Some years are better than others for remarkable cookbooks and 2021 has been a standout. Gorgeous debuts for everyday cooking, food travels, mouth-watering baking books—they’ve all crossed our desks over the course of the year and we picked the 20 titles we think are the crème de la crème.
David Chang was used to cooking in a professional kitchen, with a plethora of ingredients on hand and time to sweat the details. Then he started a family and realized that cooking in a home kitchen and getting a meal on the table before the kids went full werewolf hangry was going to require a different approach. Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave), written with food writer Priya Krishna, teaches readers how to have confidence in the kitchen and provides some basic foundations—templates, per the book—that can be made into numerous dishes. This is our top cookbook of the year because it’s delightful to read, embraces the home cook where they are, and leans into quick meals with as little mess as possible.
This is the book internet chef sensation Joshua Weissman’s 10 million fans (and counting) had been waiting for, and he does not disappoint. Weissman is truly one-of-a-kind—he’s hilarious, irreverent, and absolutely devoted to making fantastic food, all of it from scratch. His debut cookbook brings together 100 recipes with the Weissman style and flair that we can’t get enough of. Joshua Weissman: The Unapologetic Cookbook makes home cooks want to up their game, make their own staples instead of buying them, and most of all cook like you love to eat.
Black Food is more than the sum of its recipes—which include both classics and innovative new dishes from a variety of Black chefs—it is a reflection on the African Diaspora as seen through the lens of food. Recipes, original essays and artwork, even a music playlist from Terry, all come together in an exciting new book that belongs on a coffee table as much as it does on a kitchen counter. But just to get your mouth watering, here are a few recipe favorites from Black Food: Rum Raisin Plantains Foster by Lazarus Lynch and Jollof Rice with Beans by JJ Johnson.
Gastro Obscura is a food lovers dreamscape. Travel the globe to discover dishes and ingredients like no other; explore the what, where, and how of food in the past and present; and discover a myriad of fascinating people and places that are part of the vast food ecosystem—from dabbawalas in Mumbai who take homemade lunches to thousands of workers every day via bicycle or on foot, to a secret bar located within a cave system 26 feet below a hotel in Nottingham, England. A treat for the senses, Gastro Obscura is a unique and wonderful adventure into all things culinary.
In her first cookbook, Molinaro brings her warm, authentic voice and delicious recipes that have made her an incredibly popularfood blogger and TikTok sensation. In The Korean Vegan, Molinaro invites readers into her family with stories and recipes from her childhood as well as her own vegan adaptations of traditional dishes. Eye-catching photographs are included throughout, adding yet another reason to linger over the pages of The Korean Vegan.