Best Cookbooks of 2021

…and the top-rated book around the world in 2021 is Black Food: Stories, Art, and More than 75 Recipes from Across the African Diaspora.

This is our 13th 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 330 Best Cookbooks of 2021 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 330 lists there were 2,795 votes
  • 546 different cookbooks made the list
  • 187 cookbooks had only one vote

Check out the Best cookbooks of 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017201620152014, 201320122011, 2010 and 2009 lists.


1. Black Food: Stories, Art, and More than 75 Recipes from Across the African Diaspora is a groundbreaking title exploring Black foodways within America and around the world, curated by food activist and author Bryant Terry. The book is filled with essays, artwork, and unbelievable recipes from Black culinary stars. There are pieces from Michael W. Twitty, Jessica B. Harris PhD, Erika Council and more along with gorgeous imagery.


2. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi & Noor Murad is the first in an innovative new series for the home cook. All the signature Ottolenghi touches are here – big flavours, veggie-forward dishes, diverse influences – but are distilled to maximize ease and versatility. Designed in an interactive notebook style, they feature suggestions to adapt, spaces to write notes, and photography all of which inspires you to release your inner chef.


3. Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan is the author’s fifteenth book published during her thirty-year career. She is a remarkable baker, author and teacher and this ode to baking reflects all the reasons why Dorie is a trusted resource. She begins with a few pages of dos, don’ts and preferences before setting out the recipes which includes a revamp of her famous World Peace cookies.


4. Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Recipes and Perspectives from the Legendary Pitmaster by Rodney Scott celebrates the James Beard award-winning chef’s incredible culinary legacy through his life story, family traditions, and unmatched dedication to his craft. Chef and owner of Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston, South Carolina shares his staple recipes and techniques in this spectacular first offering.


5.  Cook This Book: Techniques That Teach and Recipes to Repeat by Molly Baz breaks the essentials of cooking down to clear and uncomplicated recipes that deliver big flavor with little effort and a side of education. There are dozens of QR codes throughout the book accessed through the camera app on your smartphone, that link to short technique-driven videos hosted by Molly to help illuminate some of the trickier skills. The recipes in this book are dripping with deliciousness.


6. The Korean Vegan Cookbook by Joanne Lee Molinaro shares recipes and narrative snapshots of the food that shaped the author’s family history. Some of the recipes come straight from her childhood while others pay homage to special events in her family. You need not be a vegan to appreciate this beautiful collection of recipes that anyone can enjoy.


7. Life Is What You Bake It by Vallery Lomas is the debut offering from the former attorney, turned baker and winner of third season of The Great American Baking Show. The title is divided into the following chapters beginning with morning treats; en France; cookies & bars; cobblers, pies & tarts; cakes; bread; doughnuts & other fried things and ending with lagniappe (“a little something extra”) which shares recipes for basics such as pastry cream and lemon curd. There is a QR code to scan for tutorials on fundamental baking techniques.


8. To Asia With Love by Hetty McKinnon is a spectacular offering with recipes range from the traditional to Hetty’s uniquely modern interpretations. Whether it’s a banh mi turned into a salad, a soy-sauce-powered chocolate brownie or a rainbow guide to eating dumplings by the season, this is Asian home cooking unlike anything you’ve experienced before.


9. Med by Claudia Roden is a culinary journey across the Mediterranean from the queen of Mediterranean cooking. This is how Claudia cooks for friends and family – always putting flavour first, beautiful ingredients, fuss-free cooking, and relaxed eating.


10. A Cook’s Book by Nigel Slater was written at the author’s kitchen table during COVID but many of the stories and recipes having been milling about for years. Nigel styles his own photographs which makes his titles even more special. The feel of the pages and content makes you want to stop time and absorb every word. If you have never purchased a Slater title before, now is your time.

Runners Up

Top British/Irish Picks

1. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi & Noor Murad
2. An A-Z of Pasta by Rachel Roddy
3. A Cook’s Book by Nigel Slater
4. Med by Claudia Roden
5. Sambal Shiok by Mandy Yin
6. One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones
=7. Advent: Festive German Bakes by Anya Dunk
=7. Sugar, I Love You by Ravneet Gill
=9. Cook As You Are by Ruby Tandoh
=9. Crave by Ed Smith
=9. Ripe Figs by Yasmin Khan

Top Australian/New Zealand Picks

1.  Home by Stephanie Alexander
=2.  Everything I Love to Cook by Neil Perry
=2.  Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi & Noor Murad
=4.  A Cook’s Book by Nigel Slater
=4.  Indian Cooking Class by Christine Manfield
=6.  Home Made by Broadsheet Media
=6.  Sambal Shiok by Mandy Yin
=6.  Take One Fish by Josh Niland
=6.  Tonight’s Dinner by Adam Liaw

Top Canadian Picks

=1. Sheet Pan Everything by Ricardo Larrivée
=1. Well Seasoned by Mary Berg
3. Farm, Fire, Feast by Michael Smith
=4. Acorn: Vegetables Reimagined by Shira Blustein & Brian Luptak
=4. Conveniently Delicious by Devin Connell
=4. Cook This Book by Molly Baz
=7. Eat, Habibi, Eat! by Shahir Massoud
=7. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi & Noor Murad
=7. The Double Happiness Cookbook by Trevor Lui
=7. Vegetables: A Love Story by Renée Kohlman

