Every year cookbook styling and recipe development get better and better. In reviewing the past year's offerings, I ended up with a large pile of favored cookbooks. Reducing this stack to only 10 was a bit sad, as I had to put away some cookbooks that I really, really like. Each of the remaining books had to pass a test: I had to be inspired to cook from it repeatedly. This means that a lot of beautiful/coffee-table-style cookbooks didn’t make the cut, no matter how awesome they might be to look at. Likewise, cookbooks with extremely intricate recipes might not be on my list, because as much as I love to cook, I also love to weave cloth, craft stuff, and romp around the garden with our poodle, Mathilda.
While the below list is in alphabetical order, I do have a number one favorite: Deep Run Roots
. At a very close second place in my gluttonous heart is Red Rooster
. Both are Southern cookbooks and both are very well produced. They have good-looking layouts, feature eloquent author voices, and celebrate a strong sense of place. They battled in my brain for about a week before one reigned just a tiny bit more supreme. I hope you like Southern food, as three books featuring Southern cooking made it into my top 10, each via a different area of the country — from Harlem, from Seattle, and from the actual South.
In January I’ll post the top-selling cookbooks of 2016. Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
was the number-one bestselling cookbook of 2015. Can it have held that position for another year? And will Yotam Ottolenghi
again rule the top five, with multiple bestsellers? The new year will be here before we know it, and I’m looking forward to seeing the final list.