Best Cookbooks of 2015

… and the winner is Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully

This is our 7th year of compiling the Best of the Best, and there does seem to be a recurring pattern appearing. If Ottolenghi has a new book published worldwide that year, then there can only be one number 1 book.

In this year’s Best of the Best list we amalgamated more than 270 Best Cookbooks of 2015 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 270 lists there were 2,566 votes
  • 782 different cookbooks made the list
  • 413 cookbooks had only one vote

Check out the Best cookbooks of 2014, 201320122011, 2010 and 2009 lists.

1. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully

This is the sixth year in a row that Ottolenghi has had a book in the top 10 and the fourth time he has had the number one book. It was the number one book in every country we get polls from.

2. The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt

EYB members will know Kenji’s work from the huge Serious Eats index (Kenji is their managing culinary director). In this also massive book he distills all the technique expertise he has gained working on the Food Lab column. The book is worth the price just for the perfect poached egg trick.

3. Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Stephen Cook

The first cookbook from the acclaimed Philadelphia restaurant is full of dishes that you can easily cook at home. Although up-to-date in flavors and technique, the recipes showcase the many influences on Israeli cooking from the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe.

4. Gjelina by Travis Lett

And another first cookbook from an acclaimed chef, this time from the other side of the USA in Venice, California. In the Cal-Med style with seasonal, vegetable-centered dishes.

5. Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson

This is Nigella’s first appearance in Best of the Best, which is surprising given how popular her books are. This book, with a theme of simple, calm cooking, has obviously resonated with the reviewers as well as the home cooks.

6. The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson

Scandinavian cooking and baking was a top theme in 2015 – 6 books in the polls had Nordic or Scandi in their title. But this massive tome from Swedish chef Marcus Nilsson was the most popular with reviewers. The latest in Phaidon’s world series, it has over 700 recipes covering the rich culinary offerings of the Nordic region.

7. The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak

This book scored well with reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic, being written by a Californian who now owns a popular bakery in London. An ideal book for the baker who wants to claim that baked goods can be wholesome as well as indulgent.

8. Near & Far by Heidi Swanson

The 4th book from the popular vegetarian blogger (her blog 101 Cookbooks is one of the most popular that we index) has drawn inspiration from her many and varied travels. As with all her work, the photography is gorgeous.

9. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl

The sudden closure of Gourmet magazine, and the loss of her job as editor, threw Ruth Reichl into a tailspin. Here she chronicles the year in which she built herself back up and the recipes that aided her recovery.

10. Mamushka by Olia Hercules

There may have been lots of Nordic books this year but there was only one from Ukraine and beyond – from the Black Sea to Baku and Armenia to Azerbaijan. You will find recipes not available in any other cookbook such as Wasp nest buns.

Runners Up

Top British/Irish Picks

1. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
=2. A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry
=2. Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson
4. Mamushka by Olia Hercules
=5. A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones
=5. A Year of Good Eating: The Kitchen Diaries III by Nigel Slater
=7. River Cottage Love Your Leftovers by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
=7. The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson
=9. From Venice to Istanbul by Rick Stein
=9. Honey & Co: The Baking Book by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovitch

Top Australian/New Zealand Picks

1. Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
=2. Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School by Adam Liaw
=2. River Cottage Love Your Leftovers by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
=2. Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson
=2. The Cook and the Baker by Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa
=2. The Great Australian Cookbook
=7. Biota by James Viles
=7. Falafel for Breakfast by Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley
=7. Greek by George Calombaris
=7. Luke Nguyen’s France by Luke Nguyen
=7. Mr. Wilkinson’s Well-Dressed Salad by Matt Wilkinson

Top Canadian Picks

1.  Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully
2. True North by Derek Dammann and Chris Johns
=3. My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
=3. Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson
=5. Gjelina by Travis Lett
=5. The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt
=5. Vegetarian India (Curry Easy Vegetarian in the UK) by Madhur Jaffrey
8.   Montreal Cooks by Jonathan Cheung and Tays Spencer
=9.  Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore
=9. Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady

