You might not find it surprising that the married publisher and editor of a magazine, a three-dimensional, hold-in-your-hand-and-flip-the-pages, magazine, also like to collect cookbooks. Don’t worry, we also know how to use the New York Times cooking app and Epicurious to find recipe ideas. We aren’t Luddites. But there’s something wonderful about browsing through a hardcover cookbook when planning a dinner party or just a special night in the kitchen.
We have the classics on our shelf: Julia Child’s The Way to Cook, The Silver Palate Cookbook and The New Basics Cookbook by Rosso & Lukins, Larousse Gastronomique, a collection of Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks and The All New Joy of Cooking. But I’d like to share a couple of our current favorites for this issue’s book review. Many cookbooks published in the last few years have taken the genre to a new level, including gorgeous food photography and plenty of background and historical text, in addition to recipes.
Sean Brock Heritage
We ordered this cookbook after being blown away by our dining experiences in his restaurants in Charleston, Husk and McGrady’s. Brock’s cookbook is an upper-level class in low-country cooking. The photos are stunning but his focus on the farmers and native ingredients is the real reason to have this on a shelf in the kitchen. Buy this to learn “How to Cook Grits Like a Southerner.”
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi Jerusalem
I’ve made more dishes out of this cookbook than any other in the last few years. I’ve been able to find many of the Middle Eastern ingredients at the small grocers around Lorain and W. 116th. If you believe a Mediterranean diet is the key to health and longevity, there are plenty of dishes to explore in this cookbook.
Anna Jones A Modern Way to Cook
This book interested me because its contents are arranged by how much time you have to prepare dinner. If you’re on a limited schedule, healthy and quick recipes are located in the front. If you have time to spend in the kitchen, peruse the back of the book. All of her meals are optimized for nutritional value and freshness of flavor.
Marcus Samuelsson The Red Rooster Cookbook
We haven’t visited Samuelsson’s restaurant yet, but we’ve recently enjoyed some incredible short ribs out of this cookbook and have other comfort food dinners already selected. The history of the restaurant and his passion for the culinary culture of Harlem infuses this cookbook. Truly every dish has a story and knowing it brings out even more of the flavors.
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