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The sandy beach reads are stashed in your donate pile, and trashy magazines just aren’t cutting it anymore. To help you cope with the end of summer, we’ve rounded up the best 36 books coming out this fall. See what chefs are cooking when they’re not working the line, take a virtual tour of Asia and get reacquainted with the American South. All you want to do is curl up with a good book anyway, so it may as well be something useful—like a new baking bible or Ina Garten’s nearly perfect ode to her husband, Jeffrey.
IF (RESTAURANT) WALLS COULD TALK
Butter & Scotch, by Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth (Abrams, September 13, $30)
It’s always a party at this Brooklyn malt shop-meets-cocktail bar, where “big-ass” all-butter biscuits flow at brunch and sassily named cocktails come out at night. Learn to make its genius tequila king cake and cocktail-inspired caramel corns, then dive into the “Late Night” chapter with its whole section devoted to Jell-O shots.
Poole’s, by Ashley Christensen (Ten Speed Press, September 20, $35)
Christensen’s Southern restaurant empire runs seven deep, but at each additional restaurant, she doesn’t let up on her commitment to local ingredients and Raleigh, North Carolina, appreciation. Her recipes, like the lively Poole’s Diner itself, exude comfort and warmth. Which you’ll find in the versatile chow chow, cornmeal-fried okra and dark chocolate pecan pie.
Cúrate, by Katie Button (Flatiron Books, October 11, $35)
Both her Asheville, North Carolina, restaurant and this eponymous book are the result of Button’s time spent at the famous El Bulli in Spain combined with her Southern heritage. Spanish-inspired dishes like pork spareribs in adobo and meat-filled pasta rolls with béchamel and Manchego prove that the loud praise surrounding this James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee is well deserved.
Photos: Courtesy of Flatiron Books/Evan Sung
Soframiz, by Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick (Ten Speed Press, October 11, $35)
Every meal is a delight at Sofra, the ever-popular café in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Master mezes like Persian-style carrots and whipped feta, then treat yourself to nutty tahini brioche. Having the recipe for the café’s best-selling sesame cashew bars is like being presented with a prize trophy: They’ll be the best thing you make all year.
The Adventures of Fat Rice, by Abraham Conlon, Adrienne Lo and Hugh Amano (Ten Speed Press, October 25, $35)
Chances are you’re unfamiliar with Macanese cuisine, from the small peninsula of Macau near Hong Kong. But spend an evening with this comic book-cookbook hybrid, and you’ll be hooked on the fare that makes the Chicago restaurant of the same name so beloved. You’ll catch Portuguese influences (Macau was once a colony) in the po kok gai curry; braised pork; and dense, potato-based dessert batatada.
Matcha: The Cookbook, by Gretha Scholtz (teNeues, September 15, $40)
Trace this of-the-moment ingredient back through its ancient history, then use it in verdant energy bars, pesto and truffles. Even hollandaise and mayo are matcha-fied, ready to take your brunch to superfood status. The book’s stunning photography, despite the hyper-focused subject matter, is anything but one-note.
The Short Stack Cookbook, by Nick Fauchald and Kaitlyn Goalen (Abrams, October 18, $40)
This compilation is a love letter to the building blocks of any recipe: the ingredients themselves. Organized by each one (bacon, kale, winter squash, etc.), the book makes finding dinner inspiration a breeze. Each contributing author’s passion for the recipes rings loud and clear, be it chocolate chicory cake that shows the versatility of mayonnaise or bacon jam-crusted sticky ribs that are just one more reason to love the smoky meat.
The Spice Companion, by Lior Lev Sercarz (Clarkson Potter, November 1, $40)
Sercarz founded popular New York spice shop La Boîte 10 years ago and is now showing his strength in an A-to-Z guide to the vast world of spices. Learn more about ones you already use, but also get to know new flavors like fragrant epazote and tongue-numbing sansho, which when mixed with confectioners’ sugar, makes for a surprising dusting on chocolate chip cookies.
Bread Illustrated, by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen, September 6, $30)
You’ll be ready to start your own bakery after poring through the latest from the authoritative cooking show, which makes seemingly daunting breads seem more than doable. There are 1,000 helpful photos to guide you through all the kneading, braiding and rolling you’ll do as you make your way through recipes like classic baguettes, fluffy dinner rolls and sweet almond ring coffee cake.
Better Baking, by Genevieve Ko (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 27, $30)
What Ko’s recipes lack in butter and granulated sugar, they more than compensate for with innovative and wholesome ingredients. She subs tahini for butter and uses almond flour in place of all-purpose, like in orange marmalade thumbprint cookies, and proves that roasted beets are the secret to an all-natural red velvet roulade.
How to Bake Everything, by Mark Bittman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 4, $35)
If you’re one of the many who attributes your cooking chops to Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, here are another 2,000 recipes to add to your arsenal. This book’s an indispensable tool for aspiring bakers, with alt flour guides, cake matrices and 15 pages devoted entirely to pancakes.