Top Drinks Books

=1. The Japanese Art of the Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido & Michael Anstendig
=1. The Way of the Cocktail by Julia Momosé & Emma Janzen
3. Death & Co: Welcome Home by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald & David Kaplan
4. On California edited by Susan Keevil
5. The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails by David Wondrich & Noah Rothbaum
=6. Fever-Tree Easy Mixing by FeverTree Limited
=6. Zero Proof by Elva Ramirez

Top Vegetarian & Vegan Books

1.  The Korean Vegan Cookbook by Joanne Lee Molinaro
2.  To Asia With Love by Hetty McKinnon
3.  One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones
4.  Provecho: 100 Vegan Mexican Recipes by Edgar Castrejon
5.  The Weekday Vegetarians by Jenny Rosenstrach
6.  Super Natural Simple by Heidi Swanson
=7. Asian Green by Ching-He Huang
=7. Dada Eats by Samah Dada
=9. Mumbai Modern by Amisha Gurbani
=9. Tarkari by Rohit Ghai
=9. The Modern Tiffin by Priyanka Naik
=9. Vegetable Simple by Eric Ripert

Top Memoirs & Books About Food

1.   Black Food by Bryant Terry
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
3.   Gastro Obscura by Cecily Wong, Dylan Thuras & Atlas Obscura
4.   Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
5.   Taste Makers by Mayukh Sen
6.   Black, White & The Grey by John O. Morisano & Mashama Bailey
7.   Sandor Katz’s Fermentation Journeys by Sandor Katz
=8.  World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie
=8. Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography by Laurie Woolever
10. Eating to Extinction by Dan Saladino

Sources for Data

Eat Your Books

EYB top picks

TV, Radio, YouTube & Podcasts

BBC (The Food Programme), CBC, Food Network (gifts), Food Network (baking), Food Network (vegan), Heart Radio (UK), HGTV, KCRW Good Food (Santa Monica), NPR (The Concierge), NPR (fall books), NPR (Here & Now), NPR – The Splendid Table (fall cookbooks), NPR – The Splendid Table (gifts), Today Show (NBC) (Black authors), Today Show, Today Show (gifts), Today FM (Ireland), WGBH (Boston Public Radio)

Newspapers & magazines

USA: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (gifts), Atlanta Journal-Constitution (best kids’ cookbooks), Atlanta Journal-Constitution (baking), Atlanta Journal-Constitution (best drinks books), Bon Appétit (gifts), BookPage, BookPage (gifts), The Boston Globe, The Boston Globe (gifts), Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland Plain Dealer (drinks), Conde Nast Traveler, Cosmopolitan, Esquire (spring), Food & Wine Magazine (cookbooks), Food & Wine Magazine (fall), Forbes (travel cookbooks), Forbes (drinks books), Garden & Gun, Houston Chronicle (spring), Inlander, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times (fall), The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Food Section, The New York Times (summer), The New York Times (wine books), The New Yorker, Outside, Philadelphia Inquirer (spring), Philadelphia Inquirer (fall/winter), Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Portland Monthly, Portland Monthly (chef’s picks), Portland Press Herald (vegan cookbooks), Publishers Weekly (lifestyle), Publishers Weekly (spring), Publishers Weekly (fall), Publishers Weekly (gifts), Real Simple, San Francisco Chronicle (first half), San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, San Jose Mercury News (baking), SF Gate, Southern Living, Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (MN authors), Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (staff favorites), Taste of Home, Time Out, Town & Country Magazine, Town & Country Magazine (cocktails), Vanity Fair, VICE, Vogue (Best coffeetable books), Wall Street Journal (food books), The Washington Post (cookbooks), The Washington Post (wine books), Wine Enthusiast, Wired, Women’s Health (healthy)

Canada: Chatelaine Magazine (plant-based), The Globe & Mail, The Globe & Mail (drinks books), National Post, Toronto Star (spring), Zoomer Magazine

UK & Ireland: Cosmopolitan, Country & Town House (sustainable), Country & Town House (vegan), The Courier, Daily Mail, Delicious Magazine, Financial Times, Glamour Magazine, Glamour Magazine (cocktail books), Good Housekeeping UK (spring), Good Housekeeping UK, GQ Magazine, The Guardian, Hello Magazine, The Herald (Scotland) (dessert books), The Independent (healthy), The Independent (vegetarian), The Independent (vegan), Irish Examiner, Irish Examiner (gifts), Irish Examiner (critic’s choice), Irish Independent, Irish Independent (gifts), London Evening Standard, National Geographic UK (spring), National Geographic UK (summer), National Geographic UK (autumn), Observer Food Monthly, The Scotsman, The Spectator, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Telegraph (wine books), Time Out (chef books), Vogue UK, The Week, Woman & Home

