2015 is coming to a close and it is time to take stock of what the world of cookbook publishing gave us this year. We saw a lot of highbrow chefs step out of their stainless steel arenas and into the kitchens of home cooks — tiny ovens and all.cookbooks released repeatedly reassured us that their picture perfect plates could be reproduced with our standard tools — it is possible, we checked. There was a focus on seasonality, locality, and cooking with fresh vegetables. Even more impressive than the food was the stress on the personal relationships each author/chef has with their food.
Ruth Reichl shared how cooking grounded her through the loss of Gourmet Magazine, Jacques Pepin shared a glimpse into the food that brings together his own family and friends, and Alex Stupak details his journey from a white-washed New England upbringing to a deep understanding and respect for authentic Mexican cuisine.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorites from 2015, and whittled it down to 10 books that we felt best served their readers. Some of the highlights of this year include the massive cookbook from J. Kenji López-Alt; The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science will be an essential part of any cookbook collection for years to come. Then, books like Michael Anthony’s V Is for Vegetables, which is written like an encyclopedia for cooking vegetables, focus on simple preparations for home cooks. Running in the opposite direction of Anthony’s book is Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay’s Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto, which tackles the topic of breaking down and smoking brisket in a way that makes the home cook have the confidence to attempt a skill they would probably have never attempted without this meat-packed manual’s guidance.
Check out our complete list of must-haves from 2015 that deserve a coveted spot on your bookshelf.
Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.