I will fully disclose my obsession with cooking gadgets and certain foods (umm…cheese), but I’m not really a cookbook collector. Until very recently, I only had one cookbook, and I still don’t have many, all things considered. Below are a few books that I’d recommend.

I actually don’t only read about food (shocking, I know) so feel free to check out my Goodreads profile for other favorites.


The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater This is really a mixture of food writing and a cookbook. It’s just as pleasing to read the book as it is to search for recipes within it.  I did a year of making a recipe each month from the same month in the book (see?).

Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless This is, hands down, my most utilized cookbook, and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

Fiesta at Rick’s by Rick Bayless

America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman The title says it all!

Feast: Food to Celebrate Life by Nigella Lawson

Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition – 2006 As classic as it gets!

The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Food Writing

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan Required reading for anyone who….well, eats. Not preachy and not textbooky. Just a good, interesting read about what you’re eating.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifestoby Michael Pollan

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table by Ruth Reichl

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl About her time spent as the New York Times food critic

My Life in France by Julia Child Julia Child wasn’t born making oeufs en gelee. This is about her move to France with her husband, and how she learned to cook first and foremost by learning to appreciate food.

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell A sarcastic, bitter (former) secretary goes on a mission to cook each and every one of Julia Childs recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain He’s just as talented a writer as he is a chef.

Born Round by Frank Bruni

Toast by Nigel Slater

The Sweet Life by David Lebovitz

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

lindsay @ life and kitchen February 15, 2011 at 9:28 am

I love The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I love Michael Pollan in general, but that book really changed the way I look at food.


Kathy-Jo April 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Another great cookbook is Quinoa 365. This superfood is becoming a bigger part of my diet. The recipe for carrot cake is quite delish!


Nancy S. January 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Love Nigel Slater and Frank Bruni! both very wise and talented and human!


Nikki February 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm

You should write a greek american cook book!