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The 19 Best Cookbooks to Give the Chic Chef This Holiday Season

The 19 Best Cookbooks to Give the Chic Chef This Holiday Season

2020 was the year that so many of us rediscovered our own kitchen. Sure, it was mostly out of necessityขwith restaurants and office cafeterias closed, we had to make meals from the comfort of our homes.

But the act of cooking also served as a delicious distraction: even the dreariest days of lockdown could be brightened by a valiant attempt at an extravagant dinner; our deep, persistent worries temporarily quelled by pretty pastries and pies. Cooking, for a good group of us, once was a chore. Now, it’s a hobby.

So this holiday season, perhaps a cookbook is the perfect gift for yourself-or any blossoming amateur chef in your life. Bakers will be forever thankful for Pies for Everyone, a chronicle of Petee’s Pie’s beloved crusted confection, whereas budding mixologists can up their cocktail game with Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World. Clean eaters? Look no further than Bryan Terry’s Vegetable Kingdom, or Vivian Liu’s Eat California, which captures the fresh, farm-to-table cuisine of the Golden State. Then there's the ultimate go-to for the frequent host or hostess: Skye McAlpine's A Table for Friends, which is all about recipes that are perfect to whip up for two people or 20.

For a loved one who wants to expand their culinary horizons, In Bibi’s Kitchen, a fascinating anthology of Eastern African cuisine, is a must-order, as is Xi’an Famous Foods (you’ll never find clearer instructions on how to make dumplings). With international borders closed, at least your gift-recipients’ tastebuds can take a trip with Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from Sardinia or Hong Kong Local: Cult Recipes From the Streets that Make the City.

Want to gift something while also giving back? Consider Serving New York, a delicious set of recipes from the city’s top restaurants-all proceeds go to ROAR, a nonprofit dedicated to saving them from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below, 18 of the year’s best cookbooks that, this holiday season, will be the sweetest of treats to find under the tree.

        

Eat California: Vibrant Recipes From The West Coast


        

Sant Ambroeus: The Coffee Bar Cookbook: Light Lunches, Sweet Treats, and Coffee Drinks from New York's Favorite Milanese Café


        

A Table for Friends: The Art of Cooking for Two or Twenty


        

Hong Kong Local: Cult Recipes From the Streets that Make the City


                

Dishoom: From Bombay with Love


        

Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from Sardinia


        

Dimes Times: Emotional Eating


        

Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican-American Kitchen


        

Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World


        

The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food


        

Serving New York: For All The People Who Make NYC Dining Unforgettable


        

Vegan Christmas: Plant-Based Recipes For the Festive Season


        

In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean


        

Pie for Everyone: Recipes and Stories from Petee's Pie, New York's Best Pie Shop


            

Xi’an Famous Foods: The Cuisine of Western China, from New York’s Favorite Noodle Shop


        

The French Laundry, Per Se


        

Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes


        

The Noma Guide to Fermentation


        

The Barbuto Cookbook: California-Italian Cooking from the Beloved West Village Restaurant

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