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Our bookshelf, like the rings under our eyes, grows heavier with every passing year. And with 2023 officially underway, we’re already looking ahead at the next 12 months of food literature to take up residency beside our essential cookbook collection.
As with the best cookbooks of 2022, publishers continue to diversify their releases by broadening the scope of who gets to tell their stories and share their kitchen traditions. With books centered around Sub-Saharan, Vietnamese, Filipino, Indian, and so many more backgrounds of cooking, we’re most excited to bring brand new (to us) spices, seasonings, and ingredients into our household this year.
Plus, 2023’s release schedule sees follow-up books from big-time voices in the food community such as Alison Roman, Aaron Franklin, and Maria Pasquale. Though no year is impervious to food trends or viral Tik Tok crazes like last year’s butter boards, we believe that the year we’ve all just entered to potentially be the most delicious yet and we can’t wait to look back this December on all the tips and tricks we’ve taken in the past year.
So, we’re giving everyone a sneak peek at the calendar year of cookbooks we’re most excited to crack open. Though we’re sure many more will crop up around springtime, there are already plenty coming that we can cook along with all the way through next New Year’s Eve.
Sweet Enough: a Baking Book by Alison Roman
Is Alison Roman’s public ready to forgive and forget her messy pandemic-era comments centered on fellow lifestyle authors Chrissy Tiegan and Marie Kondo (via The New Yorker)? We’re guessing if the Salted Lemon Pie inside the pages of "Sweet Enough" is anywhere near as yummy as her viral cookie, her public will welcome Roman back into the foodie-fold with open arms.
In her third cookbook, Roman continues her streak of parred-down, no-nonsense cooking gilded with chic, stylish flair in a volume entirely dedicated to the world of dessert. Just in time to reintroduce herself to bookshelves ahead of her upcoming CNN food series, and once again take a run for the throne of millennial recipe queen.
Ever-Green Vietnamese by Andrea Nguyen
Keep your 2023 health goals without even noticing it by picking up Andrea Nguyen’s slyly plant-based cookbook, "Ever-Green: Super Fresh Recipes Starring Plants from Land and Sea." Leaning on fresh ingredients and approaches from her Vietnamese upbringing, Nguyen paints realistic snacks and meals the average home cook can recreate at home without anxiety. Already a veteran cookbook author of a half dozen cookbooks, and a James Beard Award recipient (for writing on a single subject) her track record as one of America’s leading Vietnamese cooking voices has Nguyen’s latest primed for even more accolades.
Flavorful recipes like Smokey-Tofu Nori Wontons and Oven-Fried Crispy Shitake Imperial Rolls are captured with crisp and naturalistic photography by Aubrie Pick. We’re already prepared to fill our shopping cart with Vietnamese herbs, spices, noodles, and more for when Ngyuen’s book premieres this spring.
Indian Flavor Every Day by Maya Kaimal
Every year we try to widen our skillset in the kitchen and there’s no more enjoyable way to keep our low-key resolution by diving head-first into a simple, yet obscure (to us) method or ethnicity of cooking. This year we’re planning on exploring the warm pages of Maya Kaimal’s "Indian Flavor Every Day" to keep our kitchen curiosity alive.
Best known perhaps for her convenient line of Indian soups, sauces, and condiments sold under Maya Kaimal’s own name, her food cookbook looks to expand the recipe blog alive on the site into a full-fledged cookbook.
We hope our spice cabinet can handle the expansive flavors Kaimal includes in her third foray into cookbook authorship with recipes like Black Pepper Coconut Masala, Potato Bonda Burgers, and Golden Noodles with Tarka Crunch.
Eating from our Roots by Maya Feller
The second cookbook from a renowned dietitian and certified nurse, Maya Feller, looks like a stunning array of color and culture with recipes ranging from a Lebanese-inspired mezze spread to cajun gumbo. Far from appropriation, Feller seems to understand the difference between appreciating and utilizing techniques and ingredients from around the globe without stumbling into sticky field of coopting.
