Cooking meals at home can be absolutely delightful, therapeutic even, and it’s often a great way to bond with your friends and loved ones. But after a long year of cooking most of our meals and eating at home, I know your first choice is probably to frequent your favorite restaurants again and enjoy dining in. But home cooking has become an essential part of our routines now, and we could all use some new ideas.
The cookbooks on this list celebrate feel-good food and stories from around the globe. So sit back, relax, do some armchair traveling, and get inspired in the kitchen with this list of best cookbooks to read this summer!
Simply Julia by Julia Turshen
In Simply Julia, readers will find 110 foolproof recipes for more nutritious takes on the simple, comforting meals Julia cooks most often. With practical chapters such as weeknight go-to’s, make-ahead mains, vegan one-pot meals, chicken recipes, easy-baked goods, and more, Simply Julia provides endlessly satisfying options comprised of accessible and affordable ingredients.
My Shanghai by Betty Liu
Betty Liu, whose family has deep roots in Shanghai and grew up eating homestyle Shanghainese food, provides an enchanting and intimate look at this city and its abundant cuisine. In this sumptuous book, part cookbook, part travelogue, part cultural study, she cuts to the heart of what makes Chinese food Chinese — the people, their stories, and their family traditions. Organized by season, My Shanghai takes us through a year in the Shanghai culinary calendar, with flavorful recipes that go beyond the standard, well-known fare, and stories that illuminate diverse communities and their food rituals.
Rodney Scott's World of BBQ by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie
Rodney Scott was born with barbecue in his blood. He cooked his first whole hog, a specialty of South Carolina barbecue, when he was just eleven years old. At the time, he was cooking at Scott’s Bar-B-Q, his family’s barbecue spot in Hemingway, South Carolina. Now, four decades later, he owns one of the country’s most awarded and talked-about barbecue joints, Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston. In the first cookbook by a Black pitmaster, James Beard Award-winning chef Rodney Scott celebrates an incredible culinary legacy through his life story, family traditions, and unmatched dedication to his craft.
Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoë François
Cake is the ultimate symbol of celebration, used to mark birthdays, weddings, or even just a Tuesday night. In Zoë Bakes Cakes, bestselling author and expert baker Zoë François demystifies the craft of cakes through more than eighty-five simple and straightforward recipes. Discover treats such as Coconut-Candy Bar Cake, Apple Cake with Honey-Bourbon Glaze, and decadent Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake. With step-by-step photo guides that break down baking fundamentals–like creaming butter and sugar–and Zoë’s expert knowledge to guide you, anyone can make these delightful creations.
Wild Sweetness by Thalia Ho
In Wild Sweetness, Thalia Ho captures the essence of the wild, and re-imagines it on the plate. She guides us through a tale of six distinct seasons and the flavors inspired by them: of bright, herbaceous new life in spring, to the aromatic florals that follow, of bursting summer berries, over-ripe fruit, warmth and spice in fall, then ending with winter and its smolder.
Cook Real Hawai'i by Sheldon Simeon, Garrett Snyder
Even when he was winning accolades and adulation for his cooking, two-time Top Cheffinalist Sheldon Simeon decided to drop what he thought he was supposed to cook as a chef. He dedicated himself instead to the local Hawai’i food that feeds his ‘ohana–his family and neighbors. With uncomplicated, flavor-forward recipes, he shows us the many cultures that have come to create the cuisine of his beloved home: the native Hawaiian traditions, Japanese influences, Chinese cooking techniques, and dynamic Korean, Portuguese, and Filipino flavors that are closest to his heart.
Cheese, Wine, and Bread by Katie Quinn
In this delightful, full-color tour of France, England, and Italy, YouTube star Katie Quinn shares the stories and science behind everyone’s fermented favorites–cheese, wine, and bread–along with classic recipes.
Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails by Robert Simonson
Indulge your thirst for new ways to enjoy tequila and mezcal with 60+ recipes for agave cocktails from a James Beard Award-nominated author and New York Times spirits writer. From riffs on classics such as the Mezcal Mule and Oaxaca Old-Fashioned to new favorites such as Naked and Famous or Smoke and Ice, discover how to use mezcal and tequila to create cocktails in nearly every classic cocktail formula–from flip to sour to highball–that highlight the smoky, edgy flavors of these unique and popular spirits.
