17 New Cookbooks, Food Memoirs And Dining Reads For Spring 2021
Ever wondered how food writer Grace Dent made it from a childhood of beige food to a career critiquing some of the best restaurants in the world? Or how David Chang became the mastermind behind much-loved noodle bar Momofuku? Want to get your hands on the Thai recipes that Chrissy Teigen grew up with? Or to find out what the ultimate diet is according to a New York Times investigative journalist? Find all this and more in our pick of the food books to get your teeth into this season.
1/17 Eat a Peach by David Chang
From serving up ramen and pork buns at Momofuku Noodle Bar in Manhattan’s East Village, David Chang went on to become one of the most influential chefs of his time. But his journey wasn’t without its challenges – and this memoir lays everything bare, from his struggles with mental health to his flops and frustrations.
2/17 The Pepper Thai Cookbook by Pepper Teigen
This Thai cookbook brings the recipes of Chrissy Teigen’s childhood to the world. Teigen’s mum originally hails from Thailand and is known as “Pepper” for her love of chillies. Following in the footsteps of her daughter, who has released two cookbooks, Pepper has put together a collection of bold-flavoured recipes that range from family favourites passed down through generations to Thai classics like chicken larb and Massaman curry.
3/17 Mango and Peppercorns by Tung Nguyen
In a memoir complete with archival imagery and 20 Vietnamese recipes that reflect the story, this book tells the tale of pregnant cook Tung Nguyen who escapes from the fall of Saigon to find refuge in the Miami home of Kathy Manning. The resulting partnership between the two led to the establishment of Miami’s award-winning Hy Vong Vietnamese restaurant.
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4/17 monk by Yoshihiro Imai
Chef Yoshihiro Imai’s 14-seat restaurant, monk, lies on the cherry blossom-lined Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto. Focused on inventive cuisine crafted from local and foraged ingredients, he cooks in a wood-fired stone oven with pizza making an unexpected appearance on his omakase-style menu. This chef’s monograph captures the essence of Imai and his restaurant through stunning photographs, personal essays and recipes.
5/17 The Pasta Man by Mateo Zielonka
If you don’t follow Mateo Zielonka on Instagram, then you won’t have seen the mesmerising way he prepares and plates his perfectly formed handmade pastas. Now, you don’t simply have to watch but can try it yourself thanks to The Pasta Man’s debut cookbook, which provides step-by-step instructions on how to prepare his delicately formed, distinctive––and often colourful––creations.
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6/17 The Green Barbecue, by Rukmini Iyer
Often stuck for ideas when you have a vegan or vegetarian coming over for a barbecue? The latest book from Rukmini Iyer, who has achieved phenomenal success with her books The Roasting Tin; The Quick Roasting Tin; The Green Roasting Tin and The Roasting Tin Around the World, has all the recipes you need to prepare plant-based delights hot off the grill, from aubergine and goat’s cheese burger stacks with honey and thyme to crispy barbecue tofu lettuce wraps with cashews, carrots and nuoc cham.
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7/17 Vietnamese by Uyen Luu
Food writer, blogger and photographer Uyen Luu makes Vietnamese food accessible to home cooks with her collection of recipes that includes rich noodle soups, fragrant salads and bold family-style sharing plates. Straightforward to prep, they are always impressive to present.
8/17 Crave by Ed Smith
Always craving something but never quite sure what to cook? Enter Ed Smith. His new book has every craving covered. With 100 recipes split by flavour profile, whether you want something fresh and fragrant, with chilli and heat, tart and sour, curried and spiced, rich and savoury, or cheesy and creamy, there’s a meal to match every mood.
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9/17 The Arabesque Table by Reem Kassis
From the award-winning author of bestselling cookbook The Palestinian Table, Reem Kassis’ new release takes inspiration from traditional Arabic cooking, delivering contemporary––and accessible––interpretations of this ancient and diverse cuisine.
10/17 How Wild Things Are by Analiese Gregory
After years of cooking at high-end restaurants, including the acclaimed Franklin in Hobart, Tasmania, chef Analiese Gregory decided she wanted to go back to basics. She wanted to live off the land. This book chronicles how she went about that, with tales of foraging, hunting and growing her own food at the bottom of the world. A celebration of slowing down, the book features recipes, photography and Gregory’s reflections of her experience.
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11/17 Today's Special: 20 Leading Chefs Choose 100 Emerging Chefs
Leading chefs, including Hong Kong’s own May Chow, spotlight the most exciting culinary creatives around the world, highlighting why they are the ones to watch and what we can expect from them when it comes to menus and dishes. Recipes from these up and comers are also included.
12/17 Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown by Brandon Jew and Tienlon Ho
This unique book takes readers inside San Francisco’s Chinatown through evocative images, intimate stories and, most of all, classic Chinatown recipes crafted by chef Brandon Jew of much-loved Michelin-starred restaurant Mister Jiu’s, spanning dim sum and dumplings as well as innovative dishes informed by Jew’s training in the kitchens of California.
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13/17 To Asia With Love by Hetty McKinnon
This is bestselling cookbook author Hetty McKinnon’s love letter to Asia. Growing up in Sydney with a Chinese mother, she takes inspiration from the dishes she was raised on and her background growing up in Australia. From udon with soft-boiled egg, hot soy and black pepper and red curry laksa, to mushroom and kimchi ‘sausage rolls’ and potato and leek momos, there are Asian classics as well as distinctive modern creations, all of which are vegetarian.
14/17 Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
You might know Michelle Zauner as the rockstar behind musical project Japanese Breakfast, but this memoir shows there’s much more to the musician. The follow up to a viral essay of the same name that she wrote in 2018 for the New Yorker, this intimate memoir tells of the challenges she faced growing up Korean-American, losing her mother, and searching for her identity––and it’s all punctuated by beautiful food writing.
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15/17 Hungry by Grace Dent
From a childhood of cheese and pineapple hedgehogs and chip butties, British restaurant critic Grace Dent tells the tale of how she became one of the England’s finest food writers. First published in October 2020, the acclaimed memoir comes out in paperback in June 2021.
16/17 Just Eat by Barry Estabrook
On a mission to shed some weight, investigative journalist Barry Estabrook embarked on a quest to discover the ultimate way to eat, interrogating the experts and examining the science behind the most popular diets of the last 40 years. In illuminating and entertaining reportage he gets under the skin of all the fads and reveals the route to better health.
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17/17 Mezcal + Tequila Cocktails by Robert Simonson
Agave is having its moment – and James Beard Award-nominated author and New York Times spirits writer is here to help you make the most of it with his collection of cocktails, comprised of both classics with innovative twists and more distinctive creations.