18 essential cooking books for home chefs

Whether you're a culinary novice or a veteran in the kitchen, these top-tier cooking books will surely satisfy your inner foodie. This list of the best cookbooks features popular restauranteurs like Asma Khan (Darjeeling Express) and David Chang (Momofuku) and beloved food bloggers like Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen alongside chefs who have stood the test of time like Julia Child and Irma S. Rombauer. Dig in, readers.

The best cookbooks to add to your kitchen

By Asma Khan
Asma Khan stars in Netflix's award-winning series Chef's Table. Award winning restaurant Darjeeling Express began life as a dinner party with friends; Indian food lovingly cooked from family recipes that go back generations. In this book, Asma reveals the secret to her success, telling her immigrant's story and how food brought her home.
By David Chang and Peter Meehan
Never before has there been a phenomenon like Momofuku. The dishes shared in this book are coveted by all who've dined or yearned to at any Momofuku location (yes, the pork buns are here). This is a must-read for anyone who truly enjoys food.

By Samin Nosrat
New York Times Bestseller and Winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for Best General Cookbook and multiple IACP Cookbook Awards. A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared "America's next great cooking teacher" by Alice Waters.

By Thug Kitchen
Thug Kitchen lives in the real world. In their first cookbook, they're throwing down more than 100 recipes for their bestloved meals, snacks and sides for beginning cooks to home chefs. (Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos? Pumpkin Chili? Grilled Peach Salsa? Believe that sh*t.) Plus they're going to arm you with all the info and techniques you need to shop on a budget and go and kick a bunch of ass on your own.

By Angela Liddon
Whether you are a vegan, "vegancurious," or you simply want to eat delicious food that just happens to be healthy, too, this cookbook is a musthave for anyone who longs to eat well, feel great, and simply glow!

By Joshua McFadden and Martha Holmberg
Winner of the James Beard Award for Best Book in Vegetable Focused Cooking. In his first book, McFadden channels both farmer and chef, highlighting the evolving attributes of vegetables throughout their growing seasons. His ingenuity is on display in 225 revelatory recipes that celebrate flavor at its peak.

By Sean Sherman and Beth Dooley
James Beard Award Winner for Best American Cookbook. Sherman shares his approach to creating boldly seasoned foods that are vibrant, healthful, at once elegant and easy. The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen is a rich education and a delectable introduction to modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories, with a vision and approach to food that travels well beyond those borders.

By Michael W. Twitty
2018 James Beard Foundation Book of the Year. A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

By Andrea Nguyen
Drawing on decades of experience, as well as the cooking hacks her mom adopted after fleeing from Vietnam to America, award-winning author Andrea Nguyen shows you how to use easy to find ingredients to create true Vietnamese flavors at home - fast.

By J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Winner of the James Beard Award for General Cooking and the IACP Cookbook of the Year Award. In hundreds of easy to make recipes with over 1,000 full color images, you will find out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and much more.

By Irma S. Rombauer
The Joy of Cooking - selected by The New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important and influential books of the twentieth century - has taught tens of millions of people to cook, helped feed and delight millions beyond that, answered countless kitchen and food questions, and averted many a cooking crisis.

By Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
In Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore the vibrant cuisine of their home city - with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. This stunning cookbook offers 120 recipes from their unique crosscultural perspective, from inventive vegetable dishes to sweet, rich desserts. With five bustling restaurants in London and two stellar cookbooks, Ottolenghi is one of the most respected chefs in the world; in Jerusalem, he and Tamimi have collaborated to produce their most personal cookbook yet.

By Deb Perelman
The New York Times bestselling, IACP award-winning cookbook from the celebrated food blogger and founder of From salads and slaws that make perfect side dishes (or a full meal) to savory tarts and galettes; from Mushroom Bourguignon to Chocolate Hazelnut Crepe Cake, Deb knows just the thing for a Tuesday night, or your most special occasion.

By Julia Child
This is the classic cookbook, in its entirety - all 524 recipes. Mastering the Art of French Cooking is for both seasoned cooks and beginners who love good food and long to reproduce at home the savory delights of the classic cuisine, from the historic Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring green peas. This beautiful book, with more than 100 instructive illustrations, is revolutionary in its approach.

By Mollie Katzen
The Moosewood Cookbook has inspired generations to cook simple, healthy, and seasonal food. A classic listed as one of the top ten bestselling cookbooks of all time by the New York Times, Mollie Katzen's seminal book will be a treasured addition to the cookbook libraries of fans young and old.

By Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying
Ivan Orkin has been hopelessly in love with the food of Japan since he was a teenager on Long Island. In The Gaijin Cookbook, he condenses his experiences living in Tokyo for decades and running two ramen shops that earned him international renown into approachable recipes for every occasion, including weeknights with picky kids, boozy weekends, and celebrations.

By Yotam Ottolenghi
In Ottolenghi Simple, powerhouse author and chef Yotam Ottolenghi presents 130 streamlined recipes packed with his signature Middle Eastern inspired flavors, all simple in at least (and often more than) one way: made in 30 minutes or less, with 10 or fewer ingredients, in a single pot, using pantry staples, or prepared ahead of time for brilliantly, deliciously simple meals.

By Amanda Hesser
Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award in General Cooking. All the best recipes from 150 years of distinguished food journalism. A volume to take its place in America's kitchens alongside Mastering the Art of French Cooking and How to Cook Everything.


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