Essential Reading, Important Cookbooks: Fall 2018 : New Worlder

It’s that time of year: Fall Cookbook Season. This year, destination highlights come from Spain and the Philippines, dispatches shine from MAD, and restaurant cookbooks are centered in New York City. There’s a deeply personal account of feeding the island of Puerto Rico from chef José Andrés, plus a long overdue book from the James Beard Foundation on full-use cooking and reducing waste for home cooks. With something for everyone’s kitchen, here’s our list for the most essential reading and the most important cookbooks this season.

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.

Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover’s Paradise — Marti Buckley

Home to eight Michelin-starred restaurants, Spain’s Basque Country is a food lover’s paradise and Marti Buckley, an American journalist and cook from Alabama who has lived in San Sebastián for seven years, guides readers through the most iconic dishes of the region from playful pintxos to hearty stews and braised meats.

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 4

Catalan Food: Culture and Flavors from the Mediterranean — Daniel Olivella with Caroline Wright

A Catalan native, chef Daniel Olivella fronts Austin, Texas restaurant Barlata, but in his new cookbook, he looks to the beloved coastal Spanish region known for Mediterranean seafood, jamon Ibèrico, and rich rice dishes: Catalonia. From traditional paellas including Valenciana (chicken and rabbit) to de la Barceloneta (seafood) to pintxos like Gambes a L’Ajillo (shrimp in garlic oil), the 80 recipes within encompass classic recipes with new spins to keep them fresh.

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 4

We Fed An Island: The True Story of Feeding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time — José Andrés

Mega-chef José Andrés made an impression on the world when he stepped in to help Puerto Rico take care of its own after Hurricane Maria left the island in shambles. Arriving four days after the hurricane, Andrés got to work feeding people — one hot meal at a time — cooking 100,000 meals a day at more than a dozen kitchens across the island. Andrés and team not only fed hundreds of thousands, they also confronted a crisis in broken emergency management systems that launched a deep discussion on how to handle disaster relief. Based on Andrés’s experience, We Fed an Island illustrates how a network of chefs and community kitchens can be the inspiration for change. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Chef Relief Network of Andrés World Central Kitchen.

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 11

In My Blood — Bo Bech

From Danish chef Bo Bech, who was an instrumental part of the Copenhagen food movement, comes 100 recipes inspired by his restaurant, Geist. Bech travels extensively — his Bride of the Fox dinner series in New York City was a hard-to-book-into revelation — but it’s Geist that courses through his veins. This book is a love letter to it.

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 12

The New Filipino Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from around the Globe — Jacqueline Chio-Lauri

One of two Filipino cookbooks this season (see below, I Am a Filipino and This Is How We Cook), this one acknowledges that Filipino food can be somewhat difficult to define, fusing local flavor with foreign influence. With 30 recipes and accompanying memories from expat Filipinos who have presented their favorite dishes tweaked to work in a more modern context, it contains contributions from the White House’s executive chef Cristeta Comerford and Bocuse d’Or Norway winner Christian André Pettersen, among others.

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 18

You and I Eat the Same: On the Countless Ways Food and Cooking Connect Us to One Another (MAD Dispatches, Volume 1) — Chris Ying

With a foreword by René Redzepi, the 18 stories and essays within look to food as a unifier, with the ability to cross political and cultural borders. From edible meat wrappers (tacos, dosas, pancakes) to fried chicken, from how you hold your fork to “ethnic restaurants” to coffee, this book looks to food to connect and heal us.

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 18

Cuba Cooks: Recipes and Secrets from Cuban Paladares and Their Chefs — Guillermo Pernot and Lourdes Castro

Award-winning chef Guillermo Pernot and author Lourdes Castro explore Cuba’s paladares, collecting dishes and stories from each that weave together today’s Cuban cuisine. From Old Havana to Santiago de Cuba and Pernot’s own Philadelphia restaurant, Cuba Libre, recipes like Arroz con Bacalao, Charred Snapper in Coconut Sauce, Duck Ropa Vieja and Malanga Tacos Stuffed with Eggplant within meld traditional dishes with modern touches.

