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2021 Summer Cookbook Preview, Part 1
Howdy cookbook fans!
And welcome to part one of your summer 2021 cookbook preview, covering May and June titles. Summer is the sleepiest cookbook season, with most of the heavy hitters coming out in spring and fall. But don’t confuse the smaller quantity of releases with lesser quality: there are some excellent books coming out this summer. I can’t wait for you to meet them.
Usual disclaimers: this is not absolutely everything, just the books that caught my eye I thought you might want to know about. I cover books in English from around the world, so while most of my resources point to US release dates, YMMV depending on where you live/where the book was published.
And if you’re looking for part 2 and it’s July and August releases, here you go:
The Stained Page News 2021 Summer Cookbook Preview, Part 1: May and June
I’ve said it before, but cookbooks for kids is one of the most-requested cookbook categories people ask me about. This one looks like a keeper, from Australian chef Sarah Glover, whose first cookbook Wild focused on meals prepared in the great outdoors. This cookbook brings kids to the party, and shares pointers for letting them help prepare meals made around a campfire. Prestel: May 4.
Canadian TV chef Shahir Massoud explores Egyptian cuisine in this book, inspired both by his family’s own recipes and his Italian and French restaurant training. The book covers Massoud’s personal history, family stories, and 100 recipes for dishes both traditional and of his own invention. Appetite by Random House: May 4.
Another Canadian book, this one from chef Michael Smith of the Inn at Bay Fortune on Prince Edward Island. Smith is the author of several cookbooks, but this appears to be his first centering on the recipes of his restaurant. (Canadians, correct me if I’m wrong in the comments.) The Inn is known for its on-site farm and Smith’s live-fire cooking. Penguin Books Canada: May 4.
This is a book about how food moves. Author Yasmin Khan looks at Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus, from the Ottoman era all the way through the influence of modern day migrants. How has the food of the region changed, and how has it remained the same?Gorgeous and warm and full of great stories. Norton: May 4.
There are a whole bunch of cook-your-feelings cookbooks in the works, starting out with Steamed. Written by San Francisco authors Rachel Levin and Tara Duggan, this one’s a funny look at pounding chicken, tearing bread, and chopping onions til you feel better. Running Press: May 4.
Along with sister Althea, Matthew Raiford runs Gilliard Farms in Brunswick, Georgia, and as the subtitle to this cookbook implies, it’s been in the family for quite some time, since 1874 to be exact. Here he shares the history of his family and the farm, as well as the food the Gullah Geechee dishes they’ve cooked across generations. Countryman: May 11.
Well, seems this newsletter has been around long enough that book deals I wrote up are now real live books. This book from New Orleans bar owner T. Cole Newton was announced in August, and it’s already here! Cocktail recipes! Stories! “Questionable advice!” What more could you need? (Besides a solid evening at an actual dive bar, of course.) Running Press: May 11.
I love the idea of turning to older generations for recipes, as has been a slow-growing cookbook trend over the past few years with Pasta Grannies and In Bibi’s Kitchen. This collection looks at a diverse range of women from around the world, in addition to contributions from food writers sharing their own grandmothers’ recipes. Unbound: May 11.
Steven Raichlen has written a couple dozen books on barbecue and grilling, and most of them, as you might guess, focus on meat. Here he turns his attention instead to vegetables, and while the book is not strictly vegetarian, it is full of recipes for blistering and charring your produce to perfection. Workman: May 11.
You (I) perhaps best know Portland chef Gregory Gourdet from his stints on Top Chef, but here he trades quickfire challenges for healthy eating. Inspired by international flavors, this is a collection of 180 recipes that feels more “get healthy dinner on the table every day” to me than a diet book per se. Co-written with SPN fave JJ Goode! Harper Wave: May 11.
New from hunter/angler/gardener/cookbook author Hank Shaw, a look at fishing. This technique-heavy volume is probably best suited for those who do their own fishing, but there are recipes here that would be beneficial to anyone who cooks fish and seafood at home. H&H: May 13.
For whatever reason, I’m always drawn to massive cookbooks. Quality is of course more important than quantity, but there’s just something about a volume of options that I find irresistible. Here, New Hampshire chef Keith Sarasin dedicates 300 recipes (!) and 800 pages (!) talking about meat. Cider Mill Press: May 18.
Going beyond a farm-to-table, local dining ethos, Minnesota-based cookbook author Beth Dooley looks at how we can incorporate ideas of regenerative agriculture into our kitchens. Find out exactly what that means, and discover recipes that help support this style of agriculture that looks to “help retain topsoil, sequester carbon, and return nutrients to the soil.” University of Minnesota Press: May 18.
Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East by Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis with Lesley Suter
From the folks who brought you Bestia (and with it brought me my go-to ricotta recipe), this collection of recipes focuses on the Middle Eastern flavors of owners Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’s other LA restaurant, Bavel. Recipes include Tomato with Smoked Harissa, Turmeric Chicken with Toum, and Date-Walnut Tart. Ten Sped: May 25.
Food historian Hélène Jawhara Piñer looks at the food of Sephardic Jews, offering 50 recipes originally written in Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Occitan, Italian, and Hebrew translated into English. Historical context, her own insights, and some original recipes as well. Cherry Orchard Books: May 25.
I am surprised I haven’t seen this before, honestly! Much of what goes into cocktails is shelf-stable (IE booze), but if you don’t have fresh citrus or herbs or other perishables on hand, what are your best bets for cocktails? Pantry Cocktails to the rescue. Tiller: May 25.
The Tsakirises live “almost full time” on Greece’s Mani coast, and this book follows the seasonal Greek-by-way-of-New-York dishes they cook there. Recipes include “Smoked Trout and Wilted Lettuce Garden Salad, Savory Greek Yogurt Bowls, Winter Garden Pasta with Purple Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sage, and Dried Chiles, Grilled Octopus Marinated in Red Wine Vinegar, Honey, and Oregano, Lamb Slow-Cooked in the Gastra (Clay Pot), [and] Sea Salt and Honey Chocolate Chunk Cookies.” Harper Design: May 25.
And just in time for summer proper, The Art of Cooking with Cannabis. Features recipes from “dozens of organic farmers, award-winning chefs, artisans, and food producers” to help you figure out the best ways to use cannabis in your kitchen. Your kitchen in a state that legally allows for such things, of course. Skyhorse: May 25.
Modern twists on Egyptian, Lebanese, and Moroccan cuisine from two Cairo-based food writers, this book takes a healthy-eating approach to the foods of these three countries. American University in Cairo Press: June 1.
The food that is never cooked well-done here is steak Fiorentina, the famed Tuscan specialty. This book examines the foods of the region, with stories from farmers, artisan food producers, and more. Sime Books: June 1.
This officially official cookbooks of the Legends of Lucha Libre shares the recipes and stories of famous luchadores and luchadoras. Recipes include Super Astro's six-pound Gladiator Torta (!), Taya Valkyrie's Carne Asada, Penta Zero M's Chicken Fajitas with Bell Peppers, Tinieblas Jr.'s Surf and Turf luchador-style, Amy Dumas's Tlacoyo de Nopal and many more. Yes! Running Press: June 1.
Maine! More than lobster rolls and blueberry pie. Cookbook author Kate Shaffer take you through it, focusing on producers like creameries, farmers, restaurants, breweries and more. Countryman: June 1.
What exactly goes into a Japanese cocktail? Bartender and co-owner of New York’s Katana Kitten Masahiro Urushido explains the technique and history behind the style, along with 80 recipes contributed by Urushido himself and Japanese mixologists from around the world. HMH: June 1.
I’ve been thinking a lot about fandom/nerd culture cookbooks lately: who they’re for, and what those people get out of them. More on that soon, but first! A new World of Warcraft book. I won’t pretend to know anything about Azeroth or the foods they eat there and how they are new or not, but the above panda chef seems pretty chill. Insight: June 1. EDIT: Have gotten a couple emails re: the above image as a racist caricature. I’m trying to drum up some thoughts from folks familiar with the game/character, stay tuned.
I’m not really sure how this cookbook, written by Bangalore pastry chef Johny and Vegas-based pastry chef Lara, came to be. (Enlighten me in the comments?) But old school pastry with a twist feels like a good mood for 2021, so I’m game. Recipes include Banana Tahini Loaf, Cheesecake Pie, Flourless Black Forest Cake, Saffron Brioche, Carrot Cake Confit Pumpkin Pie, and more. Page Street: June 1.
Takes a brave cookbook author to put a time limit on their recipes; ex-Great British Bake Offster Chetna Makhan is confident enough she put a stopwatch on the cover, too. Looking for quick and easy Indian? Seems 30 Minute Indian is your book. Mitchell Beazley: June 1.
True story: way back in 2018 when I started the first version of Stained Page News on TinyLetter, Brette Warshaw’s What’s the Difference was one of the cool newsletters out there that inspired me to take the plunge. And now it’s a book! Please let Brette tell you the difference between broccolini, broccoli, and broccoli rabe, and much more. Harper Wave: June 8.
Cocktail educator Hoefling takes the “seminars” part of this title seriously: the book is split into five classes of 30 cocktails each, arranged in order from beginner skill level to advanced. History, techniques, ingredients, and, of course, recipes included. Abbeville Press: June 8.
Look, you are either tinned fish hive or you’re not, and if you are not, move along. Everyone else: hello. Chris McDade of Brooklyn restaurant Popina is here with all kinds of tricks for the funky, salty, fishy cans of your dreams, from pastas to big hunks of meat to simple snack ideas. Artisan: June 8.
Margaret Palca has been baking since 1985, and here she shares her decades of expertise. 80 recipes with a focus on step-by-step technique; goodies include Sour cream coffee cake, apple crumb squares, chocolate babka, whoopie pies, vegan maple pecan cookies. Skyhorse: June 8.
British regional cooking! Okay: this one is about Cornwall, so expect dramatic seascape photography, seafood, seasonal eats, and, though I could find no concrete evidence of such, pasties (one can hope anyhow). Written by chef Emily Scott of Restaurant Emily Scott Food. Hardie Grant London: June 10.
London chef Matt Zielonka is known for his colorful and intricate pastas that he posts on Instagram; here, he tells you all about how to make them. If' you’ve got the basics down and are looking to get perfect how your pasta looks, this is the book for you. Quadrille: June 10.
Paging Minnesotans: here, from the Minnesota Farmers Union, is a collection of essays about farming in Minnesota accompanied by restaurant-contributed recipes. Seasonal dishes include steel cut oatmeal with black currant blueberry jam, North Shore bouillabaisse, grilled hanger steak with swiss chard and tomato, and cherry-glazed madeleines. Globe Pequot: June 15.
Live-fire chuckwagon cooking from a rancher in the Texas panhandle: Natalie Bright typically blogs and writes romance novels, but here she looks at the storied cuisine of old fashioned cattle drives. TwoDot: June 15.
I can’t recall another book on Colombian food, so this one’s exciting. Bogotá-born recipe developer Mariana Velásquez here looks at the cuisine of her homeland, offering classic dishes as well as her own recipes like “Lomito de Cerdo al Tamarindo y Menta (Tamarind Pork Tenderloin with Mint), Gazpacho de Papaya y Camarón Tostado (Spicy Papaya and Charred Shrimp Gazpacho), and Cuchuco de Trigo con Pollito y Limón (Lemony Bulgur Farmer’s Chicken Soup).” Harper Wave: June 15.
Pie often gets all the attention, but here Anne Byrn looks at the deep cake tradition in the United States. Recipes include “Angel Food, Red Velvet, Pineapple Upside-Down, Gooey Butter, and Brownie to the lesser-known Burnt Leather, Wacky Cake, Lazy Daisy, and Cold Oven Pound Cake.” Rodale: June 15.
Yes, hello, did someone order a cookbook about sexed-up Netflix gown series Bridgerton? Here you are, please enjoy. Skyhorse: June 22.
From the people who brought you Let’s Make Ramen!, another comic book cookbook. This time? Dumplings. Expect plenty of step-by-step folding and wrapping instruction, and recipes for classics as well as modern riffs. Ten Speed: June 22.
Born and raised in Mexico City, London chef Edson Diaz-Fuente takes readers through the foods of his hometown. The book is organized by time of day, which is the first time I’ve ever seen that particular organization method, from breakfasts to late night eats. Hardie Grant London: June 24.
Minneapolis chef Alan Bergo takes all the foraging info from his popular website Forager Chef and here presents it in book form. From ramps (#ramps) to fiddleheads to all manner of mushrooms, let Bergo be your guide to the world of found foods. Chelsea Green: June 24.
Food stylist Zoe Alakija here combines the flavors of Nigerian cuisine with modern London cooking and a vegan diet for a cookbook that feels fresh and bright and energetic. Also I’m obsessed with how this book is shot, and hopefully it’s not too far a leap to assume the author styled her own cookbook as well. Just gorgeous. (Quick note that Bryant Terry also has a book called Afro-Vegan, but since this is a UK title maybe they’ll change it if it comes stateside.) Hoxton Mini Press: June 29.
Here, the McCartney clan (including Paul) update their late matriarch’s vegetarian recipes for a new generation. Recipes include McCartney family faves like “French Toast, Chili non Carne, Sausage Rolls, Shepherd’s Pie, Pulled Jackfruit Burgers and Crunchy Pecan Cookies.” Little, Brown: June 29.
This very pretty exploration of Italian sweet treats from Sardinia-based pastry chef and illustrator will take you rather plesantly from biscotti to sorbets. Hardie Grant London: June 24.
And much like your kids impatiently demanding dinner, we have arrived at the last book in part one of the SPN summer preview. Cookbook author and dad Joshua David Stein collected recipes that international chefs cook for their kids, including Sean Brock, Edouardo Jordan, Anne-Sophie Pic, and many more. Phaidon: June 30.