After over a year in lockdown, 2021 is seeing a bumper crop of chefs' food and cookery books about to hit the (virtual) shelves. Here’s a pick of the best to look forward to.
With restaurants closed, many chefs have turned to the keyboard and used their spare time to write another cookbook. So that means this year is proving a particularly good vintage for the genre. Some of these we’ve been looking forward to for a long time, others are a pleasant surprise.
World Travel: An Irreverent Guide
by Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever
Barnes & Noble
The much anticipated posthumous work by the most-loved chef and documentarian Anthony Bourdain was completed by his close friend and assistant Laurie Woolever. This is the last book we’ll see by chef Bourdain, so it’s a must for any of his fans. While the publishing of this book is tinged with sadness, the content is full of the man’s irreverence and razor-sharp wit, and that is surely the best way to honour his memory.
Photo credit: Ecco
The Emperor's Feast
by Jonathan Clements
Hodder & Stoughton
The Emperor's Feast explores the ancient history of Chinese food, starting 3,000 years ago across cultures, languages and histories, right up to modern Chinese cuisine and how it spread around the world. This book is an introduction to one of the world's great cuisines and what it tells us about the fascinating people and history of China.
My Place at the Table: A Recipe for a Delicious Life in Paris
by Alexander Lobrano
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
In this debut memoir, James Beard Award–winning writer Alexander Lobrano recounts his unlikely story of how he came from America's food culture to infiltrate and conquer France's fine-dining scene, becoming one of Paris’s most influential food critics.
Rodney Scott's World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day: A Cookbook
Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie
This cookbook by African-American pitmaster and James Beard Award–winning chef, Rodney Scott, celebrates an incredible culinary legacy through his life story, family traditions, and dedication to the most American of cooking techniques, the barbecue.
Vegetable Simple: A Cookbook
by Eric Ripert
Random House Publishing Group, Apr 20, 2021
The French New Yorker Ripert is still one of the world’s foremost chefs, and his latest book, which explores a plant-based cuisine, shows he still has his finger on the pulse while making everything he touches simply delicious.
Black, White, and The Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant
by John O. Morisano and Mashama Bailey
Barnes & Noble
At The Grey in Savannah, Georgia, the racial divide is crossed when a black woman chef and a white businessman come together to use food as a way to bring people together.
Black, White, and The Grey is a story about two people with little in common save a passion for great food and how they use it to unite Americans in a time of racial tension and division.
Simply Raymond: Recipes from Home
by Raymond Blanc
The UK’s leading French chef Raymond Blanc turned to writing this book when the pandemic shuttered his restaurants. The result is an invaluable reference book for the home cook full of Blanc’s wisdom and expertise. This is as solid a kitchen companion as you could find and well worth having in any kitchen, whether you’re a pandemic novice or a seasoned professional.
The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World
by Reem Kassis
A collection of recipes from across the Arab world from acclaimed author Reem Kassis, The Arabesque Table uses the traditional, diverse cuisine of the Arab world as a starting point, and offers a modern interpretation of the recipes for every table. The book makes authentic Arabic cooking accessible to all, with 130 delicious, cook-at-home home recipes - from simple salads, to mains and desserts, accompanied by stunning photography.
Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch
by Jake Cohen
Barnes & Noble
In Jew-ish, Jake Cohen reimagines the food of his Ashkenazi heritage, taking inspiration from Persian-Iraqi traditions to offer recipes that are contemporary, original and attractive for a whole new generation of readers. As Jewish food wins new fans all around the world, Cohen invigorates traditional classics adding a fresh and vibrant twist.
Australia: the Cookbook
by Alan Benson and Ross Dobson
Phaidon Press Limited
This compendium of antipodean cuisine presents 350 recipes showcasing the rich diversity of Australia’s landscapes and people. The ancient traditions of Australia's indigenous people coexist with the influences of a multi-cultural immigrant population, and as such a food culture and cuisine has developed that is as unique and recognisable as the flora and fauna that the continent is famed for. This cookbook maps that cuisine while making it easy for cooks in any part of the world to taste Australia.
Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch
by Erin French
Barnes & Noble
From Erin French, owner of the critically acclaimed The Lost Kitchen, this is a memoir about starting over, about survival and finding a place in a community to draw strength from. Hotly anticipated, this book promises to be one of the must-read food books of the year.
The Twisted Soul Cookbook
by Deborah VanTrece
Rizzoli International Publications
A great reference for soulful, satisfying southern cooking this includes just about everything you need from stocking your pantry, sides and salads, mains, meats and more.