2021 Spring Cookbook Preview, Part 3

April!


SPN 2021 Spring Cookbook Preview: April

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What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories about Food and Family edited by Sun Yung Shin

Poet and children’s author Sun Yung Shin edited this collection of essays by writers, artists and poets from immigrant and refugee families. The theme here is food as a unifier, both across cultures and across generations, and specifically how families relate and adapt to Minnesota’s culture and climate. Minnesota Historical Society Press: April 1.

Sumac: Recipes and Stories from Syria  by Anas Atassi

This project was born of author Anas Atassi’s desire to “to build a bridge between Syrian culture and the rest of the world, with food the common denominator,” after years of war have torn his home country apart. Born in Homs, Syria and currently living in Amsterdam, Atassi collected recipes and stories from family for this gorgeous book, shot by Humans of Damascus photographer Rania Kataf. Interlink: April 1.

The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with recipes) by Kate Lebo

I suspect essayist and cookbook author Kate Lebo might have thoughts on why fruit seems so comforting right now. In this book, she explores twenty-six different fruits (“A” is not for apple), blending “natural, culinary, medical, and personal history.” Looking forward to spending some time with this one. Farrar, Straus and Giroux: April 6.

The Four Fundamentals of Smoking: Pit Master Secrets to Making Incredible BBQ at Home by Chris Sussman

Barbecue books often skip over the hard parts in favor of recipes. But here, competition smoker Chris Sussman dives right into the deep end. The four fundamentals he looks at here are: how to build a proper fire, how to control humidity in the smoker (thus controlling smoke flavor), how to maintain temperature (the hardest concept in barbecue?), and how to know when your meat is done cooking. Tried and failed at barbecue a few times? Check this out. Page Street: April 6.

To Asia, With Love: Everyday Asian Recipes and Stories From the Heart by Hetty McKinnon

Touting “traditional dishes prepared in non-traditional ways,” this is cookbook author Hetty McKinnon’s love letter to her family, from the Chinese dishes her mother made in the Sydney kitchen of her childhood to the food she cooks in her New York kitchen today. Think kid-friendly weeknight dinners using ingredients and techniques from across Asia. Prestel: April 6.

It's Always Freezer Season: How to Freeze Like a Chef with 100 Make-Ahead Recipes by Ashley Christensen and Kaitlyn Goalen

How’s your freezer doing in this, the 341st month of the pandemic? I just had a major reckoning with mine, one that probably would have been aided by chef Ashley Christensen and cookbook author Kaitlyn Goalen’s guide to frozen food. Here, they not only offer recipes for freezer pantry items like cornbread and caramelized onions, but also dishes that use those items, like cornbread panzanella and onion tarts. Ten Speed: April 6.

Australia: The Cookbook by Ross Joseph Dobson

My late-stage pandemic hobby is watching Grand Designs Australia, and after months of googling where, exactly, various Melbourne suburbs are located, I am excited to learn about what all the people in these houses are eating. Joining Phaidon’s international food bible series is this 350-recipe tome on Australia, written by Sydney food writer and chef Ross Dobson. Phaidon: April 14.

Cook This Book: Techniques That Teach and Recipes to Repeat by Molly Baz

Hey, it’s former BA Test Kitchener Molly Baz with her first cookbook! The design on this book is extremely fun and accompanies the sort of punchy, energetic recipes Baz is known, for like eggy concoctions that work for brunch or dinner, vegetable dishes popping with herbs, and, yes, caesar salads. Also, novelty alert: QR codes throughout the book link to video technique demos, something I’ve never seen before. Clarkson Potter: April 13.

The Pepper Thai Cookbook: Family Recipes from Everyone's Favorite Thai Mom by Pepper Teigen with Garrett Snyder

Pepper Teigen is, yes, Chrissy Teigen’s mom, and her recipes for Thai food are a popular feature on Teigen’s recipe website. Now you can get her approachable take on Thai dishes like lemongrass roaster chicken, turkey grapow, and Thai beef jerky, in one cookbook. Clarkson Potter: April 13.

monk: Light and Shadow on the Philosopher's Path by Yoshihiro Imai

Yoshihiro Imai is chef at Kyoto omakase restaurant monk, where he serves… pizza! Among other things, of course, but the pizza is what he’s known for. Here, he gets very philosophical about cooking with wood fire, foraging, cooking seasonally, working with farmers, and more. All in the name of pizza. Phaidon: April 14.

Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories by Nigella Lawson

New Nigella! New Nigella! This one came out in the UK in the fall, but now we finally get our grubby hands on it stateside. This book combines essays on how she runs her home kitchen throughout the year, with recipes for “family dinners, vegan feasts, and solo suppers” including Burnt Onion and Eggplant Dip, Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce, and Beef Cheeks with Port and Chestnuts. Ecco: April 20.

Mother Grains: Recipes for the Grain Revolution by Roxana Jullapat

Roxana Jullapat of LA bakery Friends & Family works with whole local grains to create her cookies and pastries. She’s part of a national movement towards using locally grown whole grains in baking, a practice that’s rewarding and increasingly accessible for home cooks. Here she explores the specific qualities of eight whole grains—barley, buckwheat, corn, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, and wheat—and how to use them in your baking. Norton: April 20.

Living Within the Wild: Personal Stories & Beloved Recipes from Alaska by Kirsten Dixon and Mandy Dixon

I am always here for rare US regional cookbooks, and Alaska is one you certainly don’t see very often. Another thing you don’t see very often? Chef mother-daughter duos writing cookbooks together. Kirsten and Mandy Dixon run several restaurants in South Central Alaska, and recipes in the book include Black Bean Reindeer Chili, King Salmon Bowl with Miso Dressing, Dried Tomato Sesame Cookies, and Smoked Caramel Blueberry Brownies. Alaska Northwest Books: April 20.

Getaway: Food & Drink to Transport You by Renee Erickson with Sara Dickerman

I was such a fan of Seattle chef Renee Erickson’s first book, and am thrilled to see her second. Focusing on foods that transport you to other parts of the world, this book offers recipes pegged to specific places: Rome, Paris, Normandy, Baja California, London, and, of course, Seattle. We could all use a getaway by this point, I think. April 27: Abrams.

Just a Few Miles South: Timeless Recipes from Our Favorite Places by Ouita Michel

My shelves are groaning with regional cookbooks from the Southern US, but you better believe they can handle another one—especially when that book is by Central Kentucky chef Ouita Michel. The recipes come from her several restaurants, and, rare among chef cookbooks, each is credited to the cook responsible for it, who also writes the head note. Fireside Industries: April 27.

Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue by Adrian Miller

Finally, this much-anticipated history from award-winning writer Adrian Miller on the contributions of Black Americans to the world of barbecue. This book follows the history of smoked meats in the US through the eyes of the Black cooks, smokers, barbecuers, restaurateurs, and more who helped create the culture and cuisine of American barbecue. Can’t wait for this one. UNC Press: April 27.

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SPN 2021 Spring Cookbook Preview: April

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