad Artisan thought it needed to market this book as being about “the next great Asian cuisine” and quote the late Anthony Bourdain in order to sell the public on Filipino food, a vivacious cuisine full of flavor. I trust that readers and cooks today will want to pick up a copy because they already enjoy eating sisig, lumpia, and adobo and, hopefully, want to start making these dishes at home.

Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse: Another Cookbook of Sorts

Frederic Morin, David McMillan, and Meredith Erickson
Knopf, November 27

The second cookbook from Joe Beef, one of Montreal’s best restaurants, is just as fun (and ridiculous) as the first. Though Surviving the Apocalypse offers a recipe for soap, this isn’t a proper prepper book. It’s a rambunctious treatise on culinary maximalism in the face of a tempestuous political climate. Case in point: A recipe for an upside down cake is made with whole black winter truffles in lieu of fruit. The headnote reads, in part, “This is the cake Lil Yachty would wear if it were a piece of bling.”

That’s not the only recipe that’s turned up to 11. The French pastry known as the Gateau St. Honore is already a challenge to make; here, it’s made more difficult (and savory) by calling for pâte à choux swans filled with white fish salad in place of the cream puffs that traditionally surround the pastry base. The headnote for a rum ball croquembouche, usually made from cream puffs filled with custard, suggests you “nab yourself a safety cone to use as a shape for building” the towering cake. Not only that, Joe Beef’s version is built out of financier-and-rum cake balls dipped in sprinkles, glued together with buttercream, and decorated with spun sugar.

Most of the book’s recipes could be tackled in a weekend or long afternoon, but there’s also one for sausage — “power franks” — made from bison, pork, and sheep casing, and in another exercise in excess, a four-page spread that tells the reader how to assemble a muffuletta stuffed with Époisses, ham, Comté, duck rillettes, slices of (pre-prepared) terrine, sliced black truffles, head cheese, pickled quail eggs, smoked beef tongue, and an omelet.

Joe Beef fans will no doubt snatch this volume up immédiatement. Others interested in wading into these waters should be prepared with a large kitchen, a meat grinder, some disposable income, an imagination, low blood pressure, and a lust for life.

Other notable books from chefs and restaurants:

Catalan Food: Culture and Flavors from the Mediterranean by Daniel Olivella and Caroline Wright. Clarkson Potter, September 2018

Modern Greek Cooking: 100 Recipes for Meze, Entrées, and Desserts by Pano Karatassos and Jane Sigal. Rizzoli, September 2018

Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A. by Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, with Lesley Suter. Ten Speed Press, October 2018

Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking by Isaac Toups and Jennifer V. Cole. Little, Brown and Company, October 2018

Etxebarri by Juan Pablo Cardenal and Jon Sarabia. Grub Street Cookery, November 2018

Home-cooking stars

Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers

Julia Turshen
Chronicle Books, September 4

More than any other book on this list, Julia Turshen’s newest book Now & Again, a follow up to her career-defining Small Victories, propelled me to the grocery store, seeking the ingredients for her chicken and roasted tomato enchiladas. The dish is essentially a sheet pan dinner turned into a casserole; as one of the few recipes that didn’t get a full page photograph, I had to make it to see it for myself, and I ended up eating the whole pan over the course of a weekend. What I should have done is follow the gospel Turshen espouses here: Cook for others, throw a party, converse, debate, commiserate, but above all, congregate.

Still, cooking is work, and sometimes a recipe — whether overly complicated or time consuming — just isn’t worth it. But Turshen shows how cooking a big meal one day can lead to several smaller meals for the next day or two, thanks to the leftovers. Double-duty recipes include stir-fried roasted eggplant with pork, a side dish in a menu called “A Not-Kosher Jewish Christmas,” that becomes the filling for eggplant and pork potstickers the next day. Grilled Vietnamese flank steak turns into steak and kimchi quesadillas. Double-baked potatoes with horseradish and cheddar become potato soup or crispy, cheesy, potato cakes.

Organized by season and then menu, the book reminds me of Martha Stewart’s idea-filled Menus for Entertaining from 1994 — except, this being 2018, it’s not just a book of gorgeous, thoughtfully curated menus for hosting a gathering. It’s also an inspiring manifesto about how and why we cook today.

Cravings: Hungry for More

Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman
Clarkson Potter, September 18

Seemingly the entire world has a crush on multi-hyphenate every-woman Chrissy Teigen — and for good reason. Teigen is, genuinely, hilarious and gifted. Hungry for More, full of her bold, blithe personality, delivers on everything from kitchen wisdom to 30-minute meals to tips on cooking for a growing family.

