Best Cookbooks of 2019

…and the top-rated book around the world in 2019 is Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman. With no new Ottolenghi book this year, there was an open field for contenders for the crown and Alison Roman’s second book romped home, collecting votes from around the globe. Interestingly, three of the top 15 books this year were reissues – The Food of Sichuan, Joy of Cooking, and Tartine.

This is our 11th year of compiling the Best of the Best. We search the globe to come up with the definitive list of the best books on food and drink of the year. Not just one reviewer’s opinion but an amalgamation of every list we could find.

In this year’s Best of the Best list we combined more than 300 Best Cookbooks of 2019 lists from TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Websites, Blogs and Booksellers across the world (there are links to all of them below).

For those of you interested in data:

  • From 303 lists there were 2,537 votes
  • 631 different cookbooks made the list
  • 290 cookbooks had only one vote

Check out the Best cookbooks of 2018, 2017201620152014, 201320122011, 2010 and 2009 lists.

1. Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman nails dinner with the author’s permission to be imperfect. Roman makes having people over fun and not stressful. This abundant collection of all-new recipes that are unfussy is for gatherings big and small, any day of the week. Roman appeals to the masses from the novice to the experienced cook all looking to create delicious food.

2. Jubilee by Toni Tipton-Martin is a celebration of two hundred years of African-American cooking. The author’s vast research is shared in the stories and recipes developed by the black professional culinary class from butlers to ranch hands to classically trained chefs. Toni is a story-teller and Jubilee is a treasure to read and to cook from as every page brings more knowledge, history, and great food.

3. From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry is a can’t-miss by the incomparable Ms. Henry. The recipes here do take care of themselves. Diana’s recipes appeal to the masses for a number of reasons: they are approachable, packed with flavor and crowd-pleasers. The recipes will be repeat offenders (in the most positive way) in your menu planning.

4. Sababa by Adeena Sussman is a treasure. Sababa is Hebrew for basically “everything is awesome” and the title reflects the contents. 125 brilliant recipes bring Israeli kitchen staples such as tahini, sumac, silan (date syrup), harissa, za’atar to our table, while also presenting more exotic spices and ingredients. Adeena’s vibrant recipes reflect the way she cooks daily in her Tel Aviv kitchen and we will find inspiration and joy there as well.

5. Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker, Megan Scott & John Becker (new and revised this year) brings a new generation of cooks many popular recipes from previous editions retested and updated, as well as over 600 new recipes geared to modern tastes and the way we cook today. From quick, weeknight-friendly recipes and meals you can cook ahead to show-stopping, celebratory dishes and DIY projects such as fermenting foods and making sausages, the new Joy has dishes for every occasion, whim, and skill level.

6. The Food of Sichuan by Fuchsia Dunlop is a new and updated edition of the author’s Land of Plenty with 200 recipes and stunning photographs. Almost twenty years after the publication of Land of Plenty, Fuchsia revisits the region where her own culinary journey began, adding more than 70 new recipes to the original repertoire and accompanying them with mouthwatering descriptions of the dazzling flavors and textures of Sichuanese cooking.

7. Pastry Love by Joanne Chang includes 125 dessert recipes for many things the James Beard award-winning pastry chef could never serve in the setting of a bakery. For example, items that are best served warm or with whipped cream on top. The recipes start off with simpler options such as Lemon sugar cookies and build up to showstoppers like Passion fruit crepe cake. The book also includes master lessons and essential techniques for making pastry cream, lemon curd, puff pastry, and more, all of which make this book a must-have for beginners and expert home bakers alike.

8. The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland reveals a completely new way to think about all aspects of fish cookery. From sourcing and butchering to dry ageing and curing, it challenges everything we thought we knew about the subject and invites readers to see fish for what it really is – an amazing, complex source of protein that can, and should, be treated with exactly the same nose-to-tail reverence as meat.

9. Indian-ish by Priya Krishna is a loving tribute to Priya’s mom’s “Indian-ish” cooking – a trove of one-of-a-kind Indian-American hybrids that are easy to make, clever, practical, and packed with flavor. Filled with stories, illustrations, and recipes that will surprise and delight, we will all strive to be Indian-ish.

10. South by Sean Brock is the long-awaited follow up to the chef’s 2014 debut cookbook, Heritage, a New Times bestseller and James Beard award winner. With recipes that range from Fried bologna with pickled peach mustard, Spring lamb with rhubarb butter, Peanut butter chess pie with a chocolate cornmeal crust, Grapefruit creme Anglaise, to Watermelon molasses, Brock has triumphantly proven that lightning does indeed strike twice.

