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Holiday Gift Guide 2018: The 11 Best Cookbooks to Give as Gifts This Year

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Holiday Gift Guide 2018: The 11 Best Cookbooks to Give as Gifts This Year

December 10, 2018

This year brought a slew of cookbooks so lovely they hardly need wrapping. For the cook (or for the person who, like me, likes to read cookbooks before bed), here are our picks for the most beautiful—and delicious—offerings from 2018.

N.B.: We offer Amazon prices here for ease, but encourage shopping at your local bookseller as well, this season and year-round.

The Nordic Baking Book

we&#8\2\17;ve long followed the eccentric swedish chef magnus nilsson (we w 9
Above: We’ve long followed the eccentric Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson (we wrote about his restaurant Faviken, on a remote hunting estate six hundred miles north of Stockholm, back in 2013; see also: his Chef’s Table episode). Now Nilsson has released The Nordic Baking Book, a compendium of 450 Nordic baking recipes, sweet and savory, from Nilsson’s travels throughout Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, and Greenland. The lush photographs are by Nilsson himself, also a celebrated photographer. The book is $38.43 from Amazon.

The German Cookbook

new from phaidon is the german cookbook, which earns a spot on this list for i 10
Above: New from Phaidon is The German Cookbook, which earns a spot on this list for its beautiful photography and design as well as for its collection of hearty dishes from across Germany; $29.78 via Amazon.

The Noma Guide to Fermentation

renè redzepi, the most celebrated chef in the world, had a busy year, re openi 11
Above: Renè Redzepi, the most celebrated chef in the world, had a busy year, re-opening his Michelin-starred restaurant Noma in a historic, rambling military fortress in Copenhagen (see the interiors in Noma 2.0: The ‘New Nordic’ Authority Reopened and Redesigned). And, together with the chef in charge of the new Noma’s fermentation lab, Redzepi also penned The Noma Guide to Fermentation for home cooks looking to learn how to incorporate fermentation into their own dishes, à la the world’s best restaurant. It’s currently $27.49 via Amazon.

(See more on Redzepi in Steal This Look: A Star Chef’s Scandi Kitchen, Nadine Redzepi’s Secrets to a Well-Ordered Home Kitchen, and our Restaurant Visit, way back in 2010, of the original Noma in Copenhagen.)

Aska

 aska is the darkly beautiful debut cookbook of chef fredrik bersilius, combi 12
Above: Aska is the darkly beautiful debut cookbook of chef Fredrik Bersilius, combining the flavors of his native Sweden, his land in upstate New York, and Brooklyn, home of his Michelin-starred eponymous restaurant. The book is $37.29 via Amazon.

Room for Dessert

new from the former pastry chef at el bulli: room for dessert, a look inside  13
Above: New from the former pastry chef at El Bulli: Room for Desserta look inside the chef’s wondrous creations, with step-by-step instructions for the home cook. It’s $47.41 on Amazon.

River Cafe London

to mark three decades of london&#8\2\17;s iconic river cafe (it opened in \ 14
Above: To mark three decades of London’s iconic River Cafe (it opened in 1987), Ruth Rogers collected the restaurant’s most beloved Italian recipes in River Cafe London, early photographs and menus from the restaurant’s colorful history included. The book is $25.03 from Amazon.

Ottolenghi Simple

 in last year&#8\2\17;s best cookbooks of \20\17 list, we recommended chef 15
Above: In last year’s Best Cookbooks of 2017 list, we recommended chef Yotam Ottlenghi’s  Sweet. This year another tome of his makes our list: Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbookwith 130 recipes that are either “made in 30 minutes or less, with 10 or fewer ingredients, in a single pot, using pantry staples, or prepared ahead of time,” all with Ottolenghi’s signature Middle Eastern flavors. It’s currently $14.81 from Amazon. (Shown here is the UK edition, which we quite like.)

Solo

chef anita lo&#8\2\17;s solo (named eater&#8\2\17;s cookbook of the ye 16
Above: Chef Anita Lo’s Solo (named Eater’s cookbook of the year) believes that even eating alone should be a celebration, with approachable, globally-inspired recipes for the weeknight chef, the singleton, and the novice, charming illustrations included. It’s $17.98 from Amazon.

Together: Our Community Cookbook

in the weeks following the grenfell tower fire in west london, a group of women 17
Above: In the weeks following the Grenfell Tower fire in West London, a group of women formed the Hubb Community Kitchen, meaning “love” in Arabic, to cook meals for those affected. Their charity cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook, has a foreword by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex; a portion of proceeds benefit the project. It’s currently $11.89 via Amazon.

Basque Country

an american chef and journalist living in the basque country of northwest spain 18
Above: An American chef and journalist living in the Basque Country of northwest Spain offers an exploration of the area that holds more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the world. There is plenty of evocative travel photography. Basque Country is $22.48 via Amazon.

Cake

finally, the most petite—and most playful—cookbook on our list: cake, an od 19
Above: Finally, the most petite—and most playful—cookbook on our list: Cake, an ode to cakes of all kinds by the artist Maira Kalman together with food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman, with cheerful illustrations and recipes. It’s $16.24 via Amazon (and at just 7 inches tall, is nearly small enough to tuck inside a stocking).

Looking for the perfect gift for everyone on your list? See the rest of our 2018 gift guides:

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