Best Cookbooks of 2013

… and the winner is Pok Pok by Andy Ricker

This is our 5th year of compiling the Best of the Best, and this is the first year there weren’t one or two clear front-runners.  Any one of the top 10 books looked like they could win, but at the end Pok Pok edged ahead.

Congratulations to Nigel Slater for achieving a Best of the Best first – two cookbooks in the top 10 in the same year. And congratulations go to Ten Speed Press who published 6 of the top 10 books listed below – including the top 4 books. This is an incredible achievement for one publisher.

We amalgamated 214 Best Cookbooks of 2013 lists from TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Websites, Blogs and Booksellers across the world (there are links to all of them below) to come up with the definitive guide to the best books on food and drink.

For those of you interested in data:

  • From 214 lists there were 2,070 votes
  • 736 different cookbooks made the list
  • 411 cookbooks had only one vote

Check out the Best Cookbooks of 2012,  Best cookbooks of 2011, Best cookbooks of 2010 and Best cookbooks of 2009 lists.

1. Pok Pok by Andy Ricker and J.J. Goode

This is the first cookbook from Andy Ricker. He spent years traveling in Thailand, before opening a tiny restaurant in Portland, Oregon.  Following high praise from the critics his fame has spread – the success of this cookbook can only escalate that.

2. Manresa by David Kinch and Christine Muhlke

Another successful restaurateur produces his first cookbook.  This chef (and the book) is focused on the farm-to-table ethos of the San Francisco area and Northern California coast.

3. Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

Much more than a cookbook, this major work explores the relationships between vegetables, edible flowers, herbs, and familiar wild plants within the same botanical families.

4.  Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

This is the 4th year in a row that Ottolenghi has had a cookbook in the top 10.  This book was published in the UK in 2008 but following the huge success of Jerusalem and Plenty is now available in the USA.

5.  One Good Dish by David Tanis

Although his background is as a restaurant chef, this book is squarely aimed at the home cook.  Organized around his own personal themes, such as meals you can eat with a spoon, this is a decidedly original book that is still approachable.

6. The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin

Goin’s first book, Sunday Suppers at Lucques is immensely popular with EYB members and this follow-up looks to be as good.  The small plates developed at her second restaurant are here transformed into main courses for the home cook, alongside wine pairings.

7. Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater

Some of Slater’s early cookbooks were for quick recipes and here he returns to the theme, using his own supper-time improvisations for inspiration.

8. The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony

Given the huge popularity of this NYC restaurant since its opening in 1994, it’s amazing that it has taken this long for its first cookbook to appear (though of course there was the highly respected desserts book The Last Course from Claudia Fleming, the pastry chef).

9. A Work in Progress by René Redzepi

Three books in one, a journal, recipe book and flick book, A Work in Progress recounts the day-to-day life at Noma, consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in the world.

=10. Le Pigeon by Gabriel Rucker

Another first book from a highly respected chef (do we detect a theme this year?), this book covers all angles – main courses, desserts,, wine recommendations, back-story.  So for those of us who cannot get to Portland, this collection will have to do.

=10. Notes from the Larder by Nigel Slater

The second book in the Top 10 from Nigel Slater, this book was published in the UK last year as The Kitchen Diaries II.  Based on Slater’s journal entries over a year, this is a very personal collection of recipes and musings.

Runners Up

Top British/Irish Picks

1. Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater
2. Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food by Tom Kerridge
3. The Ethicurean Cookbook by The Ethicurian
=4. A Work in Progress by René Redzepi
=4. Save With Jamie by Jamie Oliver
=4. Leiths How to Cook by Leiths School of Food & Wine
=4. One: A Cook and Her Cupboard by Florence Knight
=4. Master It: How to Cook Today by Rory O’Connell
=4. Rick Stein’s India by Rick Stein

Top Australian/New Zealand Picks

=1. Asian After Work by Adam Liaw
=1. The Agrarian Kitchen by Rodney Dunn
=3. Save With Jamie by Jamie Oliver
=3. Love Italy by Guy Grossi
=3. Recipes for a Good Time by Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz
=3. Simply Good Food by Neil Perry
=3. The Blue Ducks by Mark LaBrooy and Darren Robertson
=3. The New Classics by Donna Hay

Top Canadian Picks

1. The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin
2. Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
=3. Pok Pok by Andy Ricker
=3. Manresa by David Kinch
=3. One Good Dish by David Tanis
=3. The Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol
=3. Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee
=3.  In the Charcuterie by Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller

Top Drinks Books

1. Winter Cocktails by Del Mar Sacasa and Tara Striano
=2. Bourbon by Kathleen Purvis
=2. The New California Wine by Jon Bonné
=2. The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson
5. The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide by Richard Betts
6. The Cocktail Lab by Tony Conigliaro

Top Vegetarian & Vegan Books

 1. Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison
=2. Eat Your Vegetables by Joe Yonan
=2. Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
 4. The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen
 5. Vedge by Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby
=6. The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier
=6. The Glorious Vegetables of Italy by Domenica Marchetti
8. River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-whittingstall

Top Gluten-free & Paleo Books

 1. Gluten-free Girl Every Day by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern
=2. Gluten-free and Vegan Pie by Jennifer Katzinger
=2. Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free by Ricki Heller
=2. Nom Nom Paleo by Henry Fong and Michelle Tam
 5. The Paleo Chocolate Lovers Cookbook by Kelly V. Brozyna

Top Memoirs & Books About Food

1. Cooked by Michael Pollan
2. L.A. Son by Roy Choi
3. A History of Food in 100 Recipes by William Sitwell
4. Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr
=5. From Scratch: Inside the Food Network by Allen Salkin
=5. 50 Foods by Edward Behr
=6. Anything That Moves by Dana Goodyear
=6. Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
=6. Soul Food by Adrian Miller

