There’s nothing like a beautiful cookbook to inspire home cooking ambitions. Flipping through the vivid pages, as kitchen wizards whip up artfully plated, edible magic across the spreads, provides plenty of inspiration.
This fall, publishers are releasing a plethora of titles, all aimed at helping you become a better home cook. Whether you’re craving a new take on Jew-ish fare, the enticements of the Cali-Baja border or dishes inspired by the philanthropic World Central Kitchen, here are five of our new favorites.
The World Central Kitchen Cookbook
Find inspiration for not just eating well but doing good in the pages of “The World Central Kitchen Cookbook” by celebrity chef, restaurateur and philanthropist José Andrés, set to be released Sept. 12.
Featuring a foreword by Stephen Colbert, the recipes and photos highlight both World Central Kitchen’s mission – feeding people amidst disaster – and the care taken to adapt recipes to disaster victims’ palates and provide comfort in the moments people need it most.
The cookbook is divided into chapters based on WCK values. The “Urgency” chapter, for example, includes foods that can be eaten on the go, while the “Hope” section offers soups and stews, such as Ukrainian Borsch, aimed at providing maximum comfort. And celebrity chefs from around the world have contributed recipes for everything from Ayesha Curry’s Chicken Parmesan to Tyler Florence and Guy Fieri’s Thanksgiving spread served to families, city officials and first responders a year after the Paradise fire.
Excerpt: “There’s no one right way to feed people in the aftermath of a disaster. It’s a way of listening and learning, of thinking and of acting in the world that we are sharing in a million and one ways with this book.” – José Andrés
Details: Proceeds from “The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope,” by José Andrés and World Central Kitchen with Sam Chapple-Sokol (Clarkson Potter, $35), support WCK emergency response efforts. Publishes Sept. 12.
Pistachio: Savory & Sweet Recipes Inspired by World Cuisines
The North Bay duo of James Beard award-winning food writer Georgeanne Brennan, who lives in Winters, and Napa’s Barbara Bryant have done a deep dive into the delicious world of pistachios in this new cookbook, which lands in bookstores on Sept. 26.
Brennan takes a title-first approach to recipe development, imagining an enticing recipe name first, then what the dish might look like and the ingredients to get there. Then she thinks about how a home cook — not a restaurant chef — can create the dish. The goal, she says, is to “make it manageable without giving up flavor.”
The results encompass the full range from sweet to savory in dishes that include pistachio-topped lime cheesecake and roasted delicata squash with pistachios and harissa yogurt.
Excerpt: “This is my third cookbook about nuts. You can imagine the jokes that family and friends continue to ‘crack’ about my passion for them, yet I continue. Why? I’m captivated by their history, taste, botanical beauty, endless culinary uses and portability. I love the idea that something so small can pack so much flavor, crunch, and nutrition.” – Barbara Bryant
Details: “Pistachio: Savory & Sweet Recipes Inspired by World Cuisines,” by Barbara Bryant and Georgeanne Brennan with photography by Robert Holems (Cameron + Company, $30), publishes Sept. 26. Meet Brennan and Holmes at a book party at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at Brennan’s L’Apero les Trois Aperitif Tasting Room and Lounge in Winters. Tickets ($115 or $185 per couple) include an aperitif, wine, lunch and a signed copy of the book; https://laperolestrois.com/events/.
I Could Nosh: Classic Jew-ish Recipes Revamped for Every Day
Bestselling author of the “Jew-ish” cookbook Jake Cohen returns with an encore volume on Sept. 12. His “I Could Nosh: Classic Jew-ish Recipes Revamped for Every Day” is infused with humor and wordplay – chapter titles include “Challah Back,” “Nosh Pit,” and “The Breakfast and the Furious,” for instance.
The New Yorker describes his sophomore book as a deeper exploration of his Jewish — or rather Jew-ish — identity. You’ll find Cohen’s challah recipe, for example, with variations for chall-zones, pletzel, monkey bread, babka and sufganiyot, alongside a whole chapter of flavored schmear varieties to pair with bagels.
Excerpt: “‘Are you hungry?’ is always one of the first questions any Jewish mother or grandmother will ask you, posed in a tone both equally loving, worrisome and aggressive. No matter if you are ravenous, disgustingly full, or anywhere in between, the only acceptable response for any Askhenazi Jew is, of course, ‘I could nosh.’” — Jake Cohen
Details: “I Could Nosh: Classic Jewish Recipes Revamped for Every Day” by Jake Cohen (Harvest, $35) lands Sept. 12.
Still We Rise: A Love Letter to the Southern Biscuit with Over 70 Sweet and Savory Recipes
Chef and owner of Atlanta’s Bomb Biscuit Co., Erika Council has penned an irresistible tribute to the biscuit in all its very best flaky, tender glory. She shares more than 70 recipes that revolve around biscuits, whether it’s spreads, sandwiches or a home biscuit mix.
Council’s grandmother was a soul food chef, teacher and activist in the Civil Rights movement, and she draws upon this legacy in her culinary practice today. The result is a cookbook that’s at once inspiring, educational and delicious with recipes that range from a Glori-Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich to Honey Roasted Peach Biscuits.
Excerpt: “In my research into biscuit books, none highlighted the contributions of Black bakers and chefs, yet my entire education on this subject has been guided by Black hands. Some by direct instruction, others by osmosis. This cookbook is a love letter to the African American women and men who have both inspired and taught me along the way. As my mother would say, ‘They’re still here, because I’m still here.’” — Erika Council
Details: “Still We Rise” by Erika Council (Clarkson Potter, $26) was released Aug. 8. Find it in local bookstores and online now.
Cali Baja Cuisine: Tijuana Tacos, Ensenada Aquachiles, San Diego Cali Burritos + More
San Diego food writer and restaurant critic Michael Gardiner has penned an ode to modern and traditional Baja California-meets-SoCal fare in “Cali Baja Cuisine,” which drops right after Labor Day.
Think Tijuana tacos, San Diego-style burritos and so much more. You’ll find recipes for golden beet pozole, smoked pulled lamb shoulder with seared tomatillo and crab with pickled asparagus in guajillo-pork broth. Plus a cultural primer on the porous boundaries between northern Mexico and Southern California.
Excerpt: “Cali-Baja cuisine is not, ultimately, just chef-driven restaurant food. It’s a cuisine built on the natural bounty of the region (on both sides of the border) and the flavors loved by the people who live there … It’s the multicultural and cross-cultural palate of all who live there, influenced by everywhere they may have come from.” — Michael Gardiner
Details: Meet Michael Gardiner, author of “Cali Baja Cuisine: Tijuana Tacos, Ensenada Aquachiles, San Diego Cali Burritos + More” (Rizzoli, $40), at 3 p.m. Sept. 24 at San Francisco’s Omnivore Books.
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