Cover Autumn cookbooks and food books 2022

Our selection of the best food and drinks books published in the second half of 2022, from a vegan tour of the Middle East, to an encyclopaedic guide to the Polish dumpling, to a cookbook from the Subtle Asian Baking community

As we fall into autumn and inklings of the festive season ahead draw ever closer, the publishing world gears up for what's to come with a slew of new releases, from cookbooks and culinary memoirs to drinks-related titles and hospitality tomes. Whether you want to uncover the underbelly of Paris's dining scene, understand how "unreasonable" hospitality can set restaurants apart, journey through the plant-based cuisines of the Middle East, Nepal and China and bake without butter or eggs or milk, or up your skills in cooking with spice, all this and more awaits in the pages of our selection of the best autumn food and drink books.

1. Modern Asian Baking at Home by Kat Lieu

Firm favourites from the pastry kitchens of Asia, both sweet and savoury, come together in this cookbook from the Subtle Asian Baking community, which was founded by blogger Kat Lieu in 2020. Recipes for mochi made in the microwave, fluffy Japanese pancakes, flaky scallion pancakes and pillowy milk bread are beautifully presented within its pages, while familiar baked treats with Asian twists complement the offering, making use of classic Asian ingredients from pandan and matcha to miso and soy sauce. Think miso-mochi brownies, lemony matcha macaroons and gochujang flourless chocolate cake. There's a customisable snowskin mooncake recipe too, and even a recipe for homemade boba.

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

2. Masala by Anita Jaisinghani

The debut cookbook from award-winning chef Anita Jaisinghani of Pondicheri restaurant in Texas, Masala: Recipes from India, the Land of Spices, takes readers through the fundamentals of Indian cuisine and showcases how to enhance dishes through the considered use of spices, with a wealth of tips and tricks for getting the best out of them. Inspiration comes from across the vast nation and the recipes focus on easy, healthy dishes that deliver on taste and have the capacity to transform the way you cook with spice. 

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3. Bowlful by Norman Musa

The vibrant flavours of Southeast Asia come to the fore in Penang-born chef Norman Musa's new cookbook, Bowlful. Taking inspiration from Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines, as well as Musa's native Malaysia, the book is a celebration of the dishes and diverse flavours he has enjoyed over years of comprehensive travel in the region. Currently based in the UK, Musa is executive chef at Kuala Lumpur Restaurant & Bar in Leeds and is an avid promoter of the food of his home, from his debut cookbook Amazing Malaysian to this latest offering, which expands his recipe repertoire to include accessible renditions of everyday delights and street-food favourites from across Southeast Asia. 

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Related: 6 Cookbooks on Malaysian Cuisine to Level Up Your Game

4. Chinese-ish by Rosheen Kaul and Joanna Hu

Chinese-ish: Home Cooking, Not Quite Authentic, 100% Delicious is a celebration of cultures coming together through food as authors Rosheen Kaul and Joanna Hu explore how the culinary heritage of their parents combined with the environments in which they grew up in a unique cuisine that is "not quite authentic", as their book title states, but aways "100% delicious". The book covers all the bases with 'how to' guides to creating their versions of fried rice, congee, dumplings, wonton, stir-fried vegetables and more, alongside explainers that ensure complicated Chinese cooking techniques are made easy.

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5. Veganistan by Sally Butcher

There is plenty for vegans to love about the cuisines of the Middle East, with a wealth of plant-based dishes that are never lacking in flavour thanks to an abundance of herbs and spices. Veganistan: A Vegan Tour of the Middle East is a celebration these vegetable-forward dishes, not forgetting those based on pulses, grains, nuts as well as plant-based proteins such as seitan, tofu and tempeh. From simple meze and salads, to soups, starters and stews, and more substantial dishes out of the oven and off the grill, explore the dishes of Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa with author Sally Butcher.

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6. Pierogi by Zuza Zak

Who knew there were so many different renditions of the world-famous Polish dumpling, the pierogi? Zuza Zak's comprehensive book offers everything you need to know about the popular comfort food that has found its way across the world, with chapters detailing the regional variations within Poland as well as traditional, modern, vegan, festive, creative and gluten-free versions. Recipes range from sweet styles such as honey drop dumplings, to seafood-filled forms like the smoked fish zeppelins, to pierogis charged with cabbage and feta, or barley and lamb. There really is something for everyone. And it's all complemented by beautiful photography and tips and tricks for making your Polish dumplings as close to perfection as possible. 

