Cover Autumn 2021 Food books

Autumn is a season of plenty when it comes to new food and drink books, particularly as Christmas gets closer. We highlight the titles we’ll be adding to our wish lists.

As Christmas approaches, the publishing industry comes into its own, with a host of new books hitting the shelves. And the written world of food and drink gets its fair share of new tomes too. Whether you want to read about the future of the restaurant industry, or go broader and consider the implications of our food system and how we eat on the economy and the environment, or if you are just looking for some ways to broaden your culinary repertoire in the kitchen, we've chosen some of our top picks for the season. There is biography, memoir and a collection of Q&As with luminaries of the industry as well, so something for everyone from those with a more scholarly interest in the industry to those who want to get stuck in. 

1. Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

Stanley Tucci’s Instagram cocktail hours became legendary during lockdown. And they only added to his food-focused account, which saw him sharing his culinary skills as well as his gastronomic travels with his one million followers. Now, he’s back with a memoir that does what it says in the title—tells his life through food, from his Italian-American upbringing centred around food, to the foodie films he worked on, to meeting his wife and the importance of his family meals. In this tome, Tucci highlights the essential role that food has always played in his life with heart and humour.

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2. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi

Restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi is back with another book, this time the inaugural title in the new Ottolenghi Test Kitchen series of cookbooks aimed at the busy home cook. Like the Ottolenghi books that have come before, expect bold flavours and vegetable-forward dishes, but with the option to adapt and modify recipes according to what you have on hand. Inspired by the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team’s lockdown experiences, the book not only presents appetising, creative dishes, but also tips and tricks on how to pare back or switch things up.

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3. The Latin American Cookbook by Virgilio Martínez

Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez is a champion of the biodiversity of Latin America. Through his Mater Iniciativa, the renowned chef seeks to catalogue the continent’s indigenous foods. Now, through The Latin American Cookbook, and in collaboration with his Mater Iniciativa co-founder Malena Martinez, he presents a collection of 600 recipes from 22 countries that embraces the vibrancy of the continent, its raw ingredients and its culinary heritage in a unique exploration that is the result of years of research that included meeting with village elders and home cooks as well as consulting anthropologists and old cookbooks.

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Related: What Top Peruvian Chef Virgilio Martinez Has Learned About Surviving the Pandemic

4. The Way of the Cocktail by Julia Momosé and Emma Janzen

The Way of the Cocktail: Japanese Traditions, Techniques, and Recipes is a comprehensive look at cocktail culture in Japan by acclaimed Japanese American bartender Julia Momosé of Kumiko and Kikkō in Chicago. From the traditions and philosophy to the tools and spirits, this comprehensive tome also includes 85 drinks recipes from perfected classics to Japanese signatures and alcohol-free refreshments.

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5. The Red Boat Fish Sauce Cookbook by Cuong Pham, Tien Nguyen and Diep Tran

Red Boat Fish Sauce has something of a cult following, embraced by culinary luminaries from David Chang to Ruth Reichl. Now Cuong Pham, who created the sauce, shares the story of how this sauce came into being, alongside a roster of recipes for classic Vietnamese dishes that make use of this anchovy-based condiment.

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6. The Korean Vegan Cookbook by Joanne Lee Molinaro

From bulgogi to suyuk, and Korean barbecue to kimchi, which is usually made with fish sauce and fermented shrimp, Korean food is rarely vegan, but this Korean cookbook will challenge that notion as TikTok star @thekoreanvegan puts her recipes on the page, offering vegan versions of many Korean dishes, some traditional, others with creative twists.

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Related: The Best Vegetarian And Vegan Tasting Menus in Asia

7. The Next Supper by Corey Mintz

In the years before the pandemic, the restaurant industry saw a host of changes ranging from the rise of delivery and of chefs as celebrities to the increased value diners placed on eating out. Covid-19 forced yet more changes in the industry and highlighted many of the issues inherent within it. So, what next? That’s exactly the question that food reporter Corey Mintz considers in The Next Supper: The End of Restaurants as We Knew Them, and What Comes After as he exposes some of the problems and considers how we might best address them.

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8. Take One Fish by Josh Niland

In Take One Fish: The New School of Scale-to-Tail Cooking and Eating, Australian chef and restaurateur Josh Niland highlights the versatility of fish as he demonstrates the many ways it can be taken to the table. Focusing on 15 global varieties of fish, there are recipes for swordfish cotoletta, tuna mapo tofu and raw flounder while, as the title of the tome suggests, Niland also shows how we should embrace the many different parts of fish, from eyes to sperm, blood and bones in a bid to change the way we consume the bounty of our oceans. In this follow-up to his bestselling The Whole Fish Cookbook,  Niland shows the huge—often untapped—potential of cooking with fish. 

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Related: Why We Should Be Eating Ethical, Not Sustainable, Seafood

9. Mooncakes And Milk Bread by Kristina Cho

The joys of a Chinese bakery are manifold, from flaky egg tarts to fluffy pineapple buns and baked char siu bao. Now you can recreate these delights at home thanks to blogger Kristina Cho’s tribute to Chinese bakery. Mooncakes and Milk Bread is a collection of recipes that includes the classics as well as some creative takes on Chinese favourites—both sweet and savoury.

