A New Cookbook With Old Recipes—Thanks to 70 Grandmas

A 92-year-old South African who can hold a plank while recounting the time Margaret Thatcher enjoyed her piroshkis, a 66-year-old American who’s been developing a top-secret BBQ sauce recipe for 20 years, and a 71-year-old Colombian who became a psycho…

A 92-year-old South African who can hold a plank while recounting the time Margaret Thatcher enjoyed her piroshkis, a 66-year-old American who’s been developing a top-secret BBQ sauce recipe for 20 years, and a 71-year-old Colombian who became a psychoanalyst after daily talks over chicken, corn, and potato soup with her landlady. These are just a few of the stories in Anastasia Miari and Iska Lupton’s Grand Dishes, a new cookbook spanning three continents, 10 countries, and 70 grandmothers.

Miari, a journalist, and Lupton, a food stylist, began Grand Dishes as a crowdfunded side project to document their own grandmothers’ recipes. Soon, they found themselves on a four-year journey around the world, learning recipes and conversing with women in French, Spanish, Greek, and Italian, plus some gesticulating and giggling in Russian. Through it all, the two learned each woman’s secret ingredient to a hearty meal and happy life. Mirai and Lupton talked with us about food as a mode of storytelling, the importance of highlighting older women, and what it means to cook with context.

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2 Prized Family Recipes From a Sixth-Generation Gullah Farmer

The Gullah Geechee phrase “bress ‘n’ nyam,” means “bless and eat,” which could not be a more fitting title for Matthew Raiford’s new cookbook. Raiford, who refers to himself as a “CheFarmer,” as both cooking and farming are equally integral to his life…

The Gullah Geechee phrase “bress 'n' nyam,” means “bless and eat,” which could not be a more fitting title for Matthew Raiford’s new cookbook. Raiford, who refers to himself as a “CheFarmer,” as both cooking and farming are equally integral to his lifestyle, calls this book his “origin story.” Weaving together his family history through heirloom recipes, Bress ‘n’ Nyam is a true farm-to-table cookbook in the Gullah Geechee tradition, highlighting local produce, grains, meat, and seafood. The recipes in Bress ‘n’ Nyam are organized, as Raiford writes, “according to their elemental beginnings: earth, water, fire, wind, nectar, and spirits.” The following is an excerpt from the “Eart/Earth” chapter.


When I returned to Gilliard Farms in 2011, I was full of ambition. I had been to Hyde Park! I had studied sustainable food systems in California! I wanted to recreate rice fields in two depressions beneath a canopy of oaks and seed them with the robust heirloom grains once cultivated by my great-great-great-grandfather Jupiter. I envisioned bountiful rows of tomatoes, squash, corn, peppers, peas, sweet potatoes, and watermelons.

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8 Things to Know Before Growing Your Own Herbs

There are few things more satisfying than picking food that you grew yourself. But nurturing fruits and vegetables can be a tricky business. It takes trial and error (no matter how much you read on the subject), and requires time, energy, and some amou…

There are few things more satisfying than picking food that you grew yourself. But nurturing fruits and vegetables can be a tricky business. It takes trial and error (no matter how much you read on the subject), and requires time, energy, and some amount of space to get a worthwhile harvest. Herbs, comparatively, are quite simple to bring up. No one knows this better than Mark Diacono, who put it most succinctly when he said, “The leaves are the prize and the plant’s job is to grow them to survive.”

Herb: A Cook’s Companion. Photo by Amazon

That sentence comes from the food writer’s new book, Herb: A Cook’s Companion, a glorious encyclopedia of information on how to grow—and then subsequently cook with and preserve—more types of herbs than you have probably ever heard of before. There is a whole section dedicated to the nitty-gritty particulars of each (the varieties of fennel, the ideal conditions for lovage once winter comes, how to space marjoram seeds). But throughout, there are tips that apply more broadly to the vast majority of herbs, because it is Diacono’s belief that they are powerhouses of the garden and kitchen, requiring little work and little space for maximum reward.