Breaking Breads, by Uri Scheft (Artisan, October 18, $35)
To sample Scheft’s chocolate babka is at once a blessing and a curse: It’ll become an obsession. But thanks to this book, his first, you can make it at home—with the help of step-by-step photograph instructions that ensure babka success. There are also savory doughs like shakshuka focaccia and kalamata brioche “snail” rolls, plus hummus and salads to make a meal of your baking adventures.
Excerpted from Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Con Poulos
Classic German Baking, by Luisa Weiss (Ten Speed Press, October 18, $35)
Let this Berlin baker introduce you to the glorious world of German baked goods. English subheadings to the 100 German-titled recipes mean you’ll also get a language lesson, learning that gedeckter apfelkuchen is nothing but classic apple-filled cake brushed with lemon glaze, and mohnhörnchen are poppy-seed crescent rolls.
Dorie’s Cookies, by Dorie Greenspan (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 25, $35)
When you’ve written 12 cookbooks, won four James Beard Awards and spend your days traveling between New York and Paris, you pick up a few cookie recipes along the way. No subgenre goes untapped in this ultimate guide, with its 170 bars, biscotti, pizzelles and pufflettes that range from familiar (gingersnaps) to intriguing (matzo morsels).
Victuals, by Ronni Lundy (Clarkson Potter, August 30, $32.50)
Appalachian food is about to experience its heyday, and with Lundy’s lush stories about the region’s culinary narrative, you’ll come to crave the corn, braising greens and shuck beans that come with it. The desserts are particularly alluring, like gingerbread that uses black walnuts and the “sorghum sea foam” frosting on top of chocolate-blackberry jam layer cake.
Deep Run Roots, by Vivian Howard (Little, Brown and Company, October 4, $40)
The Southern chef and A Chef’s Life star gives you a reason to love eastern North Carolina. More than 200 reasons, in fact, including fried yams with five-spice maple bacon candy and cucumber crab dip. Each recipe shows just how tuned in Howard is to Southern cuisine traditions, and her stories will leave you homesick—wherever you’re from.
My Two Souths, by Asha Gomez (Running Press, October 11, $35)
Southern India meets South of the Mason-Dixon Line for Atlanta chef Gomez. The two cuisines meet harmoniously in dishes like fried chicken with cardamom rice waffles and Southern-style pork vindaloo.
All Under Heaven, by Carolyn Phillips (Ten Speed Press, August 30, $40)
There’s no denying Phillips has done her research, delving into 35 Chinese cuisines in admirable depth. Illustrated instructions step in right where you need them, like a how-to for making lotus-leaf packets for spicy rice crumb pork or setting up a smoker for Beijing-style smoked chicken.
China: The Cookbook, by Kei Lum Chan and Diora Fong Chan (Phaidon Press, September 19, $50)
You could try a new recipe every day for a year and still not be all the way through this comprehensive guide to Chinese cuisine. Each dish denotes the region from which it hails, like chicken in black bean sauce from the Shunde District and Yangzhou wok-fried rice.
Land of Fish and Rice, by Fuchsia Dunlop (W. W. Norton & Company, October 18, $35)
Long considered an authority on Chinese cuisine, Dunlop focuses on Jiangnan food, which she spent 10 years studying, in her latest. This particular region is known for its balanced, health-oriented dishes, evident in exquisite vegetable recipes like slivered radish buns and spicy Chinese cabbage.
Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking, by Masaharu Morimoto (Ecco, November 8, $45)
Morimoto might be best known for his relentless victories on Iron Chef, but, here, he shows just how simple (and easygoing) authentic Japanese cuisine can be. He walks you through classics like miso soup and chicken yakitori, but he’s not afraid to have some fun—like by adding potato chips to furikake.
IN GOOD HEALTH
A Modern Way to Cook, by Anna Jones (Ten Speed Press, August 30, $35)
Rather than separate recipes by course, Jones breaks the chapters into prep time. That way, you know right where to go for need-dinner-now crispy cauliflower rice and where to flip for a more leisurely project like butternut-cannellini gratin. While the dishes are all vegetarian, it’s comforting to know that “modern” cooking can still include desserts like cookie dough bars and panna cotta.
Oh She Glows Every Day, by Angela Liddon (Avery, September 6, $27)
Liddon’s first cookbook was a New York Times best seller, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The popular vegan blogger is back with a fresh arsenal of vibrant, plant-based recipes that’ll satisfy even the most devout pork chop fan. Build a pantry of staples like cashew-based cheese sauce and no-cook caramel sauce, then use them for comforting stovetop mac ‘n’ cheese and a creamy chocolate-peanut butter tart.
Reprinted with permission from Soframiz by Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2016 Kristin Teig
Everything I Want to Eat, by Jessica Koslow (Abrams, October 4, $40)
If sorrel pesto rice bowls and brioche toast with jam are what fuel the chef of the wildly popular Sqirl in L.A., we’ll have what she’s having. The breezy “have it your way” California attitude has you cooking healthy without trying too hard, as Koslow makes avocado toast and nondairy milk feel natural rather than like a put-on act of for-Instagram-only breakfast.