Australia & New Zealand: The Australian Financial Review, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Canberra Times, Delicious, New Zealand Herald), Good Food (Sydney Morning Herald)

Blogs, websites & online magazines

USA: 9to5Toys (summer), Afar (summer), AllRecipes, Ambitious Kitchen, A Beautiful Plate, Best Products, BiblioLifestyle (summer), Book Authority, BookBub, Booklist, BooKPage, Business Insider (gifts), Cake ‘n Knife, Camille Styles (spring), The Chalkboard, Civil Eats, Civil Eats (summer), Cookbook Divas (fall), Cookbook Review Blog, The Cooking World, The Daily Beast, Dandelion Chandelier, Delish, Detoxinista, Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen, Didn’t I Just Feed You?, Eater (spring), Eater (fall), Epicurious, Epicurious (gift books), Epicurious (vegan), Epicurious (spring), Epicurious (summer), Fine Dining Lovers, Fine Dining Lovers (spring), Five Books, Food52 (the first half), Food52 (community picks), FoodTank, Greatist (summer), The Fresh Cooky, Gear Patrol, Greatist (fall), Huffington Post, Huffington Post (beginners),The Infatuation (spring), The Infatuation (fall), International Culinary Center, King Arthur Baking Company (baking books), Kitchen Lit, The Kitchn (fall), Library Journal, Make It Better, Modern Mrs. Darcy, Modern Mrs. Darcy (gifts), My Best Cookbooks, Omnivoracious (gifts), Omnivoracious (cookie books), Outside, (spring vegan), Plate (Best Fall and Chef Cookbooks), Pure Wow (celebrity cookbooks), Read It Forward, The Rebel Chick (summer), Remodelsita, The Robb Report (spring), The Robb Report (fall), A Serious Bunburyist, Serious Eats, She Reads, Simply Recipes, Slumber and Scones,, Source Weekly, The Spruce Eats, Sweety High, Thrillist (vegan), Unpeeled, UpRoxx, The Vanilla Bean Blog,, Veranda (fall), Vivant, We Are Not Martha, Zestful Kitchen, The Zoe Report

Canada: Constantly Cooking Witrh Paula Roy, Daily Hive, Daily Hive (Canadian), Gothic Epicures, Simple Bites (spring), Simple Bites (fall), Styled to Sparkle, Good Life Vancouver

UK & Ireland: Tim Atkin (wine books), Beer52 (best beer books), Big Spud, Cookbook Confidential, Cookbook Review (Part 1), Cookbook Review Part 2, GastroGays, Good to Know (vegan), The Good Web Guide, The Good Web Guide (summer), The Happy Foodie (gifts), The Happy Foodie (vegan), The Happy Foodie (baking), The Happy Foodie (serious cooks), Hot Dinners, Kavey Eats, Ms. Marmite Lover, MOB Kitchen, Muddy Stilettos, Pebble Magazine (vegan), Saffron Strands, Sheerluxe, Stylist

Australia & New Zealand: Broadsheet, Lambs’ Ears & Honey,

Booksellers, Libraries & Book Awards

Akron-Summit County Public Library, Akron-Summit County Public Library (celebtrity cookbooks, (cookbooks), (bios & memoirs), (food writing), (cookie books),,, The Andre Simon Awards (food books), The Andre Simon Awards (drinks books), Angus & Robertson Bookworld (Australia), Appetite for Books of Montreal, Avid Reader (Brisbane, Australia), Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, Bold Fork Books of Washington D.C., The Book Depository, Book Larder of Seattle, Books-a-Million, Bookshop Santa Cruz of CA, USA, Booktopia (Australia), Booktopia (Australia) (food writing), Brookline Booksmith of MA, USA, Cook + Book of Arnhem, Netherlands, cookbookbake of Brighton, UK, Cook the Books of Auckland NZ, The Cookbook Co. Cooks of Calgary, Canada, Dymock’s (Australia), Fortnum & Mason Food Awards (UK), Goldhahn und Sampson of Berlin, Germany, Good Reads (memoir & autobiography), The Great British Food Awards, Green Apple Books of San Francisco, Harvard Book Store of Cambridge MA, Indigo (Canada), Indigo (Heather’s Picks), Canada, Irish Book Awards, Kitchen Arts & Letters of New York, Kitchen Arts & Letters ((books you should know about)) of New York, Kitchen Arts & Letters (great reads) of New York, Kogebogeriet (Copenhagen), De Kookboekhandel of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Left Bank Books of St. Louis, Now Serving of Los Angeles, Omnivore Books of San Francisco, Powell’s of Portland, Powell’s (staff picks), Powell’s (non-fiction), Readable Feast (New England Books), Readings of Melbourne, Scrumptious Reads of Brisbane, Taste Canada Awards, Waterstones (chefs), Waterstones (regional), Waterstones (vegan & vegetarian), Waterstones (baking), Waterstones (drinks)


Tim Anderson, Drew Barrymore, David Chang, Dorie Greenspan, Kathy Gunst, Diana Henry, Honey & Co., Rukmini Iyer, Tom Parker Bowles, Rose Prince, Nik Sharma, Ed Smith