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Cookbooks to Pine Over this Summer and Fall

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Composite: KQED

Shelter-in-place may or may not be over soon, but here at KQED Food, we’ve got the recipe itch. Quarantine has inspired us to cook more, work with different ingredients and finally use the cookbooks that have been stacked on our shelves for months. With summer in full swing, we’re excited about several cookbooks that are coming out this season and in the fall. Here are some of our favorites. 

Eat Something (Out Now)

Eat Something cookbook cover
Chronicle Books

This cookbook from Wise Sons is filled with favorites from the well-loved Bay Area establishment. The 60-recipe book goes through holiday dishes, soups and pantry descriptions that are easy to follow and give a comprehensive approach to Jewish cuisine that’s not intimidating.  —Urmila Ramakrishnan

The Best American Food Writing (Out Now)

The Best American Food Writing cookbook cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Landing in bookstores later this fall is the 2020 edition of The Best American Food Writing. The third-annual anthology features a mix of narrative and reporting on food, and is guest edited by San Mateo-based chef and writer J. Kenji López-Alt. Last year’s collection was also edited by a local writer, the teacher and chef Samin Nosrat, and featured pieces from writers like Tejal Rao, Yemisi Aribisala, and Soleil Ho. This year promises a similarly exciting bunch, including Sho Spaeth on Benihana, Meghan McCarron on the myth of Portlandia and its restaurant scene, and Korsha Wilson on the mostly white, mostly male world of restaurant criticism. López-Alt has previously published the popular The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science which won a James Beard Award in 2015. — Ruth Gebreyesus

Impossible: The Cookbook (July)

Impossible Foods Cookbook
Impossible Foods Inc.

Call it gimmicky, but there is something very intriguing about this cookbook from the meat substitute company. Featuring some celebrity chefs like San Francisco's Traci Des Jardin, this book is for anyone who really wants to dive into the meatless meat experience in the way nature never intended.  —U.R.

Nourish Me Home (August 2020)

Nourish Me Home cookbook cover
Chronicle Books

From James Beard Award winner Cortney Burns comes this instructional guide to cooking seasonally. If you're looking for creative ways to eat more veggies and are trying to get healthier, this is your book. —U.R.

Hot Cheese (September 2020)

Hot Cheese cookbook cover
Chronicle Books

With everything going on, it will be nice to turn to this book for a couple of Gouda pun inspiration. This book dedicated to all things melted cheese has over 50 recipes ranging from cheesesteak to khachapuri. —U.R.


The Flavor Equation (October 2020)

The Flavor Equation cookbook cover
Chronicle Books

This is the second cookbook from Nik Sharma, and it focuses on the science of flavor. After his first book Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food came out, I cooked through the book voraciously. Some recipes became instant staples in my rotation for home meals and dinner parties. With this book, I find myself flipping through it (or in my case, scrolling) more like an entertaining textbook. It brought me back to my graduate school days of studying the anatomy of a recipe and diving into why we taste the way we taste. Sharma provides the context we need every time we, as home cooks ask, “Why are we doing this?” —U.R.

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