Our pick of the latest food and drink books, from a history of how coffee found cocktails, to an ode to noodles, to an epic tome dedicated to the wonders of the wok

Spring has sprung and with the asparagus, artichokes and other culinary delights that the new season brings, comes a slew of new cookbooks and food-and-drink-related tomes. Whether you want to hone in on a particular cuisine for your next cooking adventure, learn some new tricks and garner some tips to elevate your culinary game, settle in to the sofa with an intimate food memoir, or expand your gastronomic horizons with a quirky collection, it's all here and more. 

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1. Taste Tibet by Julie Kleeman and Yeshi Jampa

Husband-and-wife team Julie Kleeman and Yeshi Jampa made a name for themselves serving momos from a replica Tibetan picnicking tent at UK summer festivals. Their success led them to open a permanent restaurant in Oxford and now they hope to bring Tibetan cuisine to an even broader audience with their first book Taste Tibet: Family Recipes from the Himalayas, which features soups, stews and hand-pulled noodles, as well as those sought-after Tibetan dumplings.

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2. Vegan at Home by Solla Eiriksdottir

Icelandic cook Solla Eiriksdottir turned vegan in the 1980s due to allergies. Since then, she has explored cuisines around the world to find the best way to deliver vegan dishes that put flavour first. Not only are her recipes straightforward and delicious, but in Vegan at Home: Recipes for a Modern Plant-Based Lifestyle she also provides instruction on the foundations of tasty veganism as she shows readers how to make everything from nut milks to vegan cheese, cream, yoghurt and butter.

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3. The Philosophy of Curry by Sejal Sukhadwala

The word ‘curry’ covers so many dishes in so many cuisines. Here, food writer Sejal Sukhadwala seeks to uncover its origins, considers how it came to feature in various interpretations in so many different food cultures, and provides practical advice and tips on how to create some of the most popular Indian versions.

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Related: Curry Fishballs Are One of Hong Kong’s Greatest Food Inventions, According To Peggy Chan

4. The Wok by J. Kenji López-Alt

From the author of bestseller The Food Lab, a science-based approach to cooking better, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s latest tome, The Wok: Recipes and Techniques, is an exploration of the wonder that is the wok, showcasing its versatility through more than 200 recipes and explaining how to achieve that elusive yet alluring wok hei.

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5. Tamu by Bryan Koh

Four years in the making, this impressive tome by cookbook author and co-founder of Singapore-based cake company Chalk Farm, Bryan Koh, lifts the lid on the little-known and diverse cuisines of Borneo. From the island’s indigenous ethnic groups to those who settled there, the fascinating food culture and traditions are revealed through prose, photography and recipes. Readers of Tamu: A Guest at the Bornean Table also learn about the many lesser-known ingredients that contribute to the various local cuisines.

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6. Korean American by Eric Kim

New York Times staff writer Eric Kim’s debut cookbook Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home demonstrates what it means to be Korean American. With “Korean-ish” recipes that range from caramelised-kimchi baked potatoes, and gochugaru shrimp and grits, to cheeseburger kimbap, and gochujang chocolate lava cakes, the book also includes an introduction to the essentials of the Korean pantry as well as essays on Korean food culture and its place in America.

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Related: 15 Classic Korean Dishes You Need To Know

7. Takeaway by Angela Hui

For thirty years Angela Hui’s family ran a Chinese takeaway in rural Wales. Takeaway: Stories from a Childhood Behind the Counter is her tale of the many memories formed on the other side of the counter, from the attacks and confrontations her parents and their children faced, to the place of food in family life.

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8. My America by Kwame Onwuachi and Joshua David Stein

Kwame Onwuachi published his acclaimed memoir, Notes from a Young Black Chef, in 2019. Now he’s back with his first cookbook, My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef, which seeks to celebrate the food of the African diaspora. The recipes offer an insight into the chef’s journey, and are punctuated with tales from his travels particularly as they relate to food, in an apt follow-up to his debut book.

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9. Portugal: The Cookbook by Leandro Carreira

Portugal’s culinary exports, from egg tarts to port, have proved popular the world over, and Lisbon has long topped food lovers’ cities-to-visit lists. It’s no wonder then that Phaidon has chosen the cuisine as the subject of one of its latest tomes, engaging the expertise of chef Leandro Carreira, who has researched more than 550 traditional recipes in an attempt to showcase the diversity of the nation’s food within its pages.