V Street, by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby (William Morrow Cookbooks, October 4, $28)
Philadelphia has a good thing going for it in Landau and Jacoby’s popular Vedge and V Street, two restaurants that put innovative vegan cooking in the spotlight. The pair’s second cookbook pulls flavors from around the globe for street food-style dishes, like Peruvian fries and Filipino halo-halo with sweet potato ice cream.
Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables!, by Peter Meehan (Clarkson Potter, October 18, $35)
Any book with an exclamation point in its title promises to be a good time, and the third book from the Lucky Peach editors doesn’t disappoint. They switch gears after their previous meat-centric cookbook with 100-plus recipes that show vegetables are anything but boring, like tempura green beans with honey mustard and bright, charred carrots.
CHEFS OFF THE LINE
Small Victories, by Julia Turshen (Chronicle Books, September 6, $35)
After coauthoring books for the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Mario Batali and Dana Cowin, Turshen has more than enough cred to stand alone. She’s all about finding joy in the little things, like a kid-approved recipe for roasted salmon with maple and soy. Each recipe cites its own “small victory,” which gives the book a delightful narrative and you a deep vault of cooking tricks.
Small Victories by Julia Turshen, photographs by Gentl + Hyers (Chronicle Books, 2016)
Taste & Technique, by Naomi Pomeroy (Ten Speed Press, September 13, $40)
You have to learn to walk before you can run, and the same goes for cooking. Pomeroy shows you how to master basic chef skills like sauces and stocks, so you can move on to master clear-as-can-be consommé. The Portland chef also does the impossible, making homemade puff pastry approachable—which you can use to make almond-filled pastry and Armagnac-poached prunes.
Alton Brown: EveryDayCook, by Alton Brown (Ballantine Books, September 27, $35)
He’s best known for his quirky food science—which he’s taking on tour this fall—but Brown’s first book in five years is focused on his go-to recipes, like the buttermilk lassi that fuels his mornings or the Bad Day Bitter Martini after a long day. Fun fact: All of the book’s photos were shot on an iPhone.
Dinner at the Long Table, by Andrew Tarlow and Anna Dunn (Ten Speed Press, September 27, $40)
With two handfuls’ worth of successful, quality Brooklyn restaurants like Diner and Reynard, it’s clear that Tarlow knows a good menu when he sees one. His book offers 17 seasonally focused menus for easy entertaining no matter the occasion, with recipes like roasted leg of lamb and “beets roasted until the end of time.”
The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook, by Natalie Eve Garrett (powerHouse Books, October 11, $30)
This unique collection of food-related stories and recipes from 76 artists is culinary arts at its most literal meaning, inspired by a previous version published in 1961. You’ll hear how James Franco feels about PB&J, score a black bean recipe from Ruth Reichl and read a heart-wrenching brief from Joyce Carol Oates on grief and scrambled eggs.
Cooking for Jeffrey, by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, October 25, $35)
Just try not to smile as you cook from the latest Barefoot Contessa book, which is dedicated to Garten’s adorable husband and “biggest fan.” It’s filled with everyday “Jeffrey-tested” recipes that trace the couple’s history, like frozen hot chocolate that nods to a college-era date at Serendipity 3. Because grilled lamb chops and apple pie bars just might be the secret to 48 happy years of marriage.
Mozza at Home, by Nancy Silverton (Knopf, October 25, $35)
The fact that Frito pie and braised oxtails successfully coexist within the same book jacket is a testament to Silverton’s credibility and wide range of skills. The award-winning chef’s ninth book shares simple and delicious ways to feed a crowd, inspired by her home in Umbria, Italy. Flip to the dessert section and try your hand at a four-layer salted caramel tart or olive oil cake.
Illustration: Pizza Fingers
DOWN THE HATCH
A Proper Drink, by Robert Simonson (Ten Speed Press, September 20, $27)
Simonson adds to his already impressive collection of books (and an app) with this explainer of the current booming craft cocktail scene, which starts with T.G.I. Friday’s and ends with current hubs like Pegu Club and Smuggler’s Cove. Though more of a history book than a cookbook, the ever-knowledgeable drinks writer walks you through 40 modern and classic cocktails.
Amaro, by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press, October 11, $26)
If you think you’re not a fan of the bittersweet Italian liqueur, that’s probably because you haven’t had it blended with vanilla ice cream, blood orange gelato and bourbon in a Boulevardier milkshake. Parsons more than delivers on sweet ways to enjoy the spirit, explains the vast amari family tree and gives tips for how to make your own variety for every season.
Regarding Cocktails, by Sasha Petraske (Phaidon Press, October 31, $30)
There’s no better way to say it than the New York Times’ Robert Simonson did when he dubbed the late Petraske as the man who “restored luster to cocktail culture.” His New York speakeasy-style Milk & Honey ignited a cascade of similarly modeled bars, and this book, with 85 of his recipes plus thoughts and advice, ensures that his legacy will live on.