Every year, hundreds of new cookery books are published, but which are the best cookbooks ever written, the ones cooks and chefs themselves turn to again and again? Over the years, we've asked many of our favourite cookery writers to recommend their own favourite recipe books, books that have stood the test of time.
We've had some of the world's greatest cooks give their recipe book recommendations, including Nigel Slater, Yotam Ottolenghi, Mary Berry, Ruth Rogers and Ruth Reichl. BBQ expert Steven Raichlen and British restaurant critic Giles Coren have also recommended books for us, and you can find all their choices listed below.
You can also browse for cookbooks listed by country/national cuisine, including the best Greek, Persian, French, Italian and American cookbooks. Whether you're looking to bake a cake or make pastry, host a BBQ, or delve into French cuisine or try tapas for the first time, you can find the cookbook you're looking for below.
Every year Becky Krystal of the Washington Post and staff writer of “Voraciously”, a food column with a strong ‘how-to’ focus, chooses the best cookbooks of the year for us. In 2021, she’s focusing on books about baking, an activity she’s passionate about—and many of the rest of us have been doing more of in the past year or two.
One Tin Bakes: Sweet and Simple Traybakes, Pies, Bars and Buns
by Edd Kimber
The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking Explained in More Than 100 Essential Recipes
by Nik Sharma
Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes
by Bryant Terry
In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean
by Hawa Hassan & Julia Turshen
Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook
by Ixta Belfrage & Yotam Ottolenghi
If nothing else, 2020 has at least given many of us a lot of time to experiment in the kitchen. Here Becky Krystal, lead writer for the Washington Post’s Voraciously, recommends cookbooks relevant for a year in which grocery shopping has been complicated and the world has become more interconnected than ever.
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human
by Richard Wrangham
Historia General y Natural de las Indias
by Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes
Leipoldt’s Cape Cookery
by C Louis Leipoldt
by Francis Mallman with Peter Kaminsky
Thrill of the Grill
by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
America’s master griller chooses books on the world’s oldest cooking method. He discusses why brown tastes better, and how our primal urge to play with fire helped us evolve.
The authors of Prospero’s Kitchen take us on a culinary tour of Greece and explain how the country’s history has influenced its cuisine in sometimes surprising ways
Claire Ptak, owner of the Violet Bakery in London and former pastry chef at Chez Panisse, recommends some of her own favourite cookbooks. [Since speaking to us in 2015, Claire Ptak has subsequently designed Harry and Meghan’s wedding cake]
In this interview two celebrated chefs discuss the best books to help you capture the complex flavours and colours of Persian food. Along the way they describe their favourite Persian treats, including mouth-watering lattice window syrup cakes and rice with saffron and morello cherries.
Cook and bestselling author Diane Seed selects five books on Mediterranean cuisine. From the forgotten spices of Turkey to the stews served to Greek freedom fighters, the variety of the region’s food is unsurpassed
The author and food writer talks about honey pancakes, mushy peas, drop scones, choux pastry, baked onions and Winnie the Pooh. Perfect lunch-break reading (as long as you’re having a good lunch)
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
by Julia Child & Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck
The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
by Marcella Hazan
The Key to Chinese Cooking by Irene Kuo
by Irene Kuo
A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes
by David Tanis
The Cake Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Which is the one cookbook the cookery writer can’t do without? Who writes the best recipes? Who is the best writer? Who does he turn to for a breath of fresh air? Nigel Slater picks his all-time favourite cookbooks.
The bestselling author of The Cake Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum, explains why English cakes don’t rise, how to make the perfect croissant, and how to get holes the size of radishes in your artisan breads
The London Times award-winning food columnist takes an irreverent look at the world of food writing, from restaurant critics to celebrity chefs
The Puritans got modern American cuisine off to a bad start. But the food writer and critic says subsequent immigrants have helped create a culture where food is appreciated.
Great desserts can be amazingly simple, and even low in fat. The pastry chef and author cooks up a mouth-watering reading list to bring your recipes up to date
A culinary tour of Italian food, with co-founder of the acclaimed River Café restaurant Ruth Rogers. She tells us about the books that have inspired her, including the one she asks all her chefs to read!
Samantha Clark, co-founder of the award-winning restaurant Moro, tells us about the camper van trip to Morocco that inspired her, and why we should all get acquainted with chicharrones and calzots!
The Michelin-starred chef Bruno Loubet chooses the book that taught him the shortcomings of everything he had learned in catering school, and four other favourites. Two are by Australian chef Stephanie Alexander
The best cookbooks according to food editor of The Week. Raves especially about the Chez Panisse cookbooks. Says she’d like “it was my pleasure” carved on her gravestone