We don’t claim to have seen EVERY cookbook this year, but we certainly saw our fair share. Overall, 2013 was a great year for cookbooks and other food-related books. Here are some of our favorites from the past year. What did we miss? Tell us in the comments.
Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking (by Lidia Bastianich)
In her beautifully illustrated new cookbook, Lidia Bastianich lays out a comprehensive curriculum of wise cooking tips–from the cutting board to the kitchen table. Channeling the instructive elements from her TV show of the same name, she teaches us that a good dose of common sense is the key ingredient to a stellar meal. As storyteller and chef, she draws on anecdotes to educate and illustrate.
Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way (by John Besh)
James Beard Award-winning chef John Besh shares the lessons he learned from his mentors through 140 accessible recipes and cooking lessons. Featuring lush photography, inspiring personal stories, and a rich expanse of culinary knowledge, Cooking from the Heart is the next best thing to having an apprenticeship with Chef Besh.
Pancakes: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack (by Adrianna Adarme)
Simple, delicious, sweet and savory pancakes for any time of day. Who doesn’t love a pancake? Celebrated in all cultures and made with variety of ingredients, they are the ultimate comfort food. When food-blogger-turned-cookbook author Adrianna Adarme first moved to L.A., she yearned for breakfasts that tasted like home, and so her pancake quest began.
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (by Yotam Ottolenghi)
Available for the first time in an American edition, this debut cookbook, from bestselling authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi of Plenty and Jerusalem, features 140 recipes culled from the popular Ottolenghi restaurants and inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean.
Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking (by Pati Jinich)
The host of a highly popular PBS series, Pati’s Mexican Table, and a self-described “overloaded soccer mom with three kids and a powerful blender,” Pati Jinich has a mission. She’s out to prove that Mexican home cooking is quicker and far easier than most Americans think.
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (by Michael Pollan)
In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.
Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole (by Chad Robertson)
The third in a series of classic, collectible cookbooks from Tartine Bakery & Cafe, one of the great bakeries, Tartine Book No. 3 is a revolutionary, and altogether timely, exploration of baking with whole grains. The narrative of Chad Robertson’s search for ancient flavors in heirloom grains is interwoven with 85 recipes for whole-grain versions of Tartine favorites.
The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook
One of the best New York restaurants, a culinary landmark that has been changing the face of American dining for decades, now shares its beloved recipes, stories, and pioneering philosophy. Opened in 1994, Gramercy Tavern is more than just a restaurant. It has become a New York institution earning dozens of accolades, including six James Beard awards.
Daniel: My French Cuisine (by Daniel Boulud)
Daniel Boulud, one of America’s most respected and successful chefs, delivers a definitive, yet personalcookbook on his love of French food. From coming of age as a young chef to adapting French cuisine to American ingredients and tastes, Daniel Boulud reveals how he expresses his culinary artistry at Restaurant Daniel. With more than 75 signature recipes, plus an additional 12 recipes Boulud prepares at home for his friends on more casual occasions.
Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden (by Todd Porter and Diane Cru)
Todd Porter and Diane Cu are photographers who publish the immensely popular food, gardening, and lifestyle blog WhiteonRiceCouple.com. Inspired by their love of cooking, growing vegetables and over 38 fruit trees in their suburban garden, Todd and Diane love sharing recipes that are fresh and seasonally simple. Their cookbook, Bountiful ,offers 100 seasonal, flavorful, and approachable recipes, 90 of which have not been seen on the blog, each featuring a vegetable or fruit as the star of the meal.