Teigen’s voice shines throughout. An excerpt, from a recipe called crispy coconut chicken tenders with pineapple chile sauce: “I know. ‘Chrissy, how do you come up with such genius things?’ is what you are saying. Well, the answer is sometimes I just walk through the grocery store, see something in the frozen food aisle, and wonder why I can’t make it at home. Then I do it. Or sometimes I pick something I love, like coconut shrimp, and say, ‘Sh*t, I only have chicken,’ and I make it. Geniuses work in all sorts of ways. Don’t question my process.”

Recipes range from pure Americana — creamy tomato soup with peppery parmesan crisps; cheesy, stuffed-chicken milanese — to odes to her mother’s cooking. “One thing that’s gotten me through life is that I am not allergic to peanut oil, because if I was, my mom, Pepper Thai, would have traded me in for a better, hardier model,” Teigen writes. Hungry for More is also full of real-world, actually useful tips like how to keep stray avocado halves from browning in the fridge, what to do to get at the best part of lemongrass, and the easiest way to chop up canned tomatoes — use kitchen shears right in the can! No one, not the professional chef nor the practiced home cook, is going to regret buying this book.

Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories

Naz Deravian
Flatiron Books, September 18

My mother, who was born in Tehran, Iran, has long told me that the diction and structure of Farsi is more like poetry than prose. Though she writes in English, author Naz Deravian employs that poetic license to great, romantic effect in her debut cookbook, which is named for her long-running blog. “Memory is an elusive seductress… she teases with a hazy snapshot of what once was,” Deravian writes. “A newly opened bottle of rose water, the bitter tang of a dried lime. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get trapped in her grip.”

With that vision in mind, Deravian writes of the scent and subtly floral flavor of basmati rice, the star of the Persian table (everything else — the deeply flavored stews, meaty kebabs, roasted vegetables, and fresh salads — is an accompaniment). There are nearly 40 pages about rice. A chapter is devoted to explaining how to build layers of flavor in khoreshs, or stews, like ghormeh sabzi, a green concoction of many herbs, red meat, beans, and dried limes. A chapter on grilled meat and fish gets into classic kababs like joojeh, saffron chicken marinated in yogurt and onions. There are recipes for Iranian bread, sweets, and drinks like paloudeh talebi, a sort of cantaloupe slushie. There’s a lesson on tea.

But what stands out are the recipes that veer away from tradition, dishes that don’t take hours to prepare but do align with Iranian cooking’s tendency towards fresh, sweet, sour, and pungent flavors. Everyday meatballs, goosht ghelgheli, contain allspice, dried mint, and cinnamon; baked feta with a cranberry quince sauce gets spiked with a few drops of orange blossom water. Yeralma yumurta is translated as “smooshed potato and egg” and is exactly what it sounds like, an ideal meal for one, topped with feta and mint.

Che bayad kard, “what’s to be done,” is a common refrain at dinner tables in Iranian households, Deravian writes in her introduction. “What’s to be done about the state of the world, the state of the Middle East, the price of yogurt, the price of oil. What’s to be done with the leftovers and tomorrow night’s dinner?” More than a book of recipes, this is an immigrant’s story, the history of an ancient cuisine, and, ideally, a catalyst for conversations about race, class, and the Middle East.

Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food

Nik Sharma
Chronicle Books, October 2

First-time author and San Francisco Chronicle columnist Nik Sharma’s book Season “is the story of a gay immigrant, told through food… a journey of self-discovery” that the author says taught him “to recognize the inherent tension between originality and tradition, and to opt for the former without rejecting the latter.”

From revealing how and why Sharma left his home on the West Coast of India, to the cooking and culture he brought with him to the West Coast of the U.S, Season is a deeply personal book. The writing — honest, respectful, and forward-thinking — is engaging and inviting. The imagery, which Sharma styled and captured himself, is striking. Sharma’s fans will recognize his aesthetic here, and be grateful that they can view his photos in full color on quality, matte paper (rather than on a screen or in newsprint).

It helps that the recipes, full of bright, bold flavors, are equally appealing. Consider dishes like smoked sardines and kumquat crostini; chickpea-battered fried okra; ground lamb and potato “chops” with sambal oelek; grilled pork chops spiced with sour, sweet, and salty chaat masala; savory granola with jaggery and Kashmiri chile; and a date and tamarind loaf drizzled with a brown sugar glaze. Sharma’s way of looking at food might be succinctly described as “global,” but I like to think of it as how we’ll all be cooking in the very near future.

Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook

Dorie Greenspan
Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 23

Dorie Greenspan’s name will be familiar to diners, readers, and cooks, but only diehard fans will realize this is her 14th title. After co-authoring books with Julia Child, chef Daniel Boulud, and legendary pastry chef Pierre Hermé, Greenspan struck out on her own some years ago with a seminal book on baking. This is her second book focused on savory dishes — though, as always, there’s still something sweet tucked inside.