Runners Up

Top British/Irish Picks

1.  From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry
2.  Dishoom by Shamil & Kavi Thakrar and Naved Nasir
3.  Greenfeast Autumn, Winter by Nigel Slater
4.   Sour by Mark Diacono
=5.  East by Meera Sodha
=5. The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland
=7.  Baan by Kay Plunkett-Hogge
=7.  Veg by Jamie Oliver
=9.  Black Axe Mangal by Lee Tiernan
=9.  Leaf by Catherine Phipps

Top Australian/New Zealand Picks

1. The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland
2. Veg by Jamie Oliver
=3. A Basket by the Door by Sophie Hansen
=3. From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry
=3. Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman
=3. Warndu Mai (Good Food) by Rebecca Sullivan and Damien Coulthard
=7. The Commons by Matthew Evans
=7. Fire Islands by Eleanor Ford
=7. The Food of Sichuan by Fuchsia Dunlop
=7. Greenfeast Autumn, Winter by Nigel Slater
=7. Rick Stein’s Secret France by Rick Stein

Top Canadian Picks

=1. Burdock & Co by Andrea Carlson 
=1. Kitchen Party by Mary Berg
=3. Fraiche Food, Full Hearts by Jillian Harris & Tori Wesszer
=3. Tawâw by Shane Chartrand
=5. Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski
=5. Chop Suey Nation by Ann Hui
=5. Dirty Food by Julie van Rosendaal
=5. Duchess at Home by Giselle Courteau
=5. From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry
=5. Modern Lunch by Allison Day
=5. Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman
=5. Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan

Top Drinks Books

=1. Natural Wine for the People by Alice Feiring
=1. The World Atlas of Wine (8th edition) by Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson
=3. Last Call by Brad Thomas Parsons
=3. Wine Simple by Also Sohm
5. Sip by Sipsmith
=6. Bar Chef by Christiaan Röllich
=6. How to Cocktail by America’s Test Kitchen
=6. The NoMad Cocktail Book by Leo Robitschek
=9. Batch Cocktails by Maggie Hoffman
=9. Fancy AF Cocktails by Ariana Madix & Tom Sandoval
=9. The Martini Cocktail by Robert Simonson
=9. The World Atlas of Gin by Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley

Top Vegetarian & Vegan Books

  1. Greenfeast Autumn, Winter by Nigel Slater
  2. East by Meera Sodha
=3. Bish Bash Bosh! by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby
=3. I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
=3. Zaika by Romy Gill
  6. Bazaar by Sabrina Ghayour
=7. Cornucopia by Tony Keogh & Aoife Carrigy
=7. Fast & Easy Vegan by JL Fields
=7. Love and Lemons Every Day by Jeanine Donofrio
=7. The Buddhist Chef by Jean-Philippe Cyr

Top Memoirs & Books About Food

1. Midnight Chicken by Ella Risbridger
2. Signature Dishes That Matter by various
3. Notes From a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuache
4. Hungry by Jeff Gordinier
5. Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
6. The Way We Eat Now by Bee Wilson
=7. Drive-Thru Dreams by Adam Chandler
=7. Women on Food by Charlotte Druckman
=9. Hotbox by Matt & Ted Lee
=9. One More Croissant for the Road by Felicity Cloake

Sources for Data

Eat Your Books

EYB top picks (Jan-June), EYB top picks (July-Dec)

TV, Radio, YouTube & Podcasts

BBC (The Food Programme), CBC, Food Network, Food Network (healthy books), KCRW Good Food (Santa Monica), NBC News (Better), NBC News (cooking), NPR (The Concierge), NPR (Here & Now), NPR (The Splendid Table), Today (NBC), WGBH (Boston Public Radio), WGBH (Under the Radar)

Newspapers & magazines

USA: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (best cocktail books), The Atlantic, The Austin Chronicle, Better Homes & Gardens, The Birmingham News, Bon Appétit, Bon Appétit (gifts), Bookpage, The Boston Globe, Buffalo Spree, The Charlotte Observer, Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Conde Nast Traveler, Culture Magazine, Detroit News (cocktail books), Edible Boston, Edible East End, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Food & Wine Magazine (cookbooks), Food & Wine Magazine (drinks books), Forbes (gifts), Forbes (healthy), Forbes (keto), Houston Chronicle, In Style Magazine, Inlander, Los Angeles Times, Mail Tribune (wine books), Martha Stewart Living, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, The Morning Call, New Haven Register (Part 1), New Haven Register (Part 2), New Jersey Star-Ledger, The New York Times, The New York Times (best baking books), The New York Times (best wine books), The New Yorker, New York Magazine (baking books), The Oregonian, Outside, Parade, People Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Portland Press Herald (vegan cookbooks), The Post and Courier, Prevention Magazine, Publishers Weekly (lifestyle), Publishers Weekly (gifts), Rachael Ray Every Day, Raleigh News & Observer, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle (DateBook), San Jose Mercury News, Seattle Times (gifts), Seattle Times (wine books), Self, Southern Living, Southwest The Magazine, The Star-Ledger (NJ), Star Tribune (baking books), Sunset Magazine, Sweet Paul Magazine, Tampa Bay Times, Taste of Home, Taste of Home (gifts), Time Out Los Angeles, The Times-Picayune, Town & Country Magazine, USA Today, Union-Tribune San Diego, The Virginian Pilot, Vogue, Wall Street Journal (food books), The Washington Post (cookbooks), The Washington Post (wine books), Wine Enthusiast (natural wines), Women’s Health (healthy), Women’s Health (vegan), The Writer