In "Eating from our Roots," Feller introduces her ethos of clean cooking with sneakily satisfying recipes leaning into the most crave-able dishes from around the world. We can’t think of a better, more realistic book to help us keep our 2023 nutrition goals in check, all while giving us an excuse to shop at our favorite international markets and load up on spices and seasonings in our cabinets and cupboards desperately need.
BAO by Erchen Chang and Shing Tat Sung
We all fell in love with Pixar’s short film "Bao" a few years back, but never in a million years did we think we’d attempt to assemble the pillowy morsel in our own kitchen.
That is until we stumbled on Erchen Chang and Shing Tat Sung’s release for their upcoming oeuvre to the steamed bun, "BAO." Prior to her career as the artistic director at BAO restaurants, Chang cut her teeth within the art world, synthesizing her love for food with her unique eye for high-brow quirk. Her projects include a horror-movie-themed dinner and a life-size turkey, cast in bronze, and filled with minced-meat pies (via Kinfolk). Simultaneously a biography of the five BAO restaurants spanning the globe and a crash course in bao assembly, Chang and Sung’s volume also received the coveted Phaidon stamp of approval, a minimalist design, and photos that will make you salivate all over the book’s glossy pages.
Ikoyi by Jeremy Chan
The mind behind London’s Ikoyi, a restaurant revolving "around British seasonality" (according to their own website) brings its "spice-based cuisine" across the pond with their first cookbook, sharing the name of their acclaimed hot spot.
In "Ikoyi," chef Jeremy Chan takes readers through a chapter-by-chapter analog of his tasting menu focussed mainly on sub-Saharan seasoning. Somewhat of a high-end cookbook, "Ikoyi" is set to sell for nearly double the retail price of the average hardcover cookbook at nearly $65. With 80 recipes populating this Phaidon release, Chan’s book is nothing short of epic, and doubles as a stunning (and hefty) coffee table flipper. Not released until mid-April, we already can’t wait to taste the dishes we’ve been drooling over via Instagram on our own (chipped) plates.
Mayumu by Abi Balingit
As American diners continue to explore Filipino food and restaurants, their familiarity with the country’s dessert culture remains fairly unfamiliar, but with Abi Balingit’s eye-catching sweet-centered cookbook, "Mayumu," their eyes (and taste buds) are about to experience a sugar rush of new cravings.
A book born from pandemic-era home cooking, Balingit dreamed up 75 recipes hybridizing American baking techniques with Filipino flavor palettes, including Ube Macapuno Molten Lava Cakes, Melon Chicharron Crumble, and (eek) Halo-Halo Baked Alaska. Uninhibited and as colorful as a carnival ride, "Mayumu" doubles as an autobiographical coming-of-age story following the future author’s upbringing to her adulthood of self-discovering via the kitchen, making it one of the rare cookbooks that features prose as alluring as its recipes.
Caught Snackin’ by Caught Snackin’
One of the most relatable and approachable cookbooks of 2023 has to be "Caught Snackin’" — a project born from a Tik Tok handle of the same name. With over 100 recipes that can be assembled in under 30 minutes, "Caught Snackin’" is the eye-popping, stoner companion Gen-Z didn’t know it needed.
As the phenomenon of viral, Tik Tok recipes have had a few years to hammer out a rhythm and even skyrocket a handful of accounts into notoriety, "Caught Snackin’" is certainly not the first volume we’ll be seeing with roots on the social media app, but it’s the first we’ve been actually excited to flip through. Not for the faint of heart, this indulgent book pairs well with bachelor parties, sleep-overs, and girls’ trips; recipes like Dishwasher Gummy Bear Vodka and Giant Pan Cookie fill 250 pages of vibrantly shot, guilty-pleasure cooking.
Lune by Katie Reid
"Lune," another cookbook representing an afar brick and mortar we’re only able to reach via an Instagram follow, bestows chef Katie Reid’s croissant expertise to enthusiastic (and ambitious) home bakers. After a decade in the croissant business, Reid fills over 250 pages with her compendium of knowledge surrounding one of the world’s most beloved baked goods.
