The Best New Cookbooks for Spring 2018
Spring cleaning shouldn't just involve finally taking down your holiday decorations (guilty) and changing your smoke detector batteries (important!). Use it as an opportunity to breathe new life into your bookshelves, by way of these new cookbook releases that include everything from a cake companion to a Japanese food manifesto.
Von Diaz (February 26, $28)
In a hypothetical venn diagram of Puerto Rican and American South cuisines, Diaz fills the overlap with adobo-marinated fried chicken and coconut milk grits. The book is at once a memoir, an ode to the inspiring women in her family and a resource for highly original recipes.
Nadia Zerouali & Merijn Tol (March 6, $35)
It will feel impossible to make just one recipe from this book, and that's somewhat the point. The authors describe mezze culture beautifully as "a way of life" in this indispensable recipe source for anyone who loves Middle Eastern cuisine which begs to be brought to life as a market-inspired feast. Besides, if you don't have to make a choice between stuffed grape leaves, pomegranate-studded freekeh salad and red lentil kibbeh, then by all means, don't.
Andrea Fazzari (March 13, $40)
Ask a group of 10 people which food destination they'd most like to visit, and I'll bet a nickel that at least one says Tokyo. You'll learn about 31 young chefs who are shaping the future of the city's cuisine, complete with recipes and captivating interviews. There's also a Tokyo restaurant guide, for when you do book that trip.
Paula Forbes (March 20, $30)
Austin has more than tacos and winning brisket. Forbes's extensive Texas restaurant experience comes through here as she brings in recipes from quintessential local haunts—including plenty of barbecue and Tex Mex staples.
Nancy Singleton Hachisu (April 6, $50)
Hachisu has long been a reliable source on all things Japanese cuisine, and her latest cookbook is by far her most show stopping. The highly comprehensive book walks you through making ramen (homemade noodles included), restorative soups, pickled vegetables and over 400 other dishes.
Anissa Helou (May 29, $60)
The award-winning chef takes you on a journey through the diverse dishes that you might not know fall under the umbrella of Islamic cuisine, like bing—a type of scallion pancake that originated with Chinese Muslims before being incorporated into a broader range of restaurants.
CHEFS OFF THE LINE
Alon Shaya (March 13, $35)
If you don't happen to live in New Orleans—or Denver, where he's is opening a new restaurant—this book will help fill the Shaya-shaped hole in your life. The Israeli-born chef takes you on along as he traces his life thus far, from the borekas of his childhood to the buttermilk biscuits of his new home. Fair warning that once you go tahini mayo, you never go back.
Fredrik Berselius (May 29, $60)
Each year brings a new cheffy take that doubles as picture book and kitchen guidance, and this one comes from the famed Nordic chef in honor of his two-Michelin-star Brooklyn restaurant. His poetic musings, like one about wandering through a forest in search of a specific type of white birch, come in a close second place to the stunning food photography.
Joe Warwick, Joshua David Stein, Natascha Mirosch & Evelyn Chen (April 4, $34)
If you want to know where Jessica Koslow and Val Cantu eat when they're not on the line, here you go. This freshly updated version of the unparalleled reference guide includes 4,500 restaurant recommendations from 650 noteworthy chefs from around the world, with new U.S. locations added like Detroit, San Antonio and Indianapolis. But don't be overwhelmed by the scope: There will also be an app launching, because a 1,000-plus page brick is not the easiest pocket companion.
Brooks Headley (June 6, $30)
Back before every fine dining chef started going casual, Headley took a leap from the white-tableclothed Del Posto pedestal and landed in this nook of a New York restaurant. His often "accidentally vegan" food made headlines and essentially never left—with good cause, as you'll see for yourself the first time you make his eponymous burger and burnt broccoli salad.
A NEW LEAF
Nira Kehar (March 13, $35)
You might be new to Ayurvedic cuisine, but Kehar, who previously ran a restaurant in New Delhi, is not. She's spent her life studying the ancient, health-forward principles, and is here to be your guide through talk of doshas and elements with a modern—and highly approachable—take on it all.
Photo: Courtesy of Dovetail
Ilene Rosen (March 20, $25)
Rosen brings experience from 15 years as City Bakery's savory chef to the pages of the book with salad-like dishes that will actually make you full, not fullish. My personal favorite: "Red," a smattering of red beets, red wine vinegar and red quinoa that truly lives up to its name.
Jessica Merchant (March 20, $30)
A book doesn't have to be all kale salads and juice cleanses to inspire you to change the way you cook. Homemade bacon mayo brings the part just as much as a colorful vegetable sandwich does, and all the recipes take less than 60 minutes to make. Fans of Merchant's blog are well acquainted with her infectious way of talking about food, so fueled by passion that it's hard not to catch. And if you love food so much you literally want to rub your face all up in it, there are how-tos for making honey almond face masks, vanilla bean rose scrub and more.
Giada De Laurentiis (March 27, $35)
The Food Network star takes you home with her to Rome, for a tour of The Eternal City through the lens of what De Laurentiis has eaten (and loved) throughout her life. That includes an Italian take on the muffaletta, fennel upside down cake and plenty of pasta.
Melissa Clark (April 3, $30)
Clark made her way into home kitchens everywhere with last year's seminal Dinner, and she's showed no sign of stopping. After an Instant Pot-focused book in the fall, the New York Times columnist is back with a recipe collection of what she essentially feels is the best of the best.
Nigella Lawson (April 10, $35)
This season's releases include a handful of big names opening the doors to their own kitchens for a glimpse of "real life," Lawson being one of them. Learn her methods for he recipes you'd want to be making, like waffles, sheet pan chicken and "emergency brownies." Nigella: She's just like us.
Marjorie Taylor & Kendall Smith Franchini (April 10, $45)
If you want to master a new skill, a cooking school's book is a good place to start. Especially when it's from this French one of the same name, which is where I imagine Julia Child would have gone if she were going to school now. It has promising recipes, inviting photos, heartwarming stories and tips that will make you a better home cook.
André Darlington & Tenaya Darlington (April 17, $25)
Make this the season that you start doing right by your dinner party guests. Which means overhauling that "adult contemporary" Spotify playlist for timeless albums from the last several decades, and serving them with a curated cocktail menu for the full (Jimi Hendrix) experience. The albums are sorted by musical vibe, and each include a "Side A" and "Side B" recipe for a unique take that grabs your attention like a record scratch in a monotony of drink books.
Photo: André and Tenaya Darlington
THE SWEET LIFE
The Editors at America's Test Kitchen (March 27, $35)
With the trusty team at America's Test Kitchen holding your hand, you now officially have no reason to fear taking on any type of cake from scratch. Start with a gateway chocolate sheet cake, then make your way up to a Swiss hazelnut layer cake (and becoming everyone's favorite person to invite to a birthday party).
Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas (April 3, $28)
For what these cakes lack in grains and refined sugars, they more than compensate with many-layered cakes, chocolate desserts that count as breakfast and cookies that you won't be able to bring yourself to share. It's the first book from the L.A. bakery of the same name, meaning now you can have one of the signature floral cakes all for yourself no matter where you live.
Jessie Sheehan (May 15, $25)
Both history geeks and sweet lovers in general will love this throwback gem, which was built off a foundation of Sheehan's collection of old-school recipe pamphlets. She brings Charlotte Russe into the 21st century with thyme ladyfingers, popovers get a cacio e pepe treatment and cherry slab pie is plussed up with almond paste. The colorful, retro aesthetic by photographer Alice Gao only adds further joy to the book as a whole.
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