9 cookbooks that make the ultimate holiday gift for the foodie in your life

If the team is in Salon Food There’s one little holiday piece of advice to impart: Buy the cookbook for everyone on your shopping list. In terms of affordability and practicality, they really make for ideal gifts, but there’s also something deeply personal about the purchase. the right cookbook for the right people.

It’s a simple way of saying, “I see what makes you who you really are.” The right cookbook can help someone adapt to the new way of eating, feel at home in a new city or country, connect more deeply with their culture, or step outside of their comfort zone in the kitchen. A cookbook is truly a gift that never stops giving – every time the recipient cooks (or makes a cocktail) out of it, they think of you.

Our editorial board collects some of our favorite cookbooks from the past year, all of which are guaranteed to deliver great culinary inspiration for the festive season. In alphabetical order, here are nine cookbooks that could make great (last-minute) holiday gifts for the foodie in your life:

first. “Cookies: The New Classics: A Baking Book” by Jesse Szewczyk (Clarkson Potter Press)

Last Christmas, I received a very fancy baking cookbook. After going through it once, I immediately took it back. After all, how much more to talk about brownies and snickerdoodles? Jesse Szewczyk changed my mind. Columnist Kitchn’s beautiful, thoughtful, and incredibly creative debut reinterprets beloved desserts using novel techniques and ingredients in new, accessible and innovative ways. never ostentatious. Based on the “Chocolaty, Boozy, Fruity, Nutty, Tart, Spices, Smoky and Savory” flavor groups, Szewczyk delivers exactly what you want from a book that’s sure to be no rush – that’s the sweet spot of comfort and novelty. I can’t stop thinking about him square boozy fudge and delicious melted butter brown biscuits. – Mary Elizabeth Williams

2. “Death & Co: Welcome Home“by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald and David Kaplan (Ten Speed ​​Press)

“Imagine you’re a rookie bartender and this is your notebook.” That’s how this gallery space store opened, leading to more than 600 recipes along with best practices, recipe notes, cocktail menu builder mechanics, and all the geeky tips. The indispensable recipe that any bartender, amateur or professional, might want to level up to Standard Death & Co. The book itself, oversized in a bold black canvas hardcover, was beautiful. David Kaplan’s intro details the long and expansive journey of the craft cocktail factory in the East Village – now in Denver and Los Angeles – and the ups and downs the industry will make in 2020 makes you ache because beloved bars didn’t make it through the pandemic and so grateful to those who did. Hundreds of recipes are thoughtfully arranged and labeled with handy symbols to distinguish between low-mix and “project” cocktails, plus easy-to-identify markings for low-ABV and no-nonsense drinks. has an ABV, a necessity for conscientious drinkers and attentive hosts. Pair this with a set Nick & Nora . cocktail or a powerful handheld citrus juicer. – Erin Keane

3.”Feminine Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol“by Mallory O’Meara (Hanover Square Press)

While Mallory O’Meara’s new in-depth series, “Feminine Drinks,” isn’t a book on cocktail recipes, it makes a perfect gift for anyone looking to learn more about these cocktails. what, how and why we drink. O’Meara, New York Times bestselling author of “The Lady from the Black Lagoon, “a true detective story that cuts across feminist film history about the life and work of Disney animation pioneer and classic horror creator, combining deep research with engaging prose and wit in strict history is not the same as a lesson in school.” Drinks” are a must-have addition to any wine enthusiast’s bookshelf, along with histories like “Beverages: A Cultural History of Alcohol” by Iain Gately and “Imbibe!” By David Wondrich. You’ll learn that Hildegard of Bingen was the first person to scientifically write about hops, that women were the first sake brewers in Japan, and it’s all about the famous bartender Ada Coleman, who became became the first female bartender of the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London. in 1903. Pair this with a cocktail set. I suggest French 75, a classic “girly drink” that never disappoints. – Erin Keane

4.”The Japanese Art of Cocktails“by Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig (Mariner Books)

Katana Kitten master Masahiro Urushido shares his exacting philosophy of play in “The Japanese Art of Cocktail Making,” a stunning full-color booklet of recipes, techniques, and flavor essays , the history and culture that powers his award-winning Greenwich Village. bar, “shows the Japanese approach to cocktails, filtered through a distinctly American sensibility.” Split into three sections, the recipes start with the Katana Kitten drink (highball, cocktail, boiling pot), then move on to Urushido’s more beloved Japanese-inspired drinks, along with a twist. contributions from bartenders and ends with lauded bar snacks like Katana Kitten crinkle fries and mortadella katsu sando. Pair this with Suntory Toki whiskey, a glass beer mug (Tip for Katana Kitten: keep both in the freezer) and a bottle of high-carbonated soda for the perfect home polish. – Erin Keane

