Here’s a twist on the familiar genre of the chef cookbook: rather than recreating restaurant dishes, chefs are sharing their secrets for cooking at home.
Harold Dieterle, who owns several popular NYC restaurants, focuses on the home kitchen in his October Grand Central title Harold Dieterle’s Kitchen Notebook: Hundreds of Recipes, Tips, and Techniques for Cooking Like a Chef at Home, written with Andrew Friedman.
In the fall, the Rux Martin Books imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will offer Marcus Samuelsson’s Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home. Rux Martin, editorial director of the imprint, says the book represents a new kind of fusion: “a complete melding of influences by chefs who were born with their feet in several cultures—in world citizen Samuelsson’s case, Sweden and Ethiopia and, later, Europe and, of course, America. This style revels in ‘low’ cuisine and street food, which Samuelsson prefers to formal meals.”
More chefs lending a hand to mere mortals can be found in Food & Wine editor Dana Cowin’s Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen: 65 Great Chefs Teach Me How to Cook (Ecco, Oct.), which has an announced first printing of 75,000 copies. In the October Hyperion title Fabio’s American Home Kitchen: More Than 125 Recipes with an Italian Accent, Florentine restaurateur Fabio Viviani (who rose to fame on Top Chef) demonstrates Italian techniques. In other television-related cookbooks, Emeril Lagasse’s daughters, Jilly and Jessie, have authored The Lagasse Girls’ Big Flavor, Bold Taste—and No Gluten! (Da Capo, Oct.). In late September, Sasquatch Books will publish A Boat, a Whale, and a Walrus: Menus and Stories by James Beard Award–nominee Renee Erickson, who owns the Seattle restaurant the Whale Wins. The book is organized around seasonal menus for casual entertaining.
Then there are cookbooks that offer behind-the-scenes glimpses of the food business. Atria’s September title Meat: Everything You Need to Know is by Pat LaFrieda (with Carolynn Carreño), whose meat-packing company supplies high-end restaurants around the country. (For more meat, check out Buffalo Girl Cooks Bison by Jennifer Bain [TouchWood Editions, Oct.] and The Meat Cookbook [DK, Sept. 1) The September Ballantine title Di Palo’s Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy: 100 Years of Wisdom and Stories from Behind the Counter by Lou Di Palo with Rachel Wharton traces the lineage of classic Italian ingredients and a popular store in New York’s Little Italy, and Rizzoli’s October entry How to Eataly: A Guide to Buying, Cooking, and Eating Italian Food comes from the international Eataly chain, which has 26 stores and counting (editor’s note: the author of this article worked on the book).
This isn’t to say that the restaurant book is dead. Far from it. In November, Random House will publish Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton with recipes from her East Village restaurant. (Hamilton had a hit with her 2011 memoir, Blood, Bones, and Butter.) In October, Simon & Schuster will publish Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes, which purports to reveal the recipes for the titular author’s now famous cronut, among other things. (For a classic take on doughnuts, see Doughnuts! 100 Dough-licious Recipes by Carol Beckerman and Dawn Otwell from Barron’s in October.) In October, Roost Books will publish At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well by Amy Chaplin, former executive chef of New York’s vegetarian Angelica Kitchen. Ben Pollinger, author of School of Fish (S&S/Gallery, Sept.), is the executive chef at Oceana in New York. Eric Skokan, author of Farm, Fork, Food (Kyle Books, Oct.), is chef/owner of Black Cat Bistro and Bramble & Hare in Boulder, Colo., and Sharon Gannon, author of Simple Recipes for Joy: More than 200 Delicious Vegan Recipes (Avery, Sept.), is cofounder of Jivamuktea Café. From a more humble source, in the spring, Wesleyan University Press will publish Breakfast at O’Rourke’s: New Cuisine from a Classic American Diner by Brian O’Rourke, about a classic stop in Middletown, Conn.
Upping the Flavor Quotient
Another trend picking up in the category is a bit hard to define: call them books about flavor rather than straight recipe books. In Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious (Simon & Schuster, Oct.), author Dan Pashman, host of the podcast The Sporkful, combines science, food, and humor.
The Japanese word umami is tossed around frequently these days. Umami: The Fifth Taste, published by Japan Publications Tradition and distributed by Kodansha USA through Oxford University Press) looks at the subject through the eyes and recipes of several well-known chefs, including Heston Blumenthal (whose Historic Heston, a culinary history of Britain, will be published by Bloomsbury in October) and Nobu Matsuhisa. In January, Scribner will publish Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat by John McQuaid, an investigation into how flavor works and why we like what we do. Yotam Ottolenghi follows up his bestselling Plenty with Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking (Ten Speed, Oct.), in which he focuses on flavorful vegetarian dishes, organized by cooking method.
