14 Best Cookbooks to Give (& Get) This Holiday Season

It was a big year for cookbooks, and in the last few months, we’ve seen an especially strong batch of publications. It’s no secret that cookbooks make great holiday gifts, but with so many titles to pick from, where does one start? I sifted through doz…

It was a big year for cookbooks, and in the last few months, we've seen an especially strong batch of publications. It’s no secret that cookbooks make great holiday gifts, but with so many titles to pick from, where does one start? I sifted through dozens of recently-published books, from quick cocktail guides to near-encyclopedic volumes on bread baking, to find the ones that will make a particularly great gift, whether it's for a family member, coworker, or best friend. It’s a diverse, eclectic selection filled with unexpected flavors, striking photography, and—most importantly—joyous, celebratory cooking.

Photo by Bookshop.org

1. First Generation: Recipes From My Taiwanese-American Home by Frankie Gaw, $30.23

Frankie Gaw’s debut book, First Generation, is filled with the types of delightful recipes that made his blog, Little Fat Boy, a hit in the first place. He fuses Taiwanese techniques and flavors—taught to him by his grandmothers—with the best of his Midwestern upbringing, and the result is wholly original. Think: Lap Cheong Corn Dogs (inspired by the ones from Costco, which Gaw used to eat as an after-school snack), Cinnamon Toast Crunch Butter Mochi, and lots and lots of dumplings.

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Claire Saffitz’s New Cookbook Is for Sweet Tooths Everywhere

We chatted with recipe developer, author, and host of the YouTube series Dessert Person about her just-published cookbook, What’s for Dessert. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out Claire’s recipe for Sweet Cheese Blintzes With Lemony Apricot Co…

We chatted with recipe developer, author, and host of the YouTube series Dessert Person about her just-published cookbook, What's for Dessert. While you're here, don't forget to check out Claire's recipe for Sweet Cheese Blintzes With Lemony Apricot Compote!


How did the process of developing and conceptualizing What's for Dessert compare to Dessert Person ?

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Ghetto Gastro’s ‘Black Power Kitchen’ is a Culinary Manifesto

It’s hard to summarize all that is Ghetto Gastro’s new book, Black Power Kitchen—far from just a collection of recipes, it features political essays, interviews, artworks, gorgeous photography, and poetry. As chef Pierre Serrao—who wrote the book with …

It’s hard to summarize all that is Ghetto Gastro’s new book, Black Power Kitchen—far from just a collection of recipes, it features political essays, interviews, artworks, gorgeous photography, and poetry. As chef Pierre Serrao—who wrote the book with his Ghetto Gastro co-founders Jon Gray and Lester Walker—put it simply, Black Power Kitchen is “much more than a cookbook.”

“It is a manifesto shining light with [the] intention to advance the Black community,” he said. “For us it was about deciding the most important stories and people we want to remember forever. Our goal was to enhance our storytelling by showcasing delicious recipes paired with amazing artworks and strong words.”

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New Orleans’ Cult Favorite Sandwich Shop Finally Has A Cookbook

One of the first photos you’ll find inside Mason Hereford’s debut cookbook, Turkey and the Wolf, is a portrait where he’s surrounded not by his own dishes, but by a box of Cheez-Its, a crumbled bag of Doritos and a scattering of mixed Hershey’s miniatu…

One of the first photos you'll find inside Mason Hereford's debut cookbook, Turkey and the Wolf, is a portrait where he's surrounded not by his own dishes, but by a box of Cheez-Its, a crumbled bag of Doritos and a scattering of mixed Hershey's miniatures.

What follows is a dive into what Hereford's brother calls his "psychedelically objective imagination," a guidebook to creating the whimsical stoner food you’ll find inside his New Orleans restaurants, Molly’s Rise and Shine and Turkey and the Wolf.

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The Genius Potato Salad That Converted a Potato Salad Skeptic

Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Founding Editor and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook…usually! While she’s on sabbatical for a few more weeks, a few friendly faces…

Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Founding Editor and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook...usually! While she's on sabbatical for a few more weeks, a few friendly faces will share their most Genius finds.


Potato salad dates back to the early 19th century, when German immigrants first arrived in America. In the two-ish centuries since, the dish has made its mark as a cookout mainstay and an important symbol of family history and hierarchy.

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The 1994 Queer Church Cookbook That Can Teach Us to Mourn

U.S. culture at large generally regards mourning as a personal act. Food plays a role: a lunch buffet following a funeral, or gifts of lasagna or Bundt cakes from friends and neighbors to those left grieving. But how to process loss on such a massive s…

U.S. culture at large generally regards mourning as a personal act. Food plays a role: a lunch buffet following a funeral, or gifts of lasagna or Bundt cakes from friends and neighbors to those left grieving. But how to process loss on such a massive scale? Is there a way that food can help to honor large numbers of those who’ve died—like the 6 million around the world who’ve fallen to COVID—in some project of shared remembering?

