Cookbooks open up hidden worlds. At their best, they are one part travelogue, one part guide, and one part food porn. They allow us to experiment, fail, and try again until we master a dish. Because of this, a cookbook is one of the best gifts you can give a loved one. It’s delicious self improvement.
Below are some of our favorite cookbooks that were dropped on the culinary world this year. There are some big trends on the horizon — from the resurgence of Indigenous cuisine, to the fight against food waste, to the discovery of Middle Eastern cuisine in the west — and they’re all represented by our list this year.
If you’re stumped as to what to get the food lover in your life, then one of these cookbooks might be the order of the season.
(Note: All prices are for hardcover editions)
Chef Sean Sherman’s debut cookbook is one for the ages. It’s an examination of the foodways of the Minnesotan plains, an excavation of the lost art of indigenous cuisine, and a guide to discovering a fresh world of local ingredients. In our estimation, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is the most important cookbook released this year. It’s recapturing an entire food culture lost for over a century.
Buy this book — it’ll change the way you look at food and the indigenous people around you in ways large and small.