Like cookbooks labeled “simple,” the descriptor “everyday” means something different to every cook. For Greenspan, it involves a lot of really good fresh produce, herbs and citrus, and an element of surprise. Roasted squash hummus gets acidity and fruitiness from pomegranate molasses; turkey meatball soup gets a hit of heat from freshly grated ginger; and pear upside down cake is spiked with Chinese five spice instead of the usual cinnamon and nutmeg. Other standouts include oven charred peppers stuffed with cherry tomatoes, a lettuce soup with scallops, and a show-stopping triple layer parsnip cake with cranberries.

One thing you’ll find in Everyday Dorie that isn’t always in other cookbooks: explanations of what to look for: the sights, sounds, and smells of a dish in process, and clues for when it’s done. It’s a wonderful way to learn to cook anything, from a fried egg to a 10-layer torte, and a hallmark of Greenspan’s style.

Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks

Ina Garten
Clarkson Potter, October 23

In this, the Barefoot Contessa’s 11th book, Ina Garten’s stated goal “is to ensure that everything you cook looks and tastes like it was ‘homemade by professionals!’” A companion to her Food Network series, this means sharing knowledge from chefs she’s worked with or befriended while dining out. Garten name-checks chefs like Bobby Flay, Yotam Ottolenghi, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Rose, restaurateurs Eli Zabar and Danny Meyer, and NYC restaurants including Union Square Cafe, Charlie Bird, and Shake Shack.

Tips, which fill the margins like handwritten notes viewers might make while watching Garten on TV, will be familiar to avid cooks — smash garlic cloves with a knife to peel them, use a serrated knife to cut tomatoes more easily, toast nuts before using them in a recipe for the best flavor — but they are good reminders for those who don’t go into the kitchen very often.

This isn’t the first Garten book to feature a recipe for beef short ribs braised in red wine, but for readers who have a collection of the Contessa’s books, this one does veer away from French classics. Recipes include sauteed shishitos with lime, Israeli vegetable salad over a bed of hummus, and spiced lamb-stuffed eggplants. The best part might just be reading Garten’s familiar, frequently delighted voice, as in a headnote for vanilla roasted rhubarb with sweet yogurt, a recipe inspired by Ottolenghi: “There’s something about vanilla and rhubarb roasted together that’s just out of this world.”

Other notable books:

The Staub Cookbook: Modern Recipes for Classic Cast Iron by Staub and Amanda Frederickson. Ten Speed Press, September 2018

Pantone: Foodmood by Guido Tommasi Editore. Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt, October 2018

Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa by Yohanis Gebreyesus. Hachette, October 2018

A Common Table: 80 Recipes and Stories from My Shared Cultures by Cynthia Chen McTernan. Rodale Books, October 2018

Melt, Stretch, Sizzle: The Art of Cooking Cheese: Recipes for Fondues, Dips, Sauces, Sandwiches, Pasta, and More by Tia Keenan and Kat Kinsman. Universe, October 2018

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: A Book-to-Table Classic by Jane Austen, recipes from Martha Stewart. Puffin Books, October 2018

Baking and pastry

rosie’s baking basics Amazon

Rose’s Baking Basics: 100 Essential Recipes, with More Than 600 Step-by-Step Photos

Rose Levy Beranbaum
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 25

This year, Rose Levy Beranbaum’s magnum opus, The Cake Bible, turned 30. In that time, other authors might have put out another 20 or so books, but bakers who pledge allegiance to Levy Beranbaum’s methodical, obsessively tested recipes know that waiting for the next book is worth it: Every single recipe is guaranteed to work as described. In this, her 12th title, she goes back to basics in 100 recipes that teach a variety of techniques, from laminated doughs to different styles of cookies to quick breads to layered cakes to cobblers and pies. Every recipe, including one for a chocolate sheet cake covered in ganache, an apple walnut bundt with a caramel glaze, and a milk chocolate tart, is written next to step-by-step photographs. A rare feat for any book, the more than 600 photographs here ensure home bakers will achieve the right results every time.

Sister Pie: The Recipes and Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit

Lisa Ludwinski
Lorena Jones Books, October 2

Eater’s own national critic Bill Addison says Detroit’s Sister Pie is the best pie shop in the U.S. This fact could be reason enough to order Sister Pie’s first cookbook, a gorgeously photographed and honestly written account of one team’s dedication to flaky pie crust, seasonal fruit, and unique pie-adjacent pastries. But this is also a story about the people behind the pie, and the unique management structure at Sister Pie that means all ideas are heard openly, financial information is shared freely, and credit is given where it’s due.