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Related: 3 Chinese Bakery Recipes From Kristina Cho's Cookbook Mooncakes And Milk Bread

10. In Conversation With... by Alfred Moisan

During lockdown, 12-year-old Alfred Moisan decided to combine his passion for gastronomy with raising money for charity by compiling a book of interviews he conducted with some of the world’s leading chefs and winemakers. The result, In Conversation With...: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest Chefs, Winemakers and Hospitality Masters, includes 70 Q&As with subjects ranging from Ferran Adrià of elBulli, and Julien Royer of Odette to Sandrine Garbay of Chateau d’Yquem and Jancis Robinson MW, who share their wisdom along with amusing anecdotes from their culinary journeys. Not only does the book speak to foodies, but for every sale 100 per cent of profits go to FareShare, a UK charity fighting hunger and tackling food waste.

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11. Black Food by Bryant Terry

This coffee table book-cum-cookbook celebrates Black culinary creativity and is the first and flagship publication of chef Bryant Terry’s imprint 4 Color Books with Penguin Random House. The author of Afro-Vegan and Vegetable Kingdom has brought together 100 Black cultural luminaries who have contributed recipes, poetry, essays and art to this rich and eclectic volume.

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12. Under Coconut Skies by Yasmin Newman

Under Coconut Skies: Stories and Feasts from the Philippines sees Australian-Filipino author Yasmin Newman tackle lesser known regional dishes from across the Philippines in what is a follow-up to her first book on Filipino food, 7000 Islands: A Food Portrait of the Philippines. Under Coconut Skies offers an opportunity for home cooks and readers to taste their own way through the nation, while Newman seeks to raise the profile of Filipino food.

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Related: 3 Filipino Recipes Bursting With Flavour From New Cookbook Under Coconut Skies

13. Tofu Tasty by Bonnie Chung

Fans of tofu will be aware of its versatility, but both those less familiar with the protein and bean curd advocates will be impressed by the wide variety of recipes in Chung’s book, which take inspiration from Japan, China and Korea, as well as displaying the creativity of the author who is the founder of Miso Tasty, a British food brand dedicated to miso. In the book Chung also explains the differences between different types of tofu and shares ways readers can make their own—in its various forms—from scratch.

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14. Sambal Shiok: The Malaysian Cookbook by Mandy Yin

The diversity and deliciousness of Malaysian cuisine is showcased in this book by renowned London restaurateur and chef Mandy Yin, who makes the complexities of her native cuisine and its flavours accessible to the home cook. Her authoritative cookbook serves as a catalogue of the dishes from her restaurant, from snacks, soups and salads to curries, rice and noodle dishes—including her restaurant’s famous curry laksa—as well as incorporating recipes handed down from her mother.

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Related: Mandy Yin, Owner Of Sambal Shiok Laksa Bar In London Releases Cookbook With Over 90 Classic Malaysian Recipes

15. Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography by Laurie Woolever

The death of Anthony Bourdain in 2018 devastated the food world, and many outside it. Compiled from interviews carried out by long-time assistant Laurie Woolever with almost one hundred people who knew and worked with Bourdain, from family and friends to colleagues, this book paints a full picture of the many sides of the brilliant Bourdain, spanning his life from childhood, via his hit memoir Kitchen Confidential to his work travelling and eating the world.

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Related: 5 Takeaways From The Anthony Bourdain Documentary 'Roadrunner'

16. The Female Chef by Clare Finney and Liz Seabrook

The Female Chef champions the professional women of Britain's F&B industry who are pioneering change and “redefining the British food scene”. Through inspiring interviews accompanied by striking portraits, chefs including Julie Lin of Malaysian restaurant Julie’s Kopitiam in Glasgow, Nokx Majozi, South African sous chef at Holborn Dining Room in London, Erchen Chang, Taiwanese co-founder and head chef of London’s BAO restaurants, and Pamela Yung, head chef of Flor in London, to name a few, share their stories alongside personal recipes. 

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Related: Tatler Interview With Asia's Best Female Chef DeAille Tam

17. The Little Pine Cookbook by Moby

Known primarily for his musical endeavours, Moby is also an animal rights advocate and food lover and the original owner of vegan restaurant and celebrity hotspot Little Pine in LA. Sometimes referred to as the “godfather of veganism”, Moby has eschewed animal products for more than three decades and in this book shares some of his favourite vegan dishes, including recipes inspired by the restaurant’s menu, from the creative to the comforting and the healthy to the more indulgent, each and every one full of flavour.

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Related: A Taste of Home: Emmy The Great On Where To Eat In Hong Kong

18. Cooking at Home by David Chang and Priya Krishna

Restaurant cooking and cooking at home are two very different pursuits, as any professional chef well knows. In this book, Momofuku founder and chef David Chang gives home cooks the go-ahead to do things the easy way, from cooking with frozen vegetables to ignoring recipes and embracing the microwave, alongside a wealth of other tips and tricks to transform the way you cook and how much time you spend in the kitchen in order to take a meal to the table.

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19. Eating to Extinction by Dan Saladino

Across the globe there are farmers, scientists, cooks, producers and indigenous communities who are on a quest to preserve food traditions and advocate for change in order to ensure a more promising food future. Food journalist and presenter Dan Saldino talks to them to discover how we can all pay more attention to what we are—and are no longer—eating for the good of our planet.

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Related: Zero Foodprint Asia: Peggy Chan’s New Initiative To Address The Climate Crisis

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