Food Tank is highlighting 20 cookbooks inspiring cooks to celebrate traditional foodways, try new ingredients, and learn about the cultures that have shaped global cuisines. In California Soul, chef and restaurateur Tanya Holland introduces readers to California Soul Food. In Extra Good Things Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi encourage people to think differently about the sauces, dressing, and spices that elevate a dish. And Ammu by chef Asma Khan draws connections between food, love, and home. As the winter temperatures set in and family and friends huddle indoors, now is the perfect time to add some new recipes to your repertoire.
1. A Good Day to Bake by Benjamina Ebuehi
Author Benjamina Ebuehi writes that “every day is a good day to bake.” She provides bakers with simple recipes that can be made by all. While she has plenty of sweet desserts, including a sticky toffee treacle tart and brown sugar custard, she features savory baked goods as well. For those with less of a sweet tooth, try her spring onion and comte buns or potato and cauliflower curry pie.
2. Ammu: Indian Home Cooking to Nourish Your Soul by Asma Khan
In Ammu, chef Asma Khan honors her mother, the recipes she made that kept her rooted in home, and the link between food and love. Featured in Netflix’s “Chef’s Table,” Khan uses her latest cookbook to celebrate the power of food: how it can heal, comfort, and build connections.
3. California Soul: Recipes from a Culinary Journey West by Tanya Holland
Celebrity chef, restaurateur, and soul food expert Tanya Holland has created and shared over 80 new recipes in her upcoming cookbook, California Soul. Holland’s “California soul food” highlights African-American Southern-style cuisine brought to the West Coast. Her book blends environmentally-conscious, local ingredients with a story of regional history and migration.
For cooks looking to incorporate more fungi into their diets, Cooking with Mushrooms has nearly 100 recipes to try at home. Including recipes for everything from soups to pastas, author Andrew Gentl helps people think differently about how they can use mushrooms as both food and a flavor.
5. Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet
Author Illyanna Maisonet writes that her cookbook is for the “Diasporicans—the 5.5 million people living Stateside who continue to cook the food of our homeland.” The 90 recipes, some passed down from her grandmother and mother, include tostones, arroz con gundules, pinchos with a BBQ guava sauce, and more. Through the book, Maisonet shows how food connects eaters to family, history, conflict, and migration.
6. First Generation: Recipes from My Taiwanese-American Home by Frankie Gaw
Frankie Gaw honors Taiwanese home cooking, featuring classics like dumplings and scallion pancakes to stir-fried rice cakes as well as new dishes such as bolognese and honey-mustard glazed Taiwanese popcorn chicken. Gaw writes that he wanted to create a cookbook to “celebrate the first-generation Asian American experience” with recipes that “exemplify the creations born out of growing up with feet in two worlds.”
7. Ghetto Gastro: Black Power Kitchen by Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao, and Lester Walker with Osayi Endolyn
Ghetto Gastro is a culinary collective that uses food as an entrypoint into systemic conversations around race, access, and food. In the collective’s first cookbook, they bring together 75 recipes alongside more than 150 photographs that highlight the intersection of food and design. Topics covered in the book range from the contributions of Black mothers to the importance of resistance and rebellion.
8. Gullah Geechee Home Cooking: Recipes from the Matriarch of Edisto Island by Emily Meggett
Emily Meggett shares recipes and history from the Gullah and Geechee people. Meggett, 89 years old, is considered a respected elder in the Gullah community in South Carolina and continues to cook for hundreds of people from her home. The cookbook provides recipes including fried oyster and stone-ground grits as well as pieces of the author’s family history, which goes back to the 19th century.
9. I Am From Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef by Vishwesh Bhatt
Rated one of the year’s best cookbooks by Bon Appetit, I Am From Here features recipes from the ever-changing and evolving American South. Author Vishwesh Bhatt, who has served as the Executive Chef of Snackbar in Mississippi since 2009, draws from his Indian heritage to develop the recipes for the book. He includes everything from collard-wrapped catfish with a spicy peanut pesto to fried okra tossed in a chaat masala.