More flavor is meant to be coaxed from recipes that don’t use meat with the help of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity with Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and More, Based on the Wisdom of Leading American Chefs by Karen Page (Little, Brown, Oct.) and Robin Robertson’s Hot Vegan: 200 Sultry and Full-Flavored Recipes from Around the World (Andrews McMeel, Sept.). As noted in the New York Times last month in an article titled “Gluten-Free Eating Appears to Be Here to Stay,” gluten-avoidance is a trend with staying power. New titles in the category include Karen Wang Diggs’s Happy Foods: A Guide to the Gluten-Free Good Life with Over 100 Mood-Boosting, Blues-Banishing Recipes (Viva Editions, Jan.) and Goodbye Gluten: Happy Healthy Delicious Eating with a Texas Twist (Univ. of North Texas Press, Oct.) by Kim Stanford and Bill Backhaus.
Fermentation, as found in Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation (Rizzoli, Sept.) by Leda Scheintaub and Fermented Vegetables (Storey, Sept.) by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey, coaxes flavor from ingredients, and the distinctive flavors of Mexico are on display in Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte, which will have a first printing of 125,000 copies from Phaidon in October.
Blogging and Chewing on the Funny Bone
In another sign of a continuing shift away from “straight” restaurant cookbooks, bloggers have been as likely as chefs to publish books these days. A former professional chef and current urban homesteader, Aimée Wimbush Bourque of the blog Simple Bites offers Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, coming from Putnam in March of next year.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s executive editor, Justin Schwartz, says, “While it seems like everyone with a food blog wants to write a book, we’re being more selective than ever because this category has become a bit saturated. Jessica Merchant of HowSweatEats.com is a standout with truly impressive readership and die-hard fans who read her blog devotedly and follow her on all forms of social media.” Merchant’s Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food hits shelves in September.
Agate will publish Anupy Singla’s Indian for Everyone this fall. The Indian-American author’s previous two books, The Indian Slow Cooker (2010) and Vegan Indian Cooking (2012) have sold more than 100,000 copies for the press, and she has a popular blog called Indian as Apple Pie. Also based on a blog is 300 Sandwiches: A Multi-Layered Love Story, with Recipes by New York Post reporter Stephanie Smith (Zinc Inc., Feb.).
One of the most talked about titles of the coming season is Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a Fuck (Rodale, Oct.), based on the website of the same name. Rodale executive editor Alex Postman says, “The first time I saw Thug Kitchen—the link came to me virally through Facebook or Twitter or a group email—I laughed my ass off and reposted it to everyone I know. The site’s iconoclastically badass voice, scattering F-bombs like flax seed, was such a fresh twist on the usual sanctimony of healthy eating blogs, yet somehow managed to also extol the virtues of kale and lentils.”
Blogs seem to lend themselves to quirky, humorous titles. In March Bloomsbury will publish FUDS: A Complete Encyclofoodia from Tickling Shrimp to Not Dying in a Restaurant by Alfredo and Antonio Mizretti (pseudonyms for Kelly Hudson, Dan Klein, and Arthur Meyer), based on the blog of the same name (fudsmenu.com). And with tongue firmly in cheek, in time for Halloween, BenBella will publish The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide by Lauren Wilson.
Just when it seems as if every potential cuisine has been explored—and recent and forthcoming cookbooks include titles on the cuisines of Iceland (North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gunnar Karl Gíslason and Jody Eddy [Ten Speed, Sept.]) and Sri Lanka (Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka by Bree Hutchins, Murdoch Books [dist. by Trafalgar Square, Nov.])—a new contender comes to the fore. This season, three different books focus on German food and introduce it to an American audience.
In the fall, Chronicle will publish New German Cooking by Jeremy Nolen, of Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia. “We’ve been seeing flavors and techniques associated with German cooking—pickling, sausage-making, schnitzel, salty-sour—across a wide range of restaurants nationally,” says Chronicle’s food and drink editor, Sarah Billingsley, “and this is food that goes beautifully with beer, which is, of course, already very popular and only becoming more so. We think of German cuisine as heavy and meat-driven, but this book puts vegetables at the center of the plate, and lightens up many traditional dishes with surprising spice combinations, herbs, and grains.”