Top Drinks Books

1. The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual by Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry and Ben Schaffer
=2. The Wine Bible, 2nd Edition by Karen MacNeil
=2. Wine Folly by Madeline Puckett and Justin Hammack
=4. A Visual Guide to Drink by Ben Gibson and Patrick Mulligan
=4. The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson

Top Vegetarian & Vegan Books

1. Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
2. Vegetarian India (Curry Easy Vegetarian in the UK) by Madhur Jaffrey
3. Crossroads by Tal Ronnen
4. A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones
5. Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward
6. My New Roots by Sarah Britton
=7. Thug Kitchen Party Grub
=7. Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen by Richa Hingle
=8. A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
=8. Food52 Vegan by Gena Hamshaw

Top Gluten-free & Paleo Books

 1. Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward
 2. My New Roots by Sarah Britton
 =3. Get the Glow by Madeleine Shaw
 =3. Gluten-Free Girl American Classics Reinvented by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern
 5. My Darling Lemon Thyme by Emma Galloway

Top Memoirs & Books About Food

1. Pig Tales by Barry Estabrook
2. A Life of Spice by Monica Bhide
3. The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker
=4. Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin
=4. Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Sources for Data


TV & Radio

Food Network, KCRW Good Food (Santa Monica), KCUR (Kansas City), KQED Bay Area Bites (San Francisco CA), KPLU (Seattle), NPR (T.Susan Chang), NPR (Here & Now), NPR (The Splendid Table), WGBH (Amy Traverso), The Food Programme (BBC), SBS (Australia)

Newspapers & magazines

USA: Associated Press, The Atlantic, Bon Appétit, Bookpage, Brooklyn Magazine, The Buffalo News, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Tribune Suburbs, The Christian Science Monitor, Cooking Light, Food & Wine Magazine (cookbooks), Food & Wine Magazine (wine books), Houston Chronicle, The Indiana Chronicle, The Jewish Daily Forward, Knoxville Mercury, LA Weekly (Squid Ink), Los Angeles Times, Nashua Telegraph, New Haven Register, Newsday, The New York Times, The New York Times (best baking books), The Oregonian (general cookbooks), The Oregonian (best vegan cookbooks), Plate, Publishers Weekly, Raleigh News Observer, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Saveur, Seattle Times, Star-Telegram (Fort Worth), Sunset Magazine (best wine books), Sweet Paul Magazine, Tampa Bay Times, USA Today, Union-Tribune San Diego, Vegetarian Times, Vogue, Wall Street Journal (Georgia Pellegrini), The Washington Post (cookbooks), The Washington Post (cocktail books)

Canada: Calgary Herald, Canadian Living, Chatelaine Magazine, The Chronicle Herald, The Globe & Mail, National Post, Nomms, Ottowa Citizen, Toronto Star, The Vancouver Sun, Zoomer Magazine

UK & Ireland: Country Life, Daily Mail, Delicious Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Good Housekeeping UK, The Guardian (best cookbooks), The Guardian (best drinks books), Ham & High (London), The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Herald (Scotland), The Irish Times, London Evening Standard, London Evening Standard – ES Magazine, Observer Food Monthly, Red Magazine, The Spectator, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Times (Irish edition), The Telegraph

Australia & New Zealand: Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Australian Financial Review, Daily Life, Good Food (Sydney Morning Herald), The Listener (Lauraine Jacobs)