10. Masa: Techniques, Recipes, and Reflections on a Timeless Staple by Jorge Gaviria
Jorge Gaviria provides readers with an ultimate guide to preparing masa from scratch and using it in their kitchens, helping them to make everything from tortillas to pozole. So much more than a recipe book, Masa also includes historical facts, techniques, and reflections from experts.
11. Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico by Rick Martínez
A New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, Mi Cocina takes cooks on a journey to experience the flavors from more than 32 states and 156 cities in Mexico. The book underscores the diversity of Mexican cuisine while featuring essays from Martínez that offer context and elevate readers’ experience.
In her latest book, Shannon Sarna shares recipes and variations that have shaped Jewish cuisine. Sarna’s dishes include her take on potato latkes, two kinds of rugelach, and shakshuka reimagined as a deep-dish pizza. The book helps cooks connect with Jewish foodways, the global influences that have shaped these culinary traditions, and the history of the cuisine.
13. My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi and Joshua David Stein
My America looks at the influences of the African Diaspora and the cuisines that have shaped American food. Kwame Onwuachi, who is also the author of the memoir Notes from a Young Black Chef, and Joshua David feature recipes including Puerto Rican red bean sofrito, Nigerian Jollof, red velvet cake, and more. The book also includes stories from Onwuachi’s travels.
14. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi
In Extra Good Things, Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi shine a spotlight on the condiments, sauces, and dressings that make a meal special. These vegetable-forward recipes, which can be made ahead and repurposed throughout a week, take dishes to the next level with new textures, colors, and splashes of flavor.
15. Portugal: The Cookbook by Leandro Carreira
In Portugal: The Cookbook, author Leandro Carreira sets out to provide cooks with dishes from each region of the country. With more than 550 classic and contemporary recipes, Carreira celebrates the diversity of Portuguese cuisine.
16. Rambutan: Recipes from Sri Lanka by Cynthia Shanmugalingam
Featuring ideas for dinners, beverages and sweets, Rambutan highlights the Javanese, Malay, Indian, Arab, Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences that have shaped Sri Lankan cuisine. Author Cynthia Shanmugalingam has run pop-ups and street food stalls, and is the founder of Kitchenette Karts, which helps formerly incarcerated people find economic opportunities in the hospitality industry.
17. Smitten Kitchen Keepers: New Classics for Your Forever Files by Deb Perelman
In her third cookbook, Deb Perelman includes 100 recipes that are practical and approachable for any home cook. Guiding readers through the steps to make a tomato and corn cobbler, a broccoli and cheddar quiche, and a butterscotch apple crisp, Perlman aims to provide readers with timeless recipes that will be desired year after year.
18. The Cookbook in Support of the United Nations compiled under the direction of Earlene Cruz
The Cookbook in Support of the United Nations enlists a variety of voices to bring international, planet-friendly meals to anyone’s table. The book features 75 accessible recipes from chefs, farmers, and activists, and more. Each recipe also includes details about the dish’s nutrition profile and carbon footprint, helping consumers cook and eat with human and planetary health in mind. The cookbook features the recipes of Andrew Zimmern, Jose Andres, Massimo Bottura, and more.
19. The Woks of Life Cookbook: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family by Bill Leung, Kaitlin Leung, Judy Leung, Sarah Leung
The Woks of Life started as a blog and has amassed more than 200,000 followers on social media. In their new book, the Leung family compiles many fan favorites from their website along with more than 80 new Chinese recipes for cooks to explore.
20. Watermelon and Red Birds: A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations by Nicole A. Taylor
Drawing from her experience of celebrating Juneteenth — which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans — Nicole A. Taylor brings together 75 recipes in honor of the holiday. Recipes include beef ribs with fermented harissa sauce, peach jam and molasses glazed chicken thighs, and roasted nectarine sundae.
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