Best Cookbooks of 2021

Black foodways, Middle Eastern ingredients, and treats from Chinese bakeries. The best cookbooks of 2021.

Cho, Kristina. Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakeries. Harper Horizon. ISBN 9780785238997.

Cho's vibrant cookbook draws inspiration from the diverse range of steamed, baked, and fried treats on offer at Chinese bakeries. This collection is a delectable treasure trove of recipes for Chinese bakery treats, which generally receive scant attention in American cookbooks. A must for bakers of all levels.

Cohen, Jake. Jew-Ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch. Mariner. ISBN 9780358353980.

Cohen provides an inviting introduction to modern Jewish cuisine as it has adapted over the years, offering enough history so that a non-Jewish cook can understand the importance of the recipes, while also taking care to make sure that each meal is accessible to the Jewish person looking to extend some of their own traditions.

Dada, Samah. Dada Eats Love To Cook It: 100 Plant-Based Recipes for Everyone at Your Table; An Anti-Inflammatory Cookbook. Rodale. ISBN 9780593138236.

Chef Dada specializes in impromptu recipes, leading to the accidental plant-based energy of this must-have collection. Drawing on her Indian heritage, Dada presents inventive dishes for a variety of occasions. This is a winning debut that will delight home chefs looking to build cooking conf idence or reinvent humble meals.

Jinich, Pati. Pati Jinich Treasures of thMexican Table: Classic Recipes, Local Secrets. Mariner. ISBN 9780358086765.

Chef Jinich curates a collection of regional Mexican recipes, with a focus on lesser-known flavors. For home cooks looking to go beyond Tex-Mex, Jinich offers delicious insights about the varied culinary culture of Mexico. Longtime viewers of her PBS cooking show will be drawn in, as will new fans.

Lomas, Vallery. Life Is What You Bake It: Recipes, Stories, and InspiratioTo Bake Your Way to the Top; A BakinBook. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 9780593137680.

In this charming debut collection, Lomas shares a series of family recipes that have seen her through life’s ups and downs. With treats for bakers of all levels, this warmhearted collection will find a wel- come place on bakers' shelves, and home cooks will be guided along by Lomas’s time-saving tips.

McFadden, Joshuwith Martha Holmberg. Grains for Every Season: Rethinking Our Way with Grains. Artisan. ISBN 9781579659561.

McFadden follows up his James Beard Award–winning cookbook Six Seasons with another essential guide to cooking by ingredient. This resource, coaut hored by food writer Holmberg, demonstrates grains’ versatility as both the stars of entrée recipes and as complementary ingredients. The latest by McFadden is destined to become a go-to guide.

Raiford, Matthew & Amy Paige Condon. Bress ’n’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer. Countryman. ISBN9781682686041.

Chef Raiford’s collection goes beyond recipes, focusing on the rich heritage of African foodways. Alongside vivid photographs of most dishes, Raiford adds context by sharing the history of the Gullah Geechee people. With tips on recipe pairings, Raiford’s debut will have home cooks coming back for more.

Sahadi Whelan, Christine (text) & Kristin Teig (photos). Flavors of the Sun: The Sahadi’s Guide to Understanding, Buying, and UsingMiddle Eastern Ingredients. Chronicle. ISBN 9781452182452.

The James Beard Award–winning market Sahadi’s, based in Brooklyn, has long been a hub for immigrant families seeking staples for home cooking. Seeing the wide popularity of flavors from the Middle East, Sahadi Whelan has written an inviting collection of versatile recipes for both new and experienced home cooks.

Scott, Rodney & Lolis Eric Elie. Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 9781984826930.

Pitmaster Scott, a James Beard Award-winning chef and co-owner of Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston, SC, drew crowds to his restau-rants long before his appearance on Chef’s Table: BBQ. This debut, cowritten by Elie, is a labor of love, just like his cooking. A standout collection.

Terry, Bryant. Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora. Color. ISBN 9781984859723.

Terry brings together chefs, artists, activists, and scholars to reflect on culinary histories of the African diaspora. The introduction explains how Black cuisines, like their creators, contain multitudes. Whether read straight through or browsed section by section, this meaningful book brings Black foodways into focus and will leave a lasting impact.

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