Canada: Chatelaine Magazine, Now Toronto, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, The Walrus

UK & Ireland: BBC Good Food, Bury Free Press, Country Life, Daily Mail (1), Daily Mail (2), Delicious Magazine, Financial Times, Good Housekeeping UK, GQ Magazine, The Guardian, The Independent, The Herald (Scotland), Irish Independent, The Irish News, London Evening Standard, Observer Food Monthly, Red Magazine (best gifts), The Spectator, The Spectator (gifts), Today FM (Ireland), The Week

Australia & New Zealand: Australian Good Food and Travel Guide, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Delicious, Good Food (Sydney Morning Herald), The Listener, Viva (NZ Herald)

Blogs, websites & online magazines

USA: Aileen Cooks, All Day I Dream About Food, AllRecipes, Ambitious Kitchen, A Beautiful Plate, Best Reviews, Better, BookBub, Bookish, Booklist, Browned Butter Blondie, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Cake ‘n Knife, The Chalkboard, Chowhound (gifts), Chowhound (international, Chowhound (meat), Chowhound (baking), Chowhound (coffee), Chowhound (wine), Chronicle Books Blog, The Colorful Kitchen, Dandelion Chandelier, Deep Find, Delish, Didn’t I Just Feed You?, The Dish, Eater, Eat This, Not That!, Eat This, Not That! (vegan), The Entertainment Report, Epicurious (gift books), Everyday Annie, Fine Dining Lovers, Five Books, Flirting With Flavors, Food52, Food52 (The Piglet), Food and DIY, Fooshya, Gear Patrol, Ginger Casa, Grub Street, How Sweet Eats, Huffington Post, International Culinary Center, Jewlicious, The Kitchn, Lennart’s Place, Library Journal, Literary Hub, Macaroni Kid, The Manual, Kim Turner McCulley, Meatless Mondays, Mom’s Kitchen Handbook, Monsters & Critics, My Best Cookbooks, My Domaine, PETA.org (vegan), Plate, PopSugar, Read It Forward, The Robb Report, Sara by the Season, Sarah’s Bake Studio, Refinery 29, Remodelsita, Scoop Charlotte, A Serious Bunburyist, Serious Eats, Shelf Awareness, Simply Recipes, Smithsonian.com, The Spruce Eats (vegan), Two Peas & Their Pod, UpRoxx, VB in the City, VeggieBoards, We Are Not Martha, Well + Good (healthy), Well Plated, What’s Gaby Cooking, Whole Food Bellies, Wine Blog, Zestful Kitchen

Canada: 49th Shelf, Food Bloggers Canada, Good Life Vancouver, Gothic Epicures, Simple Bites

UK & Ireland: Big Spud, Cookbook Review, Expert Reviews, GastroGays, The Happy Foodie (best cookbooks), The Happy Foodie (baking), The Happy Foodie (vegetarian & vegan), The Happy Foodie (TV shows), Healthista, HerFamily.ie, Hot Dinners, I Love Cooking (IE), iNews (healthy), iNews, Ms. Marmite Lover, MSN Food UK, News Puddle (vegan), Saffron Strands, Sheerluxe, Shemazing

Australia & New Zealand: Lambs’ Ears & Honey, Smite Thee With Apples, Stone Soup, Wellness East West

Booksellers, Libraries & Book Awards

Amazon.com (cookbooks), Amazon.com (food writing), The Andre Simon Awards (UK), Angus & Robertson Bookworld (Australia), Appetite for Books of Montreal, Avid Reader (Brisbane, Australia), Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, Book Larder of Seattle, Booktopia (Australia), City of Asylum Bookstore, Pittsburgh, Cook + Book of Arnhem, Netherlands, cookbookbake of Brighton, The Cookbook Co. Cooks of Alberta, Fortnum & Mason Food Awards (UK), Good Reads, Harvard Book Store of Cambridge MA, Indigo (Canada), Indigo (Heather’s Picks), (Canada), Irish Book Awards, Kitchen Arts & Letters (customer picks) of New York, De Kookboekhandel of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Omnivore Books of San Francisco, Powell’s of Portland, Powell’s (staff picks), Read It and Eat of Chicago, Readings of Melbourne, Waterstones

Authors

Tim Anderson, Margaret Atwood, Melissa Clark, Caroline Eden, Alice Feiring, Rozanne Gold, Darra Goldstein, Dorie Greenspan, Diana Henry, Lauraine Jacobs, Ted Lee, Joshua McFadden, Danny Mena, Samin Nosrat, Tom Parker Bowles, Rose Prince, Rachael Ray, Ruth Reichl, Rachel Roddy, Derek Sandhaus, Ed Smith, Toni Tipton-Martin, Amy Traverso, David Wondrich