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 18

Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food — James Beard Foundation

With a foreword by Tom Colicchio, who points out that 40% of all food gets thrown away, and an average of $1500 per year is thrown away in food waste by American households, this book can help teach home cooks a few tricks about full-use cooking. Tapping the expertise of chefs from around the country including Rick Bayless, Elizabeth Falkner, Bryant Terry, and Katie Button, each chapter kicks off with a list of helpful suggestions for avoiding waste, plus 100 recipes like asparagus bottom aioli, squash-seed tahini, and fruit-skin-crusted mahi,

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 25

The New Rules of Coffee: A Modern Guide for Everyone — Jordan Michelman and Zachary Carlsen

From the editors of the instructional coffee blog Sprudge comes this illustrated guide for coffee drinkers. Divided into sections At Home, At the Cafe, and Around the World, this book includes tips on brewing, storing, serving, and enjoying, as well as facts and lore about the world’s favorite beverage.

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 25

Etxebarri — Juan Pablo Cardenal and Jon Sarabia

Considered one of the best grills in the world, boasting a Michelin star and the honor of being one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Etxebarri, located in the Axpe, an hour southeast of Spain’s Bilbao, has garnered its share of followers and fame. Bittor Arginzoniz, Etxebarri’s chef, is self-taught, working only within his own kitchen where he designed and built his famous adjustable-height grills. Commanding fire and food, Arginzoniz is the pioneer of the grill-only kitchen and in the beautifully photographed Etxebarri, readers can get to know the man, his kitchen, and his recipes a little better.

Click here to purchase your own copy; September 28

The Hot Sauce Cookbook: 60 Fiery Recipes — Heather Thomas

The 60 recipes in this cookbook include those for fiery dishes including Hot Sauce Buffalo Wings, Sriracha Buttered Shrimp, Harissa Chicken Shawarma Wraps, and Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 1

The Best American Food Writing 2018 — Edited by Ruth Reichl

The 2018 edition of the country’s best food writing hits shelves in October, edited by none other than Ruth Reichl, the chef and food writer, and last editor-in-chief of the now shuttered Gourmet magazine. Featured writers include Helen Rosner, Francis Lam, Amanda Cohen, and Tejal Rao.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 2


The Best American Travel Writing 2018 — Edited by Cheryl Strayed

The 2018 edition of the country’s best travel writing hits shelves in October, edited by the author of Wild, Cheryl Strayed.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 2



The Seven Culinary Wonders of the World: A History of Honey, Salt, Chile, Pork, Rice, Cacao and Tomato  — Jenny Linford

From the powers associated with cacao in Mesoamerica to the introduction of tomatoes to Europe by the Spanish conquistadors, and the earliest cultivation of rice in China’s Pearl Valley, this book accounts for the seven ingredients — honey, salt, chile, pork, rice, cacao, tomato — that make up the basis of the world’s cuisines. Told as culinary history, each ingredient is followed from its roots through the various cuisines in which it has played a part, viewing it through social, cultural, historical and botanical lenses. Accompanied by 63 recipes featuring these elemental ingredients.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 9

A Very Serious Cookbook: Contra Wildair — Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske with Alison Roman

New York chef duo Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske have two of the city’s most beloved restaurants in the tasting-menu driven Contra and more casual Wildair, both of which feature heavy natural wine lists. With foreword by U.S. comedian and wine lover Eric Wareheim, their new cookbook’s 85 recipes are organized into chapters: Always (mainstay, non-seasonal); Sometimes (hyper-seasonal, guest chef collaborations, international travel inspiration); Never (dishes on the menu once, not existent yet, all important); and Pantry.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 15

The Noma Guide to Fermentation — René Redzepi and David Zilber

Named the world’s best restaurant four times over, Noma is known for fermentation. It’s a fundamental part of menu creation and every dish includes a fermented element, be it miso, vinegar or black garlic. Now, chef René Redzepi, along with David Zilber, who runs the restaurant’s fermentation lab, share their techniques for creating Noma’s fermentation pantry, specifically geared toward home cooks. Through more than 500 step-by-step photographs and illustrations, readers can move past kimchi and sauerkraut to experiment with koji, kombuchas, shoyus, misos, lacto-ferments, vinegars, garums, and black fruits and vegetables, resulting in 100 original recipes.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 16

Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking — Isaac Toups and Jennifer V. Cole

Isaac Toups, of Toup’s Meatery and Toup’s South in New Orleans, has had family in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin since the 1700s. Now, the once Top Chef contestant takes us into his food world, where hunting and fishing yield shrimp and crawfish boils and meaty barbeques. From Cajun gumbos to more intricate, local recipes like hog’s head cheese, boudin, and backbone stew, he also takes us deep into Louisiana’s pantry, even offering a mixtape — with songs from Elvis and Hank Williams —  to accompany one of his boil recipes.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 23

Estela — Ignacio Mattos and Gabe Ulla

Estela, a see-and-be-seen spot (the Obamas famously had date night and Hillary Clinton celebrated her 70th birthday here) where the food stands up to the hype, now brings chef Ignacio Mattos — a four-time James Beard-nominee — to the masses. Featuring the restaurant’s simple, creative cuisine, and vegetable-forward dishes, as well as hearty mains, Estela allows cooks to bring some of its New York City chic home with them.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 23

Sweet Home Café Cookbook: A Celebration of African American Cooking — National Museum of African American History and Culture, with contributions by Jessica B. Harris, Albert Lukas, and Jerome Grant

The Sweet Home Café resides in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and this collection of African American contributions to American cuisine offers itself up to home cooks. With over 100 recipes inspired by foods from African American culture including Maryland crab cakes, Jamaican grilled jerk chicken, and banana pudding, chapter notes are written by prominent African American historian Jessica B. Harris.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 23

I Am a Filipino And This Is How We Cook — Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad

Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad of New York City’s Jeepney and Maharlika have the season’s second Filipino cookbook (see above, The New Filipino Kitchen), and want to impart the bounty and beauty of this underrepresented cuisine to both fans and curious cooks alike. Making up 4% of the U.S. population, it makes sense that Filipino cuisine is enjoying a moment, and this book highlights sour meat adobos and national dishes like kare-kare (oxtail stew) and kinilaw (seafood in coconut milk and ginger). Chinese-influenced noodle dishes, Arab-inflected curries; and dishes influenced by Spaniards, Mexicans, and Americans, as well as street food fritters, and meryenda, or sweets, round out the recipes.

Click here to purchase your own copy; October 30

Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America — Brian F. Haara

This book tracks the history of bourbon and bourbon law and uses it as the base for growth of the United States as a nation. Beginning in the frontier through the restless entrepreneurial boon of the spirit, bourbon is responsible for many areas of law, such as trademark, breach of contract, fraud, governmental regulation and taxation, and consumer protection. More than just the history of a spirit, Bourbon Justice tells a part of the larger American story.

Click here to purchase your own copy; November 1

The Food of Argentina: Asado, Empanadas, Dulce de Leche & More — Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Pas

With more than eighty recipes, The Food of Argentina is filled with beautiful photography of Argentina and its dishes, taking readers on a trip through Argentinean asados, European influenced pastas and gnocchi, Spanish influenced potato tortillas and stews, as well as sweets like dulce de leche. Recipes include traditional empanadas, choripan, croquettes, and the country’s famous maté, Argentina’s traditional drink.

Click here to purchase your own copy; November 6

Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse: Another Cookbook of Sorts — David McMillan, Frédéric Morin and Meredith Erickson

With this latest cookbook, Montreal restaurant Joe Beef’s wacky trio returns with this love letter to their city’s cuisine offering 150 new recipes from their restaurants. Similar to their first cookbook, ramblings on nearly everything abound: chapters devoted to the Québécois tradition of celebrating Christmas in July, the magic of public television, natural wine and gluten-free cooking, and advice on how children should behave at dinner. The book also includes a 16-page fold-out guide with recipes for cellar essentials for the end of the world (hence the book’s subtitle) like canned bread, pickled pork butt, and smoked apple cider vinegar. Recipes include dishes like Watercress Soup with Trout Quenelles, Artichokes Bravas, and seasonal variations on Pot-au-Feu, Smoked Meat Croquettes, Tater Tot Galette, and Squash Sticky Buns.

Click here to purchase your own copy; November 27