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7. Home Food by Olia Hercules

Acclaimed Ukrainian chef Olia Hercules has released her most personal tome yet, Home Food, in which she has collected her 100 most loved and comforting recipes. They showcase her journey from a childhood in Eastern Europe, to years spent in Cyprus and Italy, to cooking at home for her family in London. Of the recipes, she says, "They are nostalgic ... they share trade secrets ... they interweave every day ... they make everything okay. The foods we choose to cook time and again are part of what makes us, and when we share those recipes we give a little of ourselves." Home Food: Recipes to Comfort and Connect is Hercules' own food story. 

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Related: Food for Freedom: How One of Hong Kong's Only Ukrainian Restaurants is Aiding the Defense of Their Homeland

8. To Fall in Love, Drink This by Alice Feiring

This memoir from James Beard Award winning wine writer Alice Feiring is a reflection of what the author asserts—that the best wine writing is about life. This tome is a collection of personal essays that highlights some of the most significant moments in Feiring's personal life, both joyous and challenging, which she accompanies with beautiful wine writing that provides practical takeaways while inspiring a greater appreciation of wine and the power it has.

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9. Modern Classic Cocktails by Robert Simonson

The last thirty years has seen something of a cocktail revival and James Beard Award-nominated author and New York Times cocktail and spirits writer Robert Simonson has had a front-row seat. In his new book, Simonson showcases the recent cocktail inventions that have become modern classics, from the Espresso Martini and the White Negroni to the Old Cuban and Tommy's Margarita, while explaining what makes a modern classic and highlighting a few newer inventions with the potential to become the classics of the future. 

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10. A Waiter in Paris by Edward Chisholm

The world of a Parisian waiter comes to life in Edward Chisholm's memoir as he recounts his time on restaurant floors in the City of Light. Inhuman hours, sadistic maitre d's, outrageously low wages, and a constant battle for tips feature, not to mention a picture of the ragtag bunch of fellow waiting staff, from thieves and ex-soldiers to drug dealers and wannabe actors. This is a compelling look into what goes on behind the kitchen doors in one of the greatest gastronomic cities in the world. 

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Related: A Food Lover’s Guide to Paris This Summer 2022

11. Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara

As much a business book as a book on hospitality, Will Guidara is well-placed to speak on both. The former co-owner of Eleven Madison Park took over the New York restaurant when it was a struggling brasserie and helped to transform it into the restaurant that topped the World's 50 Best list in 2017. This tome reveals how Guidara did it—by delivering hospitality that went above and beyond and stuck forever in the memories of those who experienced it. He explains how to make the ordinary extraordinary and urges everyone to do it, whatever industry you engage in.

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12. Your Table is Ready by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina

Touted as the "front of house Kitchen Confidential", referring to Antony Bourdain's acclaimed story that has become the classic culinary memoir, Your Table is Ready: Tales of a New York City Maitre D’ is the story of Michael Cecchi-Azzolina's journey at the helm of some of New York City's hottest restaurants, from Raoul's in Soho to Buzzy O'Keefe's River Cafe, to Keith McNally's Minetta Tavern and Nolita's Le Coucou. It's all in here, from the patrons who attempted to curry favour to the stars he served to revelations on how restaurants are really run and what that means for everyone involved. It's an enlightening read. 

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13. Menu Design in Europe

At a time when some restaurants only offer online versions of their menus for fear of Covid contamination, while others have pared back their menus to minimalist in both design and offering, this book is a welcome counterpoint. Menu Design in Europe: A Visual and Culinary History of Graphic Styles and Design 1800-2000 showcases hundreds of European menus that are a feast for the eyes—often extravagant, always delectable, and reflecting the design styles of the time as much as the culinary trends as they ebbed and flowed across two decades. 