Bavel by Ori Menashe, Genevieve Gergis, Lesley Suter
From the acclaimed chefs behind award-winning Los Angeles restaurant Bavel comes a gorgeous cookbook featuring personal stories and more than eighty recipes that celebrate the diversity of Middle Eastern cuisines. When chef Ori Menashe and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis opened their first Los Angeles restaurant, Bestia, the city fell in love. By the time they launched their second restaurant, Bavel, the love affair had expanded to cooks and food lovers nationwide. Bavel, the cookbook, invites home cooks to explore the broad and varied cuisines of the Middle East through fragrant spice blends; sublime zhougs, tahini, labneh, and hummus; rainbows of crisp-pickled vegetables; tender, oven-baked flatbreads; fall-off-the-bone meats and tagines; buttery pastries and tarts; and so much more.
Everyone's Table by Gregory Gourdet, JJ Goode, EdD.
When award-winning, trendsetting chef Gregory Gourdet got sober, he took stock of his life and his pantry, concentrating his energy on getting himself healthy by cooking food that was both full of nutrients and full of flavor. Now, he shares these extraordinary dishes with everyone. Everyone’s Table features 200 mouth-watering, decadently flavorful recipes carefully designed to focus on superfoods–ingredients with the highest nutrient-density, the best fats, and the most minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants–that will delight and inspire home cooks. Gourdet’s dishes are inspired by his deep affection for global ingredients and techniques–from his Haitian upbringing to his French culinary education, from his deep affection for the cuisines of Asia as well as those of North and West Africa.
Sea Salt and Honey by Nicholas Tsakiris, Chloe Tsakiris, Olivia Tsakiris
An enchanting celebration of Greek provincial life–its charming culture and sublime food–captured in 100 delectable recipes and captivating stories from the Greek-American Tsakiris family, accompanied by more than 100 visually stunning full-color photographs by James Beard award-winning photographer Romas Foord.
Let's Make Dumplings! by Hugh Amano, Sarah Becan
An accessible and easy-to-follow comic book cookbook for bringing Asian dumplings into the home kitchen, with recipes for savory and sweet dumplings, dipping sauces, riffs, and more–from the authors of Let’s Make Ramen!
Chef Hugh Amano and comics artist Sarah Becan invite you to explore the big little world of Asian dumplings! Ideal for both newbies and seasoned cooks, this comic book cookbook takes a fun approach to a classic treat that is imbued with history across countless regions. From wontons to potstickers, buuz to momos, Amano’s expert guidance paired with Becan’s colorful and detailed artwork prove that intricate folding styles and flavorful fillings are achievable in the home kitchen.
Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain
When Nadiya Hussain, the UK’s national treasure, began cooking, she headed straight to the oven–which, in her home, wasn’t used for baking, but rather for storing frying pans! One day, her new husband asked her to bake him a cake and then… she was hooked! Baking soon became a part of her daily life. In her newest cookbook, based on her Netflix show and BBC series Nadiya Bakes, Nadiya shares more than 100 simple and achievable recipes for cakes, cookies, breads, tarts, and puddings that will become staples in your home.
Dada Eats Love to Cook It by Samah Dada
Samah Dada doesn’t buy into the all-or-nothing mentality of healthy eating. By using real, unprocessed ingredients in surprising ways, she shows you how to have your cake and eat it too–because it’s actually made out of chickpeas. Her food is often vegan, allergen-free, gluten-free, and grain-free because she’s only using the most nutritious ingredients, not because she’s cutting out food groups to follow the latest fad. Her creative use of plants gives us drool-worthy dishes like her viral hits Brookie Pie and Chocolate Chip Tahini Cake with Chocolate Frosting, as well as One Banana Only Muffin Tops, Pancake Bread, Cauliflower Cacio e Pepe, and Masala Mac and Cheese.
What do you think about the books on this list?
Have you read or cooked from any books on this list? What are some of your favorite cookbooks? What books would you add to the list?