Though we sentimentally agree with the book’s subtitle "croissants all day, all night," we could’ve never envisioned Reid’s crafty way of centering croissants during every dining occasion from morning tea to dinner time. Yes, we’re a little skeptical of our own folding, kneading, and laminating skills, but if anyone can endow us with the skillset and mindset to accomplish a bakery-worthy croissant, it’s Katie Reid and her mini-Australian empire.
The Gourmand’s Egg. A Collection of Stories & Recipes by The Gourmand
If there’s a food item we bet we consume nearly every day of the year (or more), it’s the ever-versatile egg. Taschen saw the potential in dedicating a tome (the book fills 288 pages) to the dual-colored wonders known as eggs and delivers an off-kilter cookbook for devotees of the little shelled gem.
Both a traditional cookbook compiled of recipes, "The Gourmand’s Egg. A Collection of Stories & Recipes" also dives into the cultural relevance, and history behind the oval wonder while blessing our eyes with the most eclectic visual companions we’ve ever seen inside the pages of a cookbook. Borrowing egg-centric works from Frida Kahlo, Man Ray, and more, The Gourmand sets out to be a singular journey through the deceptively simple egg.
Vietnam: Morning to Midnight by Jerry Mai
Vietnamese food exists in so many other realms outside of the bowl of pho we’re all familiar with, and thanks to Jerry Mai’s writing and recipes, we know the intricacies within the universe go far beyond what sits in between the bread of a banh mi sandwich.
In the forthcoming "Vietnam: Morning to Midnight," Mai delivers a sophomore follow-up to her 2019 release, "Street Food Vietnam." But this time around, she spotlights her background earned from working in some of Melbourne’s finest (and most busy) Asian restaurants such as Longrain, Seamstress, Gingerboy, and her very own, Pho-Nom. We’re most excited to stretch beyond our comfort zones and cook Mai’s seafood-centered dishes, such as the book’s crab cover model.
First, Cream the Butter and Sugar by Emelia Jackson
With the cutely titled "First, Cream the Butter and the Sugar," Master Chef Australia winner Emelia Jackson makes her debut as a cookbook author every teaspoon as impressive as her run on the hit television show. But unlike so many television cooks who break through, Jackson knows better than to lead with a book cover adorned with her face.
"First, Cream the Butter and the Sugar" can stand in as a go-to baking bible with recipes for essential sweets like chocolate chip cookies, but also includes hard-level projects like choux pastries fit for Marie Antoinette. We know (and feel) how intensely stressful mounting new baking projects can be, but with Jackson as our guide, we hope to discover how gratifying they are too.
Portland Cocktails by Nicole Schaefer
Cold cities often contain our favorite drinking culture; just like New York City, Portlanders possess strongly held opinions on how they like their hard liquor. "Portland Cocktails" takes the reader on a page-by-page tour of the rainy PNW city known for quirk and indie rock. But unlike "Portlandia," "Portland Cocktails" introduces its reader to a more buttoned-up version of the laid-back city.
Author and Missiologist CEO Nicole Schaefer visits Portland’s buzziest bars and introduces her reader to the city’s bartenders and mixed drinks that keep Portland ticking after hours. Like Schaefer’s popular YouTube channel, Portland Cocktails takes a refreshingly unserious approach to a corner of the service industry that all too often relies on man-splaining to relay a message.
Yogurt and Whey by Homa Dashtaki
Homa Dashtaki, Founder of The White Moustache Yogurt Company, moves from beyond the yogurt jar and onto bookshelves with "Yogurt and Whey: Recipes from an Iranian Immigrant Life," her first venture into cookbooks. Like many 2023 cookbooks we’ve been able to sneak a peak at, "Yogurt and Whey" is a breezily depicted tether to its author’s edible biography.