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The Drunken Spaghetti I Make to Remember the Wine Harvest

Cheese, wine, and bread is all we really need for a flavor-packed evening. For author, food journalist, YouTuber, and podcaster Katie Quinn, the trio is also the subject of her new cookbook, Cheese, Wine, and Bread: Discovering the Magic of Fermentatio…

Cheese, wine, and bread is all we really need for a flavor-packed evening. For author, food journalist, YouTuber, and podcaster Katie Quinn, the trio is also the subject of her new cookbook, Cheese, Wine, and Bread: Discovering the Magic of Fermentation in England, Italy, and France. Quinn worked as a cheesemonger in London, apprenticed at Parisian boulangeries, and assisted vintners in northeastern Italy so she could share the techniques behind each fermentation style, as well as recipes: Cheddar brownies! Sourdough pizza! Drunken spaghetti! (Don't worry, we snagged the recipe for that last one.) In this excerpt, Quinn shares her experience working the wine harvest at a family-owned winery—and the celebratory lunch that followed.


It was before 8 o’clock in the morning; the sun was still low in the sky, hiding behind trees and buildings. I walked from the agriturismo apartment where I slept into the hillside vineyard it overlooked. Eros was moving empty barrels from storage into the cantina and Michele and Christian were in la vigna placing big red crates throughout its rows. These would soon be filled with bunches of grapes.

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Got Cooking Questions? These Food Science Cookbooks Have Answers

This post is part of our community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we’re finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, and cake to cookies, to name a few), and putting…

This post is part of our community-driven book tournament, The Big Community Book-Off. With your help, we're finding the best books across categories (from bread to pasta, one-bowl to weeknight-friendly, and cake to cookies, to name a few), and putting them through a series of rigorous reviews—considered, tested, and written by none other than you.


Each month, Food52 community members cook their way through five cookbooks around one subject (from bread and cake to the kitchen basics) and select a winner. The reviewers have held a chocolate chip cookie bake-off and put the Instant Pot through its paces.

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How to Cook Like Pepper Teigen (& Eat Like Chrissy)

Pepper Teigen’s new release, The Pepper Thai Cookbook: Family Recipes from Everyone’s Favorite Thai Mom, is exactly what our cookbook libraries need right now. Penned with Los Angeles food writer and cookbook author Garrett Snyder, the Instagram-famous…

Pepper Teigen's new release, The Pepper Thai Cookbook: Family Recipes from Everyone's Favorite Thai Mom, is exactly what our cookbook libraries need right now. Penned with Los Angeles food writer and cookbook author Garrett Snyder, the Instagram-famous mom of Chrissy Teigen shares her most beloved recipes from her childhood in Isaan, Thailand, dishes she crafted specially for husband Ron's bar in Washington, and family favorites from the Teigen-Legend home in Los Angeles. This is definitely one book to cook your way entirely through.

The stories behind each plate, bowl, and skewer will entice you to pull the fish sauce, tamarind paste, and coconut milk from your pantry and use each one to its fullest potential. We emailed with Pepper, and she answered every question we had until we were satisfied (although she's so entertaining and such a talented cook that we may never truly be satisfied).

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12 Questions About Schmaltz With Jake Cohen

Jake Cohen’s debut cookbook, Jew-ish, has the challah and latkes and matzo ball soup. But it also has biscuits with pastrami and milk gravy, kugel-ified mac and cheese, and pumpkin-spice babka. Which is to say, it’s Jewish but it’s also, well, Jew-ish—…

Jake Cohen’s debut cookbook, Jew-ish, has the challah and latkes and matzo ball soup. But it also has biscuits with pastrami and milk gravy, kugel-ified mac and cheese, and pumpkin-spice babka. Which is to say, it’s Jewish but it’s also, well, Jew-ish—a refreshingly personal take on how traditional recipes fit into messy modern life.

