Good news—you still have another week before Christmas and Hanukah to find the right gift for the special people in your life. And to make it easy, we’ve put together the perfect list for anyone and everyone on your list. Because who doesn’t love food?
Epicurious.com, one of our favorite go-to-sites for all things food, has put together the ultimate list of the only 10 cookbooks the modern home cook will ever need. These classic and timeless cookbooks are perfect holiday gifts for both the budding foodie and the experienced chef, guaranteed to inspire, inform and delight.
So with a grateful shout-out for curating excellence—the Epicurious Cookbook Canon.
1. The Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition | Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. You may already have a copy of this all-purpose, time-tested cookbook in your kitchen. If not, we love the 75th anniversary edition, satisfying home chefs and their lucky dinner guests for almost 85 years.
2. Mastering the Art of French Cooking | Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck. Julia Child inspired many American home cooks to put gourmet meals on the table that had once seemed too complicated, too expensive and, well, too French. What better way to uncover the secrets of great French cooking than to challenge yourself with this masterpiece classic?
3. Baking: From My Home to Yours | Dorie Greenspan. Dorie Greenspan’s delightful writing has drawn legions of fans who connect with her on a personal level—and appreciate that her recipes just plain work, time and time again. So when serious and novice bakers alike want to satisfy their sweet tooth, there’s no better place to turn than Dorie’s comprehensive baking cookbook.
4. The Taste of Country Cooking | Edna Lewis. The Taste of Country Cooking, released in 1975, was a cookbook ahead of its time. Edna Lewis’ rural Virginia upbringing is reflected in this ode to Southern food culture, predating the current Southern food trend that celebrates seasonal ingredients and traditional African-American cooking. Don’t miss the biscuit recipes.
5. Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi | Yotam Ottolenghi. Leave it to Yotam Ottolenghi to move vegetables to center stage in Plenty, one of the most popular cookbooks to come from across the pond. Ottolenghi’s vibrant take on sprucing up vegetables in innovative, delicious and easy ways has Americans taking notice—and stocking up on produce at the market.
6. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking | Marcella Hazan. For those that haven’t heard the buzz around an incredibly simple and addictive four-ingredient Italian tomato sauce, here it is. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking contains every recipe you’ll ever need to create Italian dishes that embrace seasonal produce, pair sauces and pasta perfectly and feature abundant use of balsamic vinegar. You’re welcome.
7. Momofuku | David Chang and Peter Meehan. Looking to impress, flex your cooking skills and show that you’re hip with the New York City food scene? Throw around David Chang’s name and his restaurant Momofuku while you show off recipes and techniques that are leaving a hefty footprint on modern American cooking. Yes, this is a restaurant cookbook—but you will use it. We swear.
8. The Zuni Cafe Cookbook | Judy Rodgers. The late chef Judy Rogers advocated cooking with seasonal ingredients and challenged home cooks to up their technique game to become even more skilled in the kitchen. In addition to containing one of the greatest recipes ever, the Zuni Cafe roast chicken, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook has become the foundation of how many people cook today.
9. Mexico One Plate at a Time | Rick Bayless. Rick Bayless’ Mexico One Plate at a Time is the quintessential introduction to Mexican cuisine. Americans have long had a love affair with Mexican food, and this book not only delivers an entry to authentic Mexican cooking and ingredients, but the culture behind each dish as well.
10. Readers’ Choice: Community Cookbooks | We love the final choice in Epicurious’ Cookbook Canon. From 1970s-era Southern Junior League cookbooks to Orange County synagogue spiral bounds from the 1990s, community cookbooks reinforce what home cooks instinctively know—do your thing.
Tools for the Kitchen
Enhance your favorite cook’s time in the kitchen with the best tools and gadgets around.
OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner | This easy-to-use spinner dries greens better than most.
Metrokane Rabbit Corkscrew | Worth the price to be the easiest and most efficient way to open a bottle of wine.
Cuisinart Smart Stick Immersion Blender | If you’ve never used an immersion blender before, now is the time to invest in one to puree soups right in the pot, easily mix sauces in a bowl, and thicken and emulsify sauces on the stovetop.
Silpat Baking Sheet | Use these silicone baking pan liners instead of parchment paper, and watch everything you bake come off easily with no tearing.
De Buyer Swing Mandoline | Home cooks have discovered this professional tool that makes julienne cuts, thin slicing, crinkle cutting and waffle cutting easy—and protects your fingers, too.
OXO Good Grips 9-inch Tongs with Nylon Heads | We depend on OXO’s Good Grips ergonomically-designed tools in the kitchen—like these tongs, that help us easily handle hot food.
Global G-2 8-inch Cook’s Knife | This 8-inch stainless steel-handled knife by the Yoshikin company is the perfect size for just about everything you need to dice, cut and chop in the kitchen.