In November, Random House will aim squarely at that food source by reissuing Mimi Sheraton’s The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking,celebrating its 50th year in print. The new edition has a new preface. And, in October, Prospect Park Books combines German tradition with Californian ease in Das Cookbook: German Cooking California Style by Los Angeles chef and restaurateur Hans Röckenwagner.
Choose Your Juice
One of the biggest trends in cookbooks has nothing to do with food at all, but with drink. This season is seeing a raft of new books about drinks—whether your idea of a libation is a daiquiri or a vitamin-filled wheatgrass concoction.
Last month, USA Today predicted a coming whiskey shortage due to the its booming popularity. Indeed, there are three October books about whiskey alone. That month, Storey will publish Tasting Whiskey: An Insider’s Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World’s Finest Spirits by Lew Bryson, managing editor of WhiskyAdvocate. The press is promoting via a September sweepstakes with a prize of two tickets to WhiskyFest New York.
“Timing is so important—the trick is hitting a food trend just as it’s really taking off. Old-fashioned cocktails and spirits couldn’t be trendier, and in the last couple of years whiskey drinking in particular has exploded,” says Avery Books senior editor Lucia Watson. In October, Viking Studio will publish Whisk(e)y Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life by Heather Greene, director of education at whiskey lounge the Flatiron Room in New York.
October will see a new edition of The World Atlas of Whisky by Dave Broom from Octopus/Mitchell Beazley as well. The hardcover has been expanded to reflect changes in the whiskey field, incorporating new research and tasting notes on 750 different whiskies.
For those seeking historical context, also in October, the University of North Carolina Press will publish a 9,000-year survey titled Alcohol: A History by Rod Phillips, a history professor at Carleton University.
In the sphere of mixed drinks, Norton bellies up to the bar in November with Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail by Dave Arnold, and Ten Speed offersDeath & Co.: Modern Classic Cocktails, with More Than 500 Recipes by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day. And while serving alcohol to children is generally frowned upon, Running Press attempts to lift the spirits of sleep-deprived parents in December with Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist by Tim Federle, which combines nursery rhymes with recipes for cocktails in new twists like “Old McDonald Had a Flask” and “Jack and Coke and Jill.” And, in September, Hurst will publish (and Oxford University Press will distribute) a revised edition of Alexander Liddell’s Madeira: The Mid-Atlantic Wine, about the fortified wine once cooked below deck on ships bound for Africa, America, and India.
Then there are numerous books on juice that has not been fermented. Cindy Palusamy, author of Juice Blend Taste: 150 Recipes for Drinks that Taste as Good as They Are Good for You, is also the founder of the Juicery juice bars in London and Toronto. Rizzoli will publish the paperback—illustrated with 100 watercolors—in December.
Katherine Furman, acquisitions editor at Ulysses Press, reports that one trend on Pinterest recently is the large number of recipes for smoothies, juices, and other concoctions. Additionally, the press has seen its The Green Smoothie Bible by Kristine Miles sell steadily since publication in 2012 and has done well with the author’s Green Smoothies for Every Season (Jan. 2014) as well, so it is following up with three parallel titles: Cold Press Juice Bible: 300 Delicious, Nutritious, All-Natural Recipes for Your Masticating Juicer by Lisa Sussman (Dec.), Power Smoothies: All-Natural Drinks to Fuel Workouts, Build Muscle, and Burn Fat by Keith Sebastian and Samuel Barnes (Dec.), and Water Infusions: Refreshing, Detoxifying, and Healthy Recipes for Your Home Infusor by Mariza Snyder and Lauren Clum (Jan.), with recipes for 75 flavored waters.
In September, Skyhorse will publish Superfood Juices, Smoothies & Drinks: Advice and Recipes to Lose Weight, Prevent Illness, and Improve Your Emotional and Physical Healthby Jason Manheim, and in January the house will offer The Green Aisle’s Healthy Smoothies and Slushies: More Than Seventy-Five Healthy Recipes to Help You Lose Weight and Get Fit by Michelle Savage. In October, HarperOne has The Green Smoothie Prescription: A Complete Guide to Total Health by raw foods guru Victoria Boutenko, author of Green for Life (North Atlantic Books, 2010) and founder of the website rawfamily.com. More ideas for incorporating raw foods into drinks will be supplied in the December Storey title Raw Energy in a Glass by Stephanie L. Tourles. And, in February of next year, Square One will publish Smoothies for Kidney Health: A Delicious Approach for the Prevention and Management of Kidney Problems and So Much More by the mother-daughter team Victoria L. Hulett and Jennifer L. Waybright.