“I get very heated about steering away from my family’s tradition when it comes to many Jewish foods (just wait until you read my thoughts on brisket!),” Jake writes in the introduction. “But at the end of the day, we must celebrate any form of Jewish culture, old or new.”

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Have Eggs, Water & Salt? Hetty McKinnon Knows Just the Recipe

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we’re gue…

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. This week, guest columnist (and best-selling author! and hummus genius!) Hetty McKinnon is sharing a nostalgic, magical dish from her newest cookbook, To Asia, With Love.


Of all the dishes from my childhood that I have tried to re-create, this three-ingredient steamed egg custard, or shui dan as we call it in Cantonese, has been one of the trickiest for me to master. And to think, two of those ingredients are water and salt.

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Chrissy Teigen’s Mom Pepper Publishes Family Favorite Recipes

Chrissy Teigen’s love of food is famously lovable, and if you’ve perused her extra-friendly food site Cravings, which features the video series “Pepper’s Corner”, or ever scrolled through her Instagram feed, you likely have a good idea of why that’s the case. Chrissy’s mom, Vilailuck Teigen, is known affectionately as Pepper Thai for her skillful and generous use of hot peppers, and inspired her daughters’ active interest in cooking from an early age. Pepper’s new cookbook, The Pepper Thai Cookbook, comes out April 15th, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Teigen’s book is an ode to her journey and family—a collection of favorite recipes from her native Thailand, the fusion recipes she created for Chrissy’s father’s bar patrons after immigrating to America, and the meals she makes for the Teigen-Legend household today. We’ll admit it: We were very eager to know her grandchildren’s favorite dishes. (Prepare to be astounded at these kids’ palates!)

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Chrissy Teigen's love of food is famously lovable, and if you've perused her extra-friendly food site Cravings, which features the video series "Pepper's Corner", or ever scrolled through her Instagram feed, you likely have a good idea of why that's the case. Chrissy's mom, Vilailuck Teigen, is known affectionately as Pepper Thai for her skillful and generous use of hot peppers, and inspired her daughters' active interest in cooking from an early age. Pepper's new cookbook, The Pepper Thai Cookbook, comes out April 15th, and we couldn't be more excited.

Teigen's book is an ode to her journey and family—a collection of favorite recipes from her native Thailand, the fusion recipes she created for Chrissy's father's bar patrons after immigrating to America, and the meals she makes for the Teigen-Legend household today. We'll admit it: We were very eager to know her grandchildren's favorite dishes. (Prepare to be astounded at these kids' palates!)

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What Were Cupcakes Like in the 1700s?

Amelia Simmons invented the cupcake. And if that wasn’t enough for the history books, when she first published her cookbook in 1796, she cemented herself as the author of what is now recognized as the first American cookbook.

American Cookery, or, to …

Amelia Simmons invented the cupcake. And if that wasn’t enough for the history books, when she first published her cookbook in 1796, she cemented herself as the author of what is now recognized as the first American cookbook.

American Cookery, or, to give its full title: American Cookery, or the Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables, and the Best Modes of Making Pastes, Puffs, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves and All Kinds of Cakes from the Imperial Plumb to Plain Cake. Adapted to This Country, and All Grades of Life (catchy, right?), is considered by food historians to be the first cookbook published in the U.S. by an American. The book included 119 recipes, marrying the traditions of British cooking at the time with new American ingredients, like "pompkin" (pumpkin), "cramberry-sauce" (cranberry sauce), and molasses in place of British treacle; it was also one of the first books (yet another pioneering moment for Simmons) to introduce the use of "pearlash," a precursor to the baking soda most home cooks keep in their pantry. Before American Cookery, the only cookbooks available in the U.S. were British. In the introduction to a 1996 edition of American Cookery, food historian Karen Hess characterizes the book as inherently American, citing "the bringing together of certain native American products and English culinary traditions." (And really, what could be more American than a cupcake?)

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