Essential Reading, Important Cookbooks: Spring 2018 : New Worlder

This year’s Spring cookbook releases have a common theme: celebrating the crisscross nature of culinary traditions, culture, and people in the Americas. For instance, Harlem duo Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson revere the Afro-Asian-American intersection in Harlem, New York, while Los Angeles can’t help but acknowledge its diversity in The L.A. Cookbook.  In his book Turnip Greens & Tortillas, chef Eddie Hernandez  seeks out commonalities between Southern fare and Mexican cuisine and melds them together on a single plate. All in all, our picks for our most-anticipated Spring cookbook praise the cultural influences of cuisine giving a nod to where those traditions originated.

The books below are listed by publication date, and while you’ll soon see cookbook recipes excerpted on our recipe page, for now, you can order your own copy of the cook by clicking the corresponding links.

Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day –  Alexander Smalls,‎ JJ Johnson with Veronica Chambers 

Alexander Smalls, an award-winning opera singer and chef, is the restauranteur behind two famous venues in Harlem, New York – The Cecil and Minton’s Jazz Club. Along with Chef JJ Johnson, the two have crafted a unique home for the interchange of Afro-Asian-American flavor profiles – a true homage to converging cultures and people of Harlem. This cookbook presents over 100 recipes crafted from Smalls’ life-long study of low country cooking and the African diaspora and Chef JJ’s Carribean upbringing which, as they note, “brought Asia and Africa together on a plate.”

Click here to purchase your own copy; February 6


Cuban Flavor: Exploring the Island’s Unique Places, People, and Cuisine – Liza Gershman

A vivid photojournalistic depiction of Cuban life through the lens of food, Cuban Flavor shares some of the island’s classic, well-loved dishes. Noting the difficulties of logistically sourcing ingredients – even the most basic and simplest needs – author Liza Gershman praises the resourcefulness of the Cuban people and takes care to introduce readers to the people who craft the recipes in the book highlighting restaurants, chefs, and individuals through both word and picture.

Click here to purchase your own copy; February 6


The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats – Daniel Stone

Botanist David Fairchild (1869 –1954) is credited with bringing thousands of diverse crops to the American culinary scene. Through personal letters, photos, and excerpts from Fairchild’s own journals, author Daniel Stone tells the story of Fairchild’s adventures (featuring arrests, illness, and crazy tales of bartering) that brought kale from Croatia, pomegranates from Malta, Meyer lemons and peaches from China, and many other contributions to American food culture.

Click here to purchase your own copy; February 20


Seven Days in the Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine – W. Scott Koenig

In this new book, W. Scott Koenig – the man behind the blog A Gringo in Mexico – sheds light on the Baja California Peninsula cuisine, wine, and culture through eyes of its influential chefs. Koenig interviews chefs like Javier Plascencia of Finca Altozano and Esthela Martínez of La Cocina de Doña Esthela, among others, to illustrate the uniqueness of place where industry leaders often operate hyper-locally growing their own produce and sourcing meat and fish from nearby ranches and fisherman. A percentage of the proceeds from the book will benefit the El Porvenir Volunteer Fire Department, located in the Valle de Guadalupe.

Click here to purchase your own copy; March 3


The L.A. Cookbook – Alison Clare Steingold

Already treasured for its sun and beaches, produce, and dynamic multicultural communities, Los Angeles, California is finally getting it’s due as a culinary destination. Recognizing this, Alison Clare Steingold has collected recipes from the city’s best restaurants to showcase just how far the diversity and talent extends. Resturants like Bestia, n/naka, Spago Beverly Hills, and Paloma’s Paletas, just to name a few, all share recipes in the book.

Click here to purchase your own copy; March 20


Where Chefs Eat – Joe Warwick,  Joshua David Stein, Natascha Mirosch, Evelyn Chen

This third edition of Where Chefs Eat lists more than 4,500 restaurants and eateries in over 65 countries chosen by 650 of the world’s most influential chefs. Deemed “The Ultimate Global Restaurant Guide’ within the pages readers can get restaurant recommendations from the people who know best.

Click here to purchase your own copy; April 4


The Latin TableIsabel Cruz

The second cookbook from self-taught chef and restauranteur Isabel Cruz, The Latin Table is a taste of what makes Cruz successful: While she draws extensively from her own Latin upbringing, Cruz also thoughtfully integrates flavors and creates healthy dishes inspired by the Korean, Thai, and Japanese families living nearby.  In her book, Cruz shares recipes such as char-grilled rack of lamb with cinnamon and cumin and crispy tofu with cilantro lime sauce and mango salsa geared towards the home cook.

Click here to purchase your own copy; April 3


Turnip Greens & Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern KitchenEddie Hernandez & Susan Puckett

James-Beard nominated chef Eddie Hernandez finds commonalities between two embelatic North American cusines– Southern and Mexican – and merges both ingredients and techniques.  At his fast-casual restaurants Taqueria del Sol in Georgia, Hernandez introduces Memphis-style barbecue pork to the taco and turnip greens find their way into a chili-spiked “potlikker.”

Click here to purchase your own copy; April 10


Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original – Sara B. Franklin

Through a series of essays, food-world professionals share the stories of their encounters with chef/writer/activist Edna Lewis. Lewis, who passed away in 2006 was a prolific food writer, a trailblazer in the revival of regional cooking, and a was a staunch advocate of farm-to-table cooking. This is the first-ever critical appreciation of Lewis’s work and includes words and thoughts from influencers like food historian Michael W. Twitty and American food pioneer Alice Waters.

Click here to purchase your own copy; April 13


My Lisbon: A Cookbook from Portugal’s City of Light – Nuno Mendes

Internationally renowned chef Nuno Mendes shares his memories from his hometown in his cookbook, My Lisbon.  Through essays and photographs, Mendes shares the insights and idiosyncrasies only a local could know and shares recipes for iconic Portuguese dishes for readers to recreate at home.

Click here to purchase your own copy; April 24