In the early 1990s, when San Francisco was an epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and medical treatment for the disease was in its early stages, one local faith community was able to do just that with a cookbook. Titled Those People at That Church, the self-published collection of recipes from San Francisco’s St. Francis Lutheran Church appeared in November 1994.

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Salad Freaks Unite—Our Cookbook Is Finally Here

Too often, salads are the “sad” meal option: limp lettuce, tasteless dressing, underripe vegetables. And sometimes they’re those giant fast-casual salads, buckets of kale chopped within an inch of its life, topped with a scoop of quinoa, barely mor…



Too often, salads are the “sad” meal option: limp lettuce, tasteless dressing, underripe vegetables. And sometimes they’re those giant fast-casual salads, buckets of kale chopped within an inch of its life, topped with a scoop of quinoa, barely more appealing than the former. Jess Damuck, a food stylist and recipe developer, is out to change our perception of salad. Her new cookbook, Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession, is all about, as she writes in the introduction, salad becoming “something of its own art form.” She explains that, in many ways, anything can be a salad. There are recipes to make a salad for any meal of the day, as something to accompany other dishes, or to be the main event—and even some that are sort of secret salads, like Caesar Salad Pizza, Yellow Gazpacho, and Carrot & Saffron Socca. “A salad can be a side dish, but it shouldn’t get stuck being an afterthought,” Damuck writes. “I eat salads first thing in the morning too—whether it’s a big bowl of citrus or thick, juicy slices of tomato—why not?”

Salad Freak is organized by the seasons: As those who’ve eaten chopped tomatoes from a salad bar in December (so, everyone?) will know, produce typically tastes best during the time of year it grows naturally. Sure, winter isn’t necessarily the best time to make a fruit salad with strawberries, just as a roasted kabocha squash salad in mid-June isn’t ideal; but chicories and citrus in January, or fresh peas in peak spring? Yes, please!

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A Simple Baking Cookbook That Isn’t Basic

Fans of Benjamina Ebuehi know her for the complex treats she baked on the 2016 season of The Great British Bake Off (she finished as a quarterfinalist), but her newest cookbook is all about simple bakes. In A Good Day to Bake: Simple Baking Recipes for…

Fans of Benjamina Ebuehi know her for the complex treats she baked on the 2016 season of The Great British Bake Off (she finished as a quarterfinalist), but her newest cookbook is all about simple bakes. In A Good Day to Bake: Simple Baking Recipes for Every Mood, Ebuehi shares the creative, brightly flavored recipes she was known for on Bake Off and in her first book, The New Way to Cake, but with one big difference: She wrote most of it during lockdown in 2020.

“One thing I noticed during the early stages of that time was just how many people started baking, who had maybe never baked before. They never thought they had time to bake,” Ebuehi said over video chat. She noticed that when we collectively slowed down, there was more time to consider baking as a pastime. And these bakes didn’t have to involve complex technique to be satisfying: “I wanted the book to kind of be a reflection of that simpler, slower time. You don't have to wait for a particular occasion, a birthday or anniversary, to bake something. You can do it absolutely whenever.”

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I Lost My Cooking Appetite When Pregnant—Here’s How I Got it Back

Author Leanne Brown’s Good Enough: A Cookbook celebrates human imperfection. Through personal essays about attainable recipes, Brown considers cooking through the lens of mental health and self-forgiveness. In this excerpt, Brown shares her experience …

Author Leanne Brown’s Good Enough: A Cookbook celebrates human imperfection. Through personal essays about attainable recipes, Brown considers cooking through the lens of mental health and self-forgiveness. In this excerpt, Brown shares her experience with severe nausea during pregnancy—and therefore, loss of joy around food—as well as her postpartum journey with cooking, and how the larger experience helped her to press pause on her “inner perfectionist and just make something.”


Being a person is really hard. You are constantly confronted with what you want to do and the limited time and energy you have to do those things. You have to work to earn money to live; you have to work in your home and on your relationships and projects. You also need to rest and have fun or you grind yourself down and can’t do any of those responsible things anymore. Being engaged as a person means constant work and constant growth. It is exhausting. I frequently feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities, and never more so than in recent years, when I was pregnant and during my daughter’s first year of life.

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26 Cookbooks We Can’t Wait for in 2022

With the start of another year comes a new slate of cookbooks, and we couldn’t be more excited. Some of our favorite chefs, recipe developers, and writers are publishing books in 2022—many of whom you’ll probably recognize from their work with Food52!

With the start of another year comes a new slate of cookbooks, and we couldn’t be more excited. Some of our favorite chefs, recipe developers, and writers are publishing books in 2022—many of whom you’ll probably recognize from their work with Food52!

These books explore no-brainer dinners and celebratory meals; they’ll take us from Mexico to Nepal to Beirut to the Caribbean. We'll sit down at a few moms' (and a grandmother's) kitchen tables. We’ll dive into plant-based and planet-minded eating; in one pot and in as many as you can fit on the stove. In short, we can’t wait to get cooking.

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