There’s a lot to look forward to in 2010. I’ll be watching Chronicle to see what food and drink titles it decides to publish with compatible mobile applications and enhanced e-books; and can’t wait to see the results of crowd-sourced cookbook projects from Andrews McMeel and Harper Studio. As for specific titles, here’s what I’m most excited about, from February through November.
1. Amy’s Bread , Revised and Updated: Artisan-Style Breads, Sandwiches, Pizzas, And More From New York City’s Favorite Bakery by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree (Wiley, Feb.)
When I spoke with Scherber last fall about revising cookbooks, she told me about updating her 1996 classic: “There was no way to make a tiny facelift. It was like a major surgery.” The new book has recipes for sourdoughs, ryes, semolinas, sandwich breads, pizza crusts, focaccias, and sweet treats, “the way we make it, and the way it should be,” said Scherber.
2. The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes for Every Occasion by John Barricelli (Clarkson Potter, Mar.)
PW’s review said this baking book makes “you feel like you’ve stepped into the ultimate bakery, complete with rows of perfectly crisp cookies, trays of oversized, fruit-studded muffins, just-frosted layer cakes, and the smell of fresh bread hot out of the oven.” Add succinct instructions, informational headnotes, technique tips, full-page color photos and a clean design, and this is a terrific gift title.
3. Supper for a Song by Tamasin Day-Lewis (Rizzoli, Mar.)
There’s something free and unbridled about Day-Lewis’s approach to cooking, previously demonstrated in Art of the Tart, Tarts with Tops On and other books. Now, the cookbook author and food writer takes on comfort foods like risotto, pasta, and stews. Impressively, the book claims to offer recipes that are both satisfying and healthy (perhaps in the way of Day-Lewis’s leftovers-turned-“zingy salads”?).
4. What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio (Ten Speed, Apr.)
The authors behind the fascinating Hungry Planet (a 2006 James Beard Award winner) and What the World Eats are back with a book Ten Speed is positioning as “Michael Pollan meets Anthony Bourdain.” Photojournalist Menzel and his wife, former TV news producer D’Aluisio, hit 30 countries, profiling a soldier, a sumo wrestler, a competitive eater, a Sudanese refugee, a model—even Ferran Adrià—to see what they eat daily. They also look at each person’s height, weight, activity level and daily caloric intake. I love the blend of voyeurism and useful information in Menzel and D’Aluisio’s books.
5. Sustainably Delicious: Making the World a Better Place, One Recipe at a Time by Michel Nischan (Rodale, Apr.)
Nischan’s Taste: Pure and Simple (2003) was a classic, telling of the French-trained chef’s family health crisis, which led him to rethink cooking. His new book taps into a timely trend, sure, but also reflects Nischan’s Midwestern roots and innate frugality. Intriguing dishes are back: marshmallows, featured in a corn dish in Taste, resurface in Sustainably Delicious’s heirloom beet salad with savory marshmallows; and a recipe for leg of pasture-raised lamb stuffed with chestnuts and dried cranberries sounds divine.
6. The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes, and Ideas for the Creative Cook by Niki Segnit (Bloomsbury, June)
Is it a knock-off of The Flavor Bible? Or a new take on flavor pairings for creative cooks? Either way, I’m intrigued. Segnit is a “career flavor scientist” who’s worked with Uniliver, Lindt, Coco-Cola, Cadbury, and other companies to develop new products and flavors. This is probably the kind of book that will be equally at home on my nightstand, coffee table or kitchen counter.
7. Eating for Beginners: An Education in the Pleasures of Food from Chefs, Farmers, and One Picky Kid by Melanie Rehak (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Aug.)
Rehak, who writes Bookforum’s “Paper Palate” food books column and the blog Eating for Beginners, felt confused and guilty about her food choices after reading books by Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, and others. So she joined the kitchen staff at a small restaurant that served almost exclusively locally grown food, and worked on some of the farms that supplied the restaurant. She shares what she learned and how she used it to combat her young son’s fussy eating habits.
8. Within Our Means by W. Hodding Carter (Algonquin, Sept.)
Former Gourmet.com blogger Carter tells the tale of how he and his family of six aims to live on their actual yearly income instead of the more than three times that amount they have been—by growing their own food, raising chickens and goats, hunting and fishing, converting their car so that it runs on French fry oil, chopping wood to fuel a stove, and giving up luxuries like coffee, wine and processed foods.
9. Baked: Great Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Oct.)
The first Baked book presented classic desserts with a little something special or unique, and book two promises more. On the menu: Banana Cream Pie, Boston Cream Pie, Black & White Cookies, Opera Cake, and Trifle. I loved Baked for its quirky style and cool design, and according to STC, the new book will deliver both again.
10. The Bon Appétit Desserts Cookbook (Andrews McMeel, Nov.)
If this new tome is anything like the IACP-winning Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook (Wiley, 2008), we’re in for a treat. Billed as a comprehensive blockbuster on “all things sweet and wonderful,” it has more than 850 dessert recipes culled from the magazine’s extensive archives in addition to some that have never been published before.
This story originally appeared in Cooking the Books, PW's e-newsletter for cookbooks.