Introducing the Cookbooks of December 2023!
Ending the year with a bang.
Howdy cookbook fans!
And welcome to your December releases preview! I am…kind of shocked? To report that, after November’s sluggish showing, there are more books than I anticipated coming out this month! Normally publishers like to get their fall books on shelves well ahead of Christmas, but we’ve got a whole bunch of titles in this issue! Many of these are from publishers located outside the US—and accordingly, many of these have already been released in their countries of origin1—so perhaps that explains part of it.
So what have we here? A few vegan titles, including one that will help with your holiday party planning. Some baking books, some cocktail books (with and without alcohol), some celebrity chef books. A book that will help you make the beef Wellington of your dreams. And a book from an Italian chef that seems to be as much about cars as it is about food.
So let’s get into it, shall we?
Today's issue of Stained Page News is brought to you by Sally Ekus of The Ekus Group, a specialized cookbook agent offering her favorite cookbook loving newsletter community (SPN!) a 50% enrollment discount2 on her self-paced How to Write a Cookbook online class. By the end of the class you will have THREE sections of your book proposal started AND a succinct pitch to get the attention of an agent or publisher. You will also have access to the agency’s exclusive media kit checklist and insider agent info on the financials of real book deals!
The Stained Page News December 2023 Cookbook Preview
Any Vanderpump Rules fans out there? Reality star Ariana Madix is out with a follow-up to 2019’s Fancy AF Cocktails, but, um perhaps you heard there was a major…I cannot believe I am typing this word in SPN… “Scandoval” that means her new book focuses on the joys of drinking while single. (The first book was written with her ex, Tom Sandoval.) Single AF Cocktails offers 60 recipes for “high-drama cocktails,” but really aren’t all cocktails high drama if you drink enough of them? Clarkson Potter, December 5.
Hell yeah throw a vegan party with Vegan Party Planning from YouTuber Nikki Vranjican aka NikkiVegan (164k subscribers). Recipes, strategies, and menu ideas for vegan party animals, or those who want to invite vegans to their parties. Yellow Pear, December 5.
You know, I pride myself on being able to look at food photography all day, but there are a few things that really do me in. Pizza photos. Cheeseburgers. And now add Polish baked goods to the list: I was looking through spreads of The Sweet Polish Kitchen by Ren Behan and am regretting the choices that led me to live in a city with no Polish bakeries. At least now I can bake these recipes on my own? Interlink, December 5.
I am unfamiliar with Oakville Grocery in the Napa Valley, but apparently it is the oldest continually-operated grocery store in California! And now they have a cookbook: 100 recipes arranged in seasonal menus, very Wine Country—lots of Italian influence, some spa food, tons of pretty produce. Weldon Owen, December 5.
Okay so! Slow Food, Fast Cars is a book from Italian chef Massimo Bottura and his wife Lara Gilmore about their country inn, Casa Maria Luigia. The book contains 85 recipes that were “created in close collaboration” with the two authors—I have no idea what that means, but I assume the dishes are from the on-property restaurants—and celebrate the foods of Emilia-Romagna. Also, there’s a bunch of stuff about Italian cars and motorcycles! Phaidon, December 6.
World Vegan by Alice Pagés takes global inspiration for vegan dishes: think pancakes with miso caramel sauce, vegan burritos, banh mi veggie burgers, mushroom leek risotto, and much more. Grub Street, December 7.
Irish chef Mark Moriarty brings restaurant techniques to the home kitchen in Flavour. 100 recipes that “elevate everyday meals such as chicken and mushroom lasagna and slow cooked lamb curry.” Gill, December 7.
Looking to drink less liquor? Check out Sober Curious by Luke Basso, over 60 recipes for unleaded cocktails that lean on homemade syrups and mixers as well as unique flavorings. The book includes riffs on classic cocktails and new creations. Chartwell, December 12.
Well, when I heard London restaurateur Russell Norman died unexpectedly last month, I didn’t realize he had a new cookbook in the works. Brutto, which is modeled after his restaurant of the same name, looks at the foods of Florence, including recipes for anchovy with cold butter and sourdough, penne with tomato and vodka, sausages with braised lentils and mustard, roasted squash with borlotti bean and salsa verde, country-style bread and tomato salad, and 3-ingredient meringue hazelnut cookies. His previous two books, Polpo and Spuntino, were critically acclaimed and I trust this offering will be no different. Ebury, December 12.
UK celebrity chef Rick Stein is out with a new book, called Rick Stein’s Simple Suppers. Chapters are divided by occasion: suppers for one, suppers for two, suppers with friends, fast suppers, one-pot suppers, etc. BBC Books, December 12.
Meatsmith, written by chef Andrew McConnell and butcher Troy Wheeler, offers recipes from the duo’s Melbourne gourmet grocery and butchershop of the same name. Wellington! (Is it just me or is beef wellington having a bit of a moment right now?) Charcuterie! Roasts! More! Hardie Grant December 12.
Jenny Hurley, the creator of food blog Sunny with Shadows, has written Effortlessly Elevated Eats. The book takes dishes and adds a special ingredient to oomph their appeal: stuff like steak with miso garlic butter, - a red wine and dark chocolate pot roast topped with biscuits, mushrooms stuffed with caramelized onions, gruyere and prosciutto, and more. Page Street, December 12.
Instagrammer Saloni Mehta (243k followers) brings her vegan baking to print in Vegan Baking Made Simple. “Simple” here means easy; the recipes don’t sound terribly basic to me, with bakes including Earl Grey Blackberry Cupcakes, Salted Caramel & Pear Cake, Mango Passion Fruit Mousse, Almond & Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies, etc. Page Street, December 12.
Today in very specific cookbooks: are you a beginner baker who likes French pastries but also likes small pastries? Bite-Sized French Pastries for the Beginner Baker could be the book for you! Sylvie Gruber, who launched the blog A Baking Journey, walks you through the basics of Sablés Bretons, Tigrés Financiers, Mini Cherry Clafoutis and more. Page Street, December 19.
Apologies in advance if some of these are already out here, it can be tricky to definitively nail down US release dates on books published in other countries.
Offer expires by December 31st, 2023 but you can begin the class at any time after enrollment!