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14. Cocktail Time! by Paul Feig

Paul Feig is not only known as a Hollywood director, producer and writer who has worked on films such as Bridesmaids and Spy, but also as something of a cocktail aficionado. His book Cocktail Time! The Ultimate Guide to Grown-Up Fun features directions on how to make a wealth of both classic and original drinks, with advice on all elements of throwing great parties, from what to serve to how to serve it. The book is punctuated, too, by anecdotes and stories from Fieg's glamorous Hollywood life and with cocktail recipes from the people that inhabit that world—there's the Charlize Theron Gibson, the Very Cherry Kerry (Washington), and the Five (Michelle) Yeoh-Larm Fire to name a few. 

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15. The British Cookbook by Ben Mervis

Food historian Ben Mervis has been on an in-depth culinary tour through time and place to put together this comprehensive tome on British cuisine, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and considering the cultural history as well as the dishes that comprise what we term British food. The classics feature—think Shepherd's Pie, Welsh Rarebit and Victoria Sponge—but so do lesser known delights such as Bonfire Night Black Peas and Dublin Bay Prawns. And then there are the dishes derived from the days of Empire, such as Chicken Tikka Masala and Sesame Prawn Toast. The recipes are accessible and the write-ups informative recounting the origins and idiosyncrasies of these distinctive dishes.

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16. Small Batch Bakes by Edd Kimber

The Great British Bake Off's first winner, Edd Kimber, also known as @theboywhobakes, has a new cookbook, and this one sees his signature low-effort, big-reward recipes scaled down to serve singles and smaller households. As the title suggests, these are "small batch bakes" where the recipes require minimal skill and kit and are perfect for when you just want that one delicious cookie—okay, maybe three. 

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17. The Vegan Baking Bible by Karolina Tegelaar

Looking to create vegan bakes that don't compromise on taste or texture? Then this is the book for you. From madeleines to muffins, and cakes to cookies, Karolina Tegelaar has spent a decade researching how to create vegan pastries and sweet treats that baking enthusiasts will love. Incorporating ingredients such as aquafaba and plant-based dairy products to great effect, home cooks will be able to deliver a wide range of delicious bakes, from meringues and brownies to all sorts of cakes, buns and biscuits made without the usual butter, eggs or milk.

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18. The Vegan Chinese Kitchen by Hannah Che

Hannah Che shows that Chinese cuisine can be vegan and delicious. In fact, it has a rich tradition in zhai cai, the umami-forward plant-based Chinese cuisine typically found in Buddhist temple kitchens. In The Vegan Chinese Kitchen: Recipes and Modern Stories from a Thousand-Year-Old Tradition, she shares the various ways that classic Chinese dishes can be replicated without animal products and without compromising on flavour, as well as a host of traditionally plant-based recipes. Mala-spiced gluten skewers, blanched spinach with sesame sauce, sweet and sour tofu, and blistered dry-fried string beans all feature in her latest tome.  

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19. First Generation by Frankie Gaw

Frankie Gaw is the food writer behind the award-winning Little Fat Boy blog, which "pays homage to my Taiwanese American heritage and the grandmas who fed me as a kid". His debut cookbook is a tribute in the same vein, exploring his identity through a compilation of recipes that reflect his upbringing straddling two cultures. From lap cheong corn dogs and honey-mustard glazed Taiwanese popcorn chicken, to stir-fried rice cakes with bolognese and lionshead Big Mac, these are the recipes that define Gaw's Taiwanese American upbringing and offer an insight into his experience growing up between two worlds.

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20. Plant-based Himalaya by Babita Shrestha

Learn to cook healthy, plant-based Nepali cuisine with Nepalese author Babita Shrestha, who shares a selection of vegetarian and vegan recipes from her childhood. These range from dal and curry to greens, snacks, pickles, which combined make up the traditional "Nepali set" or thali that is typically served and central to the nation's cuisine. 

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21. The Woks of Life by Bill Leung, Kaitlin Leung, Judy Leung and Sarah Leung

The Woks of Life began in 2013 as a way for the Leung family—parents Bill and Judy and daughters Sarah and Kaitlin—to document their family history through food as they shared both home-cooked and restaurant-style recipes on their blog. Now, the family has collaborated on their debut cookbook, a curation of dishes that sees Bill sharing recipes taken from his time working in his family's Chinese restaurants, while his daughters share more contemporary plant-based and one-pot recipes. Classic dishes also find their place in the pages of The Woks of Life: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family: A Cookbook, while helpful cooking tips, trade secrets and advice on how to stock a Chinese pantry will aid readers in elevating their Chinese cooking game.

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