Plus, the recipes look incredible. The classics are well-represented here, but this book will also appeal to bakers looking for new inspiration: from the shop’s all-butter pie dough (that is, crucially, made by hand) and cornmeal galette dough that’s flecked with sunset pink dried rose petals to fillings like strawberry with a pistachio crumble, blueberry-rhubarb garnished with fresh blossoms, toasted marshmallow butterscotch, and salted maple. Savory dishes like apple cheddar hand pies and a section of cookies, scones, fritters, and salads round out this charming book.

The Nordic Baking Book

Magnus Nilsson
Phaidon, October 15

Phaidon is getting good at churning out encyclopedic books on single subjects or cuisines. This season’s most interesting variation on that theme is a book on Swedish baking from Magnus Nilsson, the head chef of Faviken in Jarpen, Sweden. The thoughtful book, with a modern focus that honors centuries of baking tradition in Scandinavia, is a collection of recipes for sweets and breads that will be novel to most American bakers. The breads are made from whole grains, and an entire section is reserved for rye loaves, a specialty in Denmark. Flatbreads range from spongy loaves made with potato to crispbreads and crackers. Pizza, pancakes, and savory pastries (stuffed with cured fish or roe) give way to the book’s second half, which is devoted to sweets. From breakfast buns to saffron braids to doughnuts to kringles — a sweet dough made into a pretzel shape — it’s clear why Northern Europe’s fika tradition continues to thrive.

Other notable books on baking:

Food 52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake by Kristen Miglore. Ten Speed Press, September 2018

All About Cake by Christina Tosi. Clarkson Potter, October 2018

Modern Baking by Donna Hay. 4th Estate, October 2018

Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: Gold-Standard Recipes from America’s Favorite Rural Bakery by Brian Noyes and Nevin Martell. Clarkson Potter, October 2018

Suqar by Greg Malouf and Lucy Malouf. Hardie Grant, November 2018


The American Bar

Charles Schumann
Rizzoli, September 11

The American Bar is one of those cocktail books bartenders keep behind the bar for reference. An authoritative guide originally published in 1991, this updated version acknowledges the modern cocktail movement that’s taken hold at bars across the globe, and complements it. Schumann’s focus — on precise drinks made in their intended fashion — is clear throughout, and the book’s organization, with an alphabetical table of contents, brand-to-type of alcohol index, illustrations of popular bar glasses, an international terminology guide, and an A-to-Z glossary on common cocktail mixers and garnishes, is exhaustive despite the book’s diminutive size. My favorite part might be where Schumann interjects his personal feelings about bartending (“Please don’t sell the most expensive drinks to customers who can’t afford them. A good bartender can recognize this”) and bar menus (“Please no imaginative names that have nothing to do with the king of cocktails! A martini is a martini!”).

Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide

Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack
Avery, September 25

Some wine books veer into the encyclopedic, and these are great for professionals who want to expand their knowledge. But what’s needed most in the wine world today are books that provide a basic overview in a format that’s easy to digest. That’s what Puckette and Hammack have done in their latest, a follow-up to their well-received 2015 Essential Guide to Wine. The basics are covered swiftly in the first 40 pages, followed by a section on pairing wine with food — including an optional quiz — while the rest of the volume goes deep on the most popular grape varietals and the regions where they grow. This may not sound significantly different from other general wine books, but what sets Wine Folly apart are the clever and straightforward graphics, from color-coded charts on the tannins in different wine types to drawings of different shapes of decanters and glasses, this format makes amassing wine knowledge that much easier.

The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem: The Story of John Morrissey and the World’s Best Cocktail Menu

Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry, Jillian Vose
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 30

The Dead Rabbit’s new book, likely a must for cocktail aficionados, is written as a gloriously illustrated comic book, much like the bar’s menus, with drink recipes from bar manager Jillian Vose on every other page. Bar geeks will recognize some of the characters — they’re drawn to look like mixologists from around the country — which might make the otherwise tired plot (bad guy gets into trouble, gets girls, gets into more trouble, gets another girl, ultimately lives to fight another day) more exciting. The recipes in the book are true to the bar, but the book doesn’t seem designed for home bartenders to actually use. That said, Vose is a drinks savant, known for flavor pairings that surprise — even if that means drinks that contain 10 or more different ingredients.

Other notable books on beverages:

Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan. Ten Speed Press, October 2018

Aperitif by Rebekah Peppler. Clarkson Potter, October 2018

The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste by Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay. Ten Speed Press, October 2018

Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the Editors of PUNCH. Ten Speed Press, October 2018

Tears of Bacchus: A History of Wine in the Middle East by Michael Karam. Gilgamesh Publishing, October 2018

Daniela Galarza is Eater’s senior editor. Andrea D’Aquino is a New York-based illustrator and author.
Editor: Erin DeJesus