5. “The New York Times Cooking No Recipe Recipe” by Sam Sifton (Ten Speed ​​Press)

He invited me at “meatball salad.” Or is it “pasta with chickpeas and a black man”? Sam Sifton, who has been preaching the gospel of comfortable, versatile cooking for years now in the columns of The New York Times, offering low maintenance and delicious, rich flavors plus plenty of tips and fixes. Incentive exchange for home cooks. His strategies often involve just looking at what you have and thinking about it in new ways – like, you know, meatballs and salads. I love his support for rotisserie chicken and his understanding that breakfast food is “anytime” food. This is a book for people who already love to cook or wish they did and want to know how to get there. The trick might be to add peanut butter and a pickle sandwich. – Mary Elizabeth Williams

6.”Rodney Scott’s Barbecue World“by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie (Clarkson Potter Press)

James Beard Award Winner Rodney Scott Making history again by compiling the first Black pitmaster cookbook with writer and documentarian Lolis Eric Elie. The result is a piece of personal memoir – which begins with Scott roasting his first pig whole when he was 11 years old and chronicles his journey to eventually opening Rodney Scott’s BBQ – and a guide to the specialties such as grilled spare ribs, smoked turkey, smoked chicken wings and puppy meat.

“Rodney Scott’s Barbecue World” is also an in-depth exploration of the cuisine of South Carolina and the surrounding area, and how black and barbecue culinary traditions have been intertwined throughout history. U.S. – Ashlie Stevens

7.”My Shanghai: Recipes and Stories from a City on the Water“by Betty Liu (Harper Design)

For American foodies, author Betty Liu writes, Chinese food not necessarily associated with seasonality. However, Liu’s book “My Shanghai” presents a much more authentic picture of Shanghainese cuisine as one determined by what is available in the surrounding seas and fields. Cooked produce and fresh meat and seafood are used in harmony with distinct blends of spices to create dishes that are both delicate and intuitive.

The most featured recipes from “My Shanghai” are also some of the most accessible to those just starting out, such as Liu’s spicy onion fried noodles or steamed eggplant. soft seasoned with ginger and black vinegar. – Ashlie Stevens

8. “Coming to Asia, with love: Recipes and stories from the hearts of Asians every day” by Hetty McKinnon (Prestel Press)

No other cookbook this year has given me more solid homework, from condiments to entrees to desserts. I’m Obsessed With McKinnon’s “trustworthy dumpling dipping sauce” chow mien pan plate and Obsessively delicious soy sauce-tinted brownies – and I haven’t even managed to do everything I want to try. It’s a multi-generational collection in progress. McKinnon writes: “Although modern cooking can be an applied science, with many rules and predictable outcomes, there is also a lot to learn from the cooking of mothers, grandmothers, and grandmothers. their ancestors”. In sharing her family recipes and recollections, the self-proclaimed “Australian-born Chinese girl” (now living in the US) has also created a beautiful piece of storytelling. , a work no less cook your way. – Mary Elizabeth Williams

9.”Vegetables and Fish: Inspiring New Recipes for Plant-Based Pescatarian Cooking“by Bart Van Olphen (Experimental)

The pandemic has served as a catalyst for many Americans to re-evaluate the way they cook and eat at home, myself included. Beautiful “Vegetables and Fish” by Bart Van Olphen there to meet them. Van Olphen acknowledges the change in the way plates are stacked together in his introduction, “It’s very simple: When you put a dish together, you start by choosing the meat, the hobby, the family. grip or fish, preferably in a generous portion of 6 1/2 ounces or more.”

Then comes the sauce, and finally the vegetables and a starchy ingredient. “Both are fillers, if any,” he writes. “Sometimes they don’t even complement each other very well.”

As suggested by the cookbook title, “Veggies & Fish” takes a different approach; it’s filled with plant-based, pescatarian recipes like cucumber soup with sea bass tartare, grilled zucchini strips with smoked smoke, and Thai salad with spicy veal. Van Olphen’s recipes are so easy that this cookbook is practical for home cooking, while also making the end result a little more uplifting. – Ashlie Stevens

Salon Food writes about things we think you’ll like. Salon has an affiliate partnership, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase. 9 cookbooks that make the ultimate holiday gift for the foodie in your life

Bobby Allyn

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