Look through (then cook through!) the books that really captured our food editors' attention this past year.
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"I Am a Filipino"
Editor at large Shira Bocar grew up with a lot of home-cooked Filipino food in Oklahoma, so she was drawn to this deeply researched book by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad, the team behind Filipino restaurants Maharlika and Jeepney in New York. "I was excited to find recipes for the dishes I always grabbed first from the buffet line, like oxtail, pansit, lumpia, and ukoy," says Shira. "Plus you’ve got to love a whole chapter devoted to cooking with vinegar!"
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"How to Eat a Peach"
Come for the fuzzy peach-like cover, and stay for the inspiring menus! "I’m a big fan of Diana Henry’s recipes and writing," says senior digital editor Victoria Spencer. "Her recipes are precise and doable, her storytelling is lyrical, and this book is altogether magical. Each of the 25 menus transports you to a different place, and Henry weaves a story that touches on memory and identity."
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"Cooking in Iran"
Persian food is common in Los Angeles, where senior editor Lauryn Tyrell grew up, and she spent much of her childhood eating it. "I love the spices and the interplay of sweet and sour in Persian cuisine, especially in the stews and rice dishes," she says. "Batmanglij's new book is a deep dive into the food of Iran and has taught me the proper techniques and ingredients both for recipes I already knew and loved, as well as for ones I'd never seen before."
4 of 10
"The Nordic Baking Book"
Photography: Peter Ardito5 of 10
Full of pared-down takes on chef Yotam Ottolenghi's flavorful Israeli-by-way-of-London food, this cookbook is an instant classic. It's got test kitchen supervisor Kavita Thirupuvanam busy stocking her pantry with the Ottolenghi staples, from nigella seeds and tahini to pomegranate molasses and DIY preserved lemons. "The recipes are full of thoughtful make-ahead guidance, and a quick flip gives me endless inspiration for a weeknight dinner," she says.
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6 of 10
Assistant editor Lindsay Strand counts Montreal's famed Joe Beef as one of her favorite restaurants, so she was pleased that their latest cookbook didn't disappoint. "It serves up classic French-technique-driven, stick-to-your-ribs fare that the Quebecois have become known for, with a hearty side of hilarious commentary," says Lindsay.
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If, like recipe tester Riley Wofford, you’re one of those people who actually reads the introductions to cookbooks, you know that they can become a little monotonous. Not so in "Extra Helping," says Riley. "From the introduction to the index, you’re reminded of that rare and special connection that we all strive for at the dinner table."
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"Honey & Co. At Home"
After several meals at Honey & Co. in London over the summer, Riley picked up this colorful cookbook as a souvenir. The imaginative Middle Eastern recipes within its pages are just as enticing as the dishes Riley tried at the restaurant; she's especially eager to bake her way through the dessert section.
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Books that celebrate cooking just for yourself are hard to come by, especially ones written as beautifully as chef Anita Lo's "Solo." "I never got a chance to eat at her restaurant Annisa in New York," says associate digital editor Frances Kim, "but I'm thrilled to follow her delicious lead at home. I also can't get enough of the lovely vignettes and cheerful illustrations peppered throughout."
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Frances's New Year's food resolution is to bake more pies, and she can't think of better inspiration than this eponymous cookbook from Detroit's quirky, all-American bakery Sister Pie. "The step-by-step directions and photos for making pie dough completely by hand are worth the price of admission alone," she says.
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