Somehow Dashtaki stretches her expertise and passion for the cultured milk product into nearly 300 pages of recipes detailing the ancient art of yogurt making and yogurt-centric recipes such as rum cocktails and lemon meringue pie. Aesthetically a jump forward from her cutesy yogurt brand, here Dashtaki’s visions of Iranian-American life breathe with hand-drawn illustrations and whimsical photographs.
Franklin Smoke by Aaron Franklin
Aaron Franklin, pitmaster and owner of Austin’s impossibly popular Franklin BBQ, returns to the cookbook counter with "Franklin Smoke," his meditation on wood-fired foods. Known for its plates of perfectly cooked meats, Franklin BBQ also remains infamous for the unbelievably long lines it sees daily of hungry meat lovers.
While Franklin’s previous publication "Franklin Barbecue" taught his readers how to recreate his restaurant’s popular plates, "Franklin Smoke" centers on maximizing the potential of an aspiring pitmaster’s backyard with recipes far beyond Franklin’s work with red meat. Smoked trout, whole chicken, and even vegetables line the pages of Franklin’s latest, sure-to-be hit book and we can’t wait to read all the tips and tricks from one of America’s wisest pitmasters.
Love is a Pink Cake by Claire Ptak
Well, Claire Ptak’s "Love is a Pink Cake" certainly takes the cake (pun wholeheartedly intended) for cookbook titles of the year. In her romantic ode to event-centric cakes, the London-based baker brings her tips and techniques from Violet Bakery (yes, the same Violet Bakery that created Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake) to mixing bowls and measuring cups in your very own home kitchen.
Dazzlingly shot, the book captures Ptak’s luxurious cakes in over 100 stunning photos; with "Love is a Pink Cake" she’s sure to convert dozens of pie enthusiasts to team cake in no time. We’re personally chomping at the bit to sift our way through recreating her strawberry-coconut meringue cake and her cream angel food cake — our toes are already curling.
The New French Wine by Jon Bonn é
Is it a book or a bible? We’re not entirely sure but Jon Bonné’s returns to cookbook shelves with a double volume detailing over 400 modern French wine producers in "The New French Wine."
With this expansive 800-plus page stunner, we’re reintroduced to French wine under the new gaze including the natural wine movement. Though the subject itself can be impenetrable, Bonné’s style understands his audiences’ precautions on entering the wine world. Beautiful enough to keep on your dining table, and informative enough to live by the bedside, we’re bobbing our leg in anticipation for Bonne’s comprehensive follow-up to his slight (but mighty) "The New Wine Rules." Luckily enough we have plenty of French wine to explore in the meantime.
Eternal City by Maria Pasquale
Though "White Lotus" chose to focus on the shores of Sicily, we can’t help to be more drawn to the rustic architecture and carbonara pasta of Rome. Centered on everyday trattorias the city dwellers depend on as opposed to fine dining hot spots awarded Michelin stars, "Eternal City" glimpses into the pasta and people that make Rome tick.
Romantic without veering into whimsical, "Eternal City," both understands its reader’s preconceived notions of the Italian city and expands them into a more personalized glimpse into the lively hub. With "Eternal City," author Maria Pasquale marks her third venture into cookbook authorship, and while her previous two volumes ("How to be Italian" and "I Heart Rome") whetted our appetite, "Eternal City" is the main course of her accomplishments thus far.
Win Son Presents A Taiwanese American Cookbook by Josh Ku
If you’re like us, you’ve been coveting and quietly shopping Win Son’s online dinner menu since their bakery offshoot opened in 2019. The Brooklyn-based restaurant has assembled one of the most well-rounded dinner menus in America. From its opening cocktails through its extensive sharable plates and its impressive and varied wine list, Win Son seems like one of those rarities where vibe and substance align.
Finally, Josh Ku and Trigg Brown compile a brightly lit display of recipes from the Brooklyn staple in the restaurant’s first (but surely not last) cookbook. With a mouthful of a title, "Win Son Presents a Taiwanese American Cookbook," we’re most looking to fill our own mouth with the team’s larb wontons and beef noodle soup.