Blogs, websites & online magazines

USA: Ambitious Kitchen, The Baking Society (best bread books), Booklist, Book Reporter, Bundt Lust, The Chalkboard, Chronicle Books Blog, Civil Eats, Cook In Dine Out, Cookook Junkies, Cookie and Kate, Cooking With Amy (general), Cooking With Amy (Jewish), Cooking With Amy (Desserts), Cooking With C.C., Cravings, The Daily Beast, Daily Burn, Delish Knowledge, Dessert First, Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen, Drink Spirits, Eat Chic Chicago, Eater (cookbooks), Eater (food books), Eat the Love Pt.1, Eat the Love Pt.2, Eat the Love Pt.3, Epicurious, Examiner. com (pt 1), Examiner. com (pt 2), Fab Over Fifty, Fit Bottomed Eats, Food52, Food52 (The Piglet Community Picks), Foodista, Fresh New England, Gear Patrol, Glorious Treats, Grub Street, Hola Jalpeno, Huffington Post (healthy eating), Huffington Post (Jamie Schler), Huffington Post (Brian O’Rourke), In Sonnet’s Kitchen, Rebecca Katz, The Kitchn, Large-Hearted Boy, Lavende and Lemonade, Leite’s Culinaria, Library Journal (best of 2015), Library Journal (general), Library Journal (baking), Library Journal (international), Library Journal (chef’s books), Louisiana Cookin’, Love & Lemons, Make It Better, Men Who Dine, Munchies, New in Books (general), New in Books (baking), New in Books (vegetarian), No Fixed Abode for Sue, Nourished Kitchen, Off the Shelf, Olives for Dinner, Paste, Paste (veganish books), The Perfect Spot, Plenteous Veg (juicing), PopSugar, Punk Domestics, Read It Forward, Remodelsita, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms, Michael Ruhlman, Running With Tweezers, The Secret Ingredient, A Serious Bunburyist, Serious Eats, Shef’s Kitchen, Shelf Awareness, Spoon Fork Bacon, Stanthology, Swide, Take Part, Tastebook (best brunch books), Tastebook (best baking books), Tastebook (best restaurant books), Tastebook (books for serious cooks), Tastebook (books for entertaining), Tasting Table, Tasting Table (cocktail books), Traditional Cooking School, The Tucson Home Skillet, Turntable Kitchen, Urban Farm Junkies,, What’s Gaby Cooking,, Will It Waffle, Yahoo Food, Zester Daily (top Jewish cookbooks), Andrew Zimmern

Canada: 49th Shelf, Anna & Kristina, Eat North, Gothic Epicures, Kitchen Frolic, She Does the City, Simple Bites (International), Simple Bites (Canadian), Welcome to Lucy’s Kitchen, Will Travel for Food

UK & Ireland: Big Spud, Cookbook Confidential,, A Cup of Tea With Mrs B, Edible Ireland, The Flexitarian, Good to Know Recipes (UK), Great British Chefs, The Happy Foodie (best cookbooks), The Happy Foodie (best vegetarian cookbooks), Healthista,, Homemade, I Love Cooking (IE), Kavey Eats, The Little Loaf, Matching Food and Wine, Mr. Fox, Ms Marmite Lover, Miss Dinky, Mumsnet, Veggie Runners

Australia & New Zealand: All You Do Is Eat, Booktopia, Gourmantic, Gourmet Chick, Monday Morning Cookbook Club, Stone Soup

Booksellers, Libraries & Book Awards,,, The Book Depository, The Andre Simon Awards (UK), Appetite for Books of Montreal, Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks of Vancouver,  The Book Larder of Seattle, Bookends & Beginnings of Evanston IL, Cook + Book of Arnhem, Netherlands, The Cookbook Co. Cooks of Alberta, The Cookbook Stall of Philadelphia, Good Egg of Toronto, Good Reads, Irish Book Awards, Kitchen Arts & Letters of New York, Kitchen Witch Cookbook of New Orleans,  De Kookboekhandel of Amsterdam, Omnivore Books of San Francisco, Powell’s of Portland, Rabelais Books of Portland, Maine, Readings of Melbourne, Read It and Eat of Chicago, Scrumptious Reads of Brisbane


Evan Kleiman, Jamie Oliver, Jacques Pépin, Ruth Reichl, Amelia Saltsman