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Related: A Food Lover's Guide To Porto

10. Food IQ by Daniel Holzman and Matt Rodbard

Why does pasta taste better in restaurants? What are the benefits of cooking with frozen vegetables? And what on earth is nixtamalization? These questions and many more are answered by food writer Matt Rodbard and chef Daniel Holzman in Food IQ: 100 Questions, Answers, Recipes to Raise Your Cooking Smarts, who combine their professional expertise in an informative guide that provides answers to these queries along with recipes, to establish the fundamentals that will allow you to elevate your home cooking.

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11. The Meat Paradox by Rob Percival

Should we eat animals? That’s the question at the centre of the Rob Percival’s new book, The Meat Paradox: Eating, Empathy and the Future of Meat. The head of food policy at the Soil Association explores how humans’ relationship with meat has transformed over time and whether meat eating can be ethical and, if so, how.

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Related: Eating Responsibly: How Our Love for Meat is Changing the Fate of Our Planet

12. The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo

From aronia to zucchini, via durian and medlar, Kate Lebo’s Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly goes where few have gone before, looking into the histories, cultures and uses—from medicinal to culinary to cosmetic—of a wonderful collection of awkward fruits in a beautiful example of food writing that combines engaging and intriguing essays with unusual recipes.

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Related: The Indomitable Durian: 5 Facts You Should Know About the Fruit

13. Spiritual Coffee by Martin Hudak

Award-winning Slovakian bartender Martin Hudak is the co-founder of Maybe Sammy in Sydney, currently ranked 22 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. An expert on coffee cocktails, his first book, Spiritual Coffee, is a beautifully designed tome detailing the history of how caffeine and cocktails first came together. He also shares classic and contemporary recipes, not only of his own creation, but from other well-known mixologists including Singapore’s Colin Chia (Nutmeg & Clove), and Hong Kong’s Agung Prabowo (Penicillin) and Lorenzo Antinori (Argo).

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Related: Hong Kong's Rising Coffee Culture Over The Past Decade

14. On the Himalayan Trail by Romy Gill

British-Indian chef Romy Gill’s latest cookbook is a stunning journey through Kashmir and Ladakh, as she showcases dishes that celebrate the land and its ingredients alongside striking photography. On the Himalayan Trail: Recipes and Stories from Kashmir to Ladakh offers an opportunity to learn more about—and taste through trials at home—the diverse cuisine of a difficult-to-reach region.

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15. Kin Thai by John Chantarasak

Kin Thai, which means ‘eat Thai’, is the debut cookbook from half Thai, half British, London-based chef John Chantarasak. He has put together a collection of both classic and lesser-known Thai dishes, which includes traditional favourites as well as Anglo-Thai twists such as a langoustine and rhubarb tom yum goong, and whitebait tossed in nahm pla waan.

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16. Ammu by Asma Khan

Some of the most comforting and captivating recipes are those that are passed down through generations. That’s what makes Chef’s Table star Asma Khan’s new book, Ammu, which means ‘mother’, so enticing, as it delivers an appealing collection of nourishing dishes bursting with familiar Indian flavours to home cooks.

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17. That Noodle Life by Mike Le and Stephanie Le

Ever hashtagged #thatnoodlelife? Then this may be the book for you. Mike and Stephanie Le are the husband-and-wife team behind @iamafoodblog, where noodle dishes dominate the recipe offering. Now 75 of them come together in a book that is a celebration of all things “soulful, savoury, spicy, slurpy”.

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Related: Hong Kong's Biggest Noodle Trend Is Meter Chen's Himokawa Udon

18. Breadsong by Kitty & Al Tait

When Kitty Tai turned 14 she started suffering from anxiety so severe that it left her struggling to leave the house. There was little that helped, until her father, Al, introduced her to the joys of baking. Since then, the father-daughter duo have opened a store, The Orange Bakery, in Oxfordshire and, most recently, have written a book, Breadsong: How Baking Changed Our Lives, which is part memoir part cookbook, sharing recipes for recreating at home their much-loved buns, cakes and pastries, but also showing how passion can triumph over adversity.

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Related: 5 Tips to Achieve the Perfect Sourdough Loaf

19. I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To) by Ali Slagle

Ali Slagle has gained a following for recipes that are “low-effort, high-reward” and this is what her debut cookbook also promises to deliver. The recipe developer, who has contributed to the New York Times and Bon Appetit, allows readers to create delicious dishes from fewer than eight ingredients and in 45 minutes or less, with minimal mess and washing up. It’s a book that’s sure to contain the answers to many a weeknight dinner conundrum.

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