Sources for Data

TV & Radio

America’s Test Kitchen (Chris Kimball), Food Network, KCRW (Good Food), KQED (Bay Area Bites), NPR, NPR (Here & Now), NPR (The Splendid Table), PBS Food, SBS (Australia), WNYC

Newspapers & magazines

US: 5280 The Denver Magazine, Associated Press, The Atlantic, The Birmingham News, Bon Appétit, The Boston Globe (Susie), Boston Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Detroit News, Detroit News (gluten-free), Entertainment Weekly, Evanston Review, Food & Wine Magazine (chef cookbooks), Food & Wine Magazine (best restaurant cookbooks), Food & Wine Magazine (best technique books), Good Housekeeping, The Indiana Chronicle, In Style Magazine, Jewish Daily Forward, Kansas City Star, LA Weekly (Squid Ink), Los Angeles Times, Mail Tribune, Mercury News (San Jose), Nashua Telegraph, New Haven Register, Newsday, The New York Times, The New York Times (20 More Books), The Oregonian, The Oregonian (vegan cookbooks), The Oregonian (gluten-free & Paleo books), Philadelphia Inquirer, Portland Monthly, Publishers Weekly, Raleigh News Observer, The Republic (Arizona), Rocky Mountain Telegram, Saveur, Seattle Times, Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Sunset Magazine, Tampa Bay Times Times, USA Today, Washingtonian, The Washington Post (cookbooks), The Washington Post (wine books)

Canada: Chatelaine Magazine, The Globe & Mail (Chis Nuttall-Smith), The Globe & Mail (Lucy Waverman), National Post, Ottowa Citizen, The Post and Courier, The Vancouver Sun

UK & Ireland: Country Life, Daily Mail (Jane Shilling), Daily Mail (John Koski), The Guardian (best drinks books), The Guardian (best cookbooks), The Independent (Christopher Hirst), The Independent (Lisa Markwell), London Evening Standard, Metro, Observer Food Monthly, Red Magazine, The Telegraph, The Telegraph (Rose Prince), Wallpaper*

Australia & New Zealand: The Advertiser, Adelaide, Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Age, The Listener (Lauraine Jacobs)

Blogs, websites & online magazines

US: 80 Twenty, 5 Second Rule, AARP, American Food Roots, Anna + Kristina,, Austin 360, Bake Love Give, Bakepedia, Baking Bites, Beard and Bonnet, Becca Bakes, Better After 50, Blacksburg Belle, Bookish, Bookish (healthy eating), Booklist, Bookpage, Books to the Sky, Buzzfeed, Cookbook Look, Cookbooks for Dinner (Susie), Cooking With Amy (Family cookbooks), Cooking With Amy (American cookbooks), Cool Mom Picks, The Corner Kitchen, Craft Beer,, Culinate, Delicious Living (vegetarian & vegan), Delicious Living (gluten-free), Eat Chic Chicago, Eater, Eater New Orleans, Eat Live Travel, Eat the Love Pt.1, Eat the Love Pt.2, Edible Perspective, Epicurious, Family Bites, Field & Stream, Flour and Fancy, Fodor’s, Food52, Food Arts, Food in Jars, Foodista, Gluten-free Girl (chef’s books), Gluten-Free Girl (kid’s choices), Gourmet Business Magazine, Greatist, Green Vegan Living, The Hosemaster of Wine, Huffington Post (food writing), Huffington Post (Carey Polis), Huffington Post (John Mariani), Huffington Post (Jamie Schler), Katie at the Kitchen Door, The Kitchn, The Kitchn (chef cookbooks), The Kitchn (Jewish cookbooks), Knit & Nosh, Library Journal, Love & Lemons, Macaroni Kid, Make Life Special, Meatless Monday, Mother Jones, My Table (Houston), Nashville Scene,,, On the Food Scene, Poor Man’s Feast, Punk Domestics, Michael Ruhlman, Running With Tweezers, Savvy Eats, Seattle Met, A Serious Bunburyist, Serious Eats, Shelf Awareness, Simple Bites, Simply Recipes, The Smart Foodie, Splash (Chicago), The Town Dish, Vegan Cookbooks Limited, Weelicious, What’s Gaby Cooking, Yoga Journal

Canada: 49th Shelf,, CityLine, Food Bloggers Canada, Will Travel for Food

UK & Ireland: Fiona Beckett, Eat Travel Live, Edible Ireland, Food.Edited, Gas Mark Seven, Great British Chefs, The Happy Foodie (best cookbooks), The Happy Foodie (communty wishlist), Ms Marmite Lover, MSN Food UK, Mumsnet, The Visitor, We Don’t Eat Anything With a Face

Australia & New Zealand: Booktopia, Gourmantic, Graham Beattie

Booksellers, Libraries & Book Awards (cookbooks), (best holiday & entertaining books), (Food lit), Appetite for Books of Montreal, Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks of Vancouver, The Book Larder of Seattle, Cook + Book of Arnhem, Netherlands, The Cookbook Stall of Philadelphia, The Cookbook Store of Toronto, Gastro knjižara Fritula of Istria, Croatia, Good Egg of Toronto, Good Reads, Greenlight Bookstore of Brooklyn, NY, Indigo (Canada), Irish Book Awards, Kitchen Arts & Letters of New York, Omnivore Books of San Francisco, Rabelais Books of Portland, Maine, Readings of Melbourne, Australia, Scrumptious Reads of Brisbane, Australia