People who like food should come together. In this end-of-the-year roundup of the best cookbooks that 2021 had to offer, I wrote it just for you and your growing library. If you’re a fan of 22 of your favorite chefs and other foodies and celebrities and want to know what cookbooks they think are the best of 2016, we’ve got the answer for you! They include everything from a book about pizza to the recipes that made new parents’ lives easier to the best baking books (and make great last-minute holiday gifts).
In addition, there are cookbooks for beginners, as well as the best vegan cookbooks and cookbooks that are healthy. There are also some Amazon best sellers that will make your stomach thank you. If you’re really hungry, don’t read these books! They will, however, help you spend less time cutting. So keep reading to find out what the best cookbooks of 2021 looked like to us. You’ll leave with a lot of new recipe ideas from the masters of their fields.
Mooncakes & Milk Bread by Kristina Cho
Kristina Cho has taught me something new about Chinese baking on every page of Mooncakes & Milk Bread, while also telling me about her own life. In the end, after I made her Goong Goong’s almond cookies, I felt like a member of the family. I feel more confident about making her marbled milk bread and ruffled wheat flour buns because there are detailed step-by-step illustrations and photos that show me how to do it. Kristina even explains how to make the most complicated mooncake, which her pau pau said could only be made by a true master, which is what she does. First, this book is the only one that focuses solely on traditional Chinese baking while giving people the confidence to make it their own. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be inspired by it for years to come. Sohla El-Waylly, a Culinary Artist:
Mother Grains: Recipes for the Grain Revolution by Roxana Jullapat
Roxana Jullapat wrote a book called Mother Grains: Recipes for the Grain Revolution in 2021. It was one of my favorite books at the time. When I started to get really into bread and viennoiserie, I made friends with a lot of young bakers in the area. One of them was Roxanna. People in L.A. have known her for a long time. It’s very clear that she wants to teach people about whole grains and regenerative farming. Neidy Venegas is the pastry chef at Barndiva, which was recently named one of the best restaