The best cookbooks of 2013 by the experts

Who knows cookbooks better than the owners of specialist cookbook stores? They stock and sell thousands of cookbooks and because their stores are focused on food and drink books, they are true experts.  They read the books, cook from them and then share their knowledge with their customers.  When shopping for cookbook gifts this holiday season, think about supporting your local bookstore.  

We asked for best cookbook lists from all the cookbook stores that in our directory – these are the ones we heard back from.  All these lists will be included in our Best of the Best list, which is being unveiled tomorrow. 


Omnivore Books – owner Celia SackThe AOC Cookbook

Seriously Bittersweet by Alice Medrich
The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison
Manresa by David Kinch
Coi by Daniel Patterson
Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Le Pigeon by Gabriel Rucker
Saving the Season by Kevin West
In the Charcuterie by Taylor Boetticher & Toponia Miller

Kitchen Arts & LettersNach Waxman &  Matt Sartwell The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook

The Cocktail Lab by Tony Conigliario
Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop
The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen
The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony
I Love New York by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara
Manresa by David Kinch
Maximum Flavor by Aki Kamozwawa and H. Alexander Talbot
Modern Art Desserts by Caitlin Freeman
One Good Dish by David Tanis
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison


Rabelais Books – owners Don & Samantha Lindgren Eat Your Vegetables

Notes from the Larder by Nigel Slater
Simon Hopkinson Cooks by Simon Hopkinson
Food DIY by Tim Hayward
Eat Your Vegetables by Joe Yonan
Le Pigeon by Gabriel Rucker
Historic Heston by Heston Blumenthal
Seaweeds: Edible, Available & Sustainable by Ole G. Mouritsen
50 Foods by Ed Behr


The Book Larder – owner Lara Hamilton

Ottolenghi The Cookbook

The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin
Where There’s Smoke by Barton Seaver
Notes from the Larder by Nigel Slater
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Mastering Fermentation by Mary Karlin
One Good Dish by David Tanis
Mast Brothers Chocolate by Rick Mast & Michael Mast
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison
One Pan, Two Plates by Carla Snyder
Mr. Todiwala’s Bombay by Cyrus Todiwala
Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater 


The Cookbook Stall – owner Jill Ross


Vedge by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
Eating Italy by Jeff Michaud with David Joachim
Manresa by David Kinch
Caramel by Carole Bloom
Cooking Slow by Andrew Schloss
Cheese Obsession by Georgeanne Brennan
Le Pigeon by Gabriel Rucker
Bountiful by Todd Porter and Diane Cu
Ivan Ramen by  Ivan Orkin & Chris Ying
L.A. Son by Roy Choi 



The Cookbook Store – owner Alison Fryer

The Flavour Principle

Cooked by Michael Pollan
The Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol
The Toronto Star Cookbook by Jennifer Bain
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
A Work in Progress by René Redzepi
Coi by Daniel Patterson
Toqué! by Normand Laprise
Where Chefs Eat by Joe Warwick
Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking by Gordon Ramsay
Back to Basics by Michael White
Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater


Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks – owner Barbara-Jo McIntosh

Smoke & Pickles

A History of Food in 100 Recipes by William Sitwell
Coi by Daniel Patterson
The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin
Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee
One: A Cook and Her Cupboard by Florence Knight
Seaweeds: Edible, Available & Sustainable by Ole G. Mouritsen
The Deerholme Mushroom Book by Bill Jones
Chicken & Eggs (River Cottage Handbook No. 11) by Mark Diacono
The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen
Mast Brothers Chocolate by Rick Mast and Michael Mast 


Good Egg – owner Mika Bareket

Pok Pok

A Work in Progress by René Redzepi
Le Pigeon by Gabriel Rucker
Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater
Sweet by Valerie Gordon
Pok Pok by Andy Ricker
One Good Dish by David Tanis
Manresa by David Kinch
Toro Bravo by John Gorham & Liz Crain
The Art of Simple Food 2 by Alice Waters
Mast Brothers Chocolate by Rick Mast and Michael Mast


Appetite for Books – owner Jonathan Cheung

One Good Dish

One Good Dish by David Tanis
Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver
Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee
The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier
Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
Martha Stewart’s Cakes by Editors of Martha Stewart Living Magazine
River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
Chuck’s Day Off by  Chuck Hughes
Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
50 Foods by Ed Behr 



Scrumptious Reads – owner Julie Tjiandra

Sugared Orange

Manresa by David Kinch
Coi by Daniel Patterson
Mange Tout by Bruno Loubet
Wholefood Baking by Jude Blereau
Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Pham
Wholehearted Food by Brenda Fawdon
Recipes for a Good Time by Ben Milgate & Elvis Abrahanowicz
Kitchen Coquette by Katrina Meynink
A Work in Progress by René Redzepi
Sugared Orange by Beata Zatorska & Simon Target



Cook + Book (Netherlands) – owner Riejanne Schimmel

Rene Redzepi: A Work in Progress

De echte Chinese keuken thuis (Every Grain of Rice) by Fuchsia Dunlop
Home Made Menu by Yvette van Boven
New York: Recepten uit de Big Apple (New York Cult Recipes) by Marc Grossman
Granen, peulvruchten & zaden (Grains, Seeds & Legumes) by Molly Brown
A Work in Progress by René Redzepi
Down to Earth by Sacha de Boer & Jacob-Jan Boerma
Polpo by Russell Norman
Het grote wildplukboek by Edwin Flores
Keukendagboek (The Kitchen Diaries) by Nigel Slater
The Kinfolk Table by Nathan Williams

Gastro knjižara Fritula (Croatia) – owners Dijana Volkmer and Mak Krajina

Moro: The Cookbook

Hrvatska kuhinja i 606 recepata by Veljko Barbieri
The Istrian Cuisine New Recipes and Tastes by Bruno Šimonović and Ivo Semenčić
Čokolada 50 jednostavnih recepata by Academia Barilla (recipes by: Mario Grazia)
Meso za svaki dan (Meat 100 everyday recipes) by Bojana Franić (editor)
Kolači za svaki dan (Cakes 100 everyday recipes) by Silvia Sinković (editor)
U jednom loncu za svaki dan (Everyday One Pot) by Danijela Žitković Rumbak (editor)
Snaga sirove hrane (The Raw Energy Bible) by Leslie Kenton
Moro kuharica (Moro The Cookbook) by Sam & Sam Clark
Kreativna kuhinja by Stevo Karapandža
Umjetnost jednostavne kuhinje (The Art of Simple Food) by Alice Waters

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One Comment

  • bookpoet  on  December 22, 2013

    I dunno. Is it just me or were this year's crop of 'best cookbooks' just not as exciting as cookbooks published in the last few years? Those past years nearly did me in with their large numbers of irresistible titles. This year is pretty meh… Slater's "Notes from the Larder" is the pick of the bunch for me. "Vegetable Literacy" is a must-have classic reference and "Pok Pok" educates while retaining a very unique, quirky, voice, so I have those but for the most part I just was not wowed. There are too many chef-y cookbooks, too many representations of restaurant and cute-shoppe cooking, many of them vanity projects that home cooks will not cook from much. Missing from most lists are books like "Japanese Soul Cooking" by Ono & Salat (another Ten Speed Press book), the type of book which can expand a home cook's experience of a culture & cuisine. It was almost impossible to whittle down the abundance of amazing cookbooks published over the last two or three years to a rational number. This year, in contrast, has been far easier on my wallet (which is probably a good thing) as the "must haves" just haven't been there for me. Prediction? Really good narrative food writing (in the Pollan vein) may act as a place holder for cookbooks for a while as publishers reimagine and retool what they're about. The cookbook editors seem tired, the hard lean towards "innovative chefs" or vegan/paleo titles providing them with an easy answer to the paucity of other ideas. Time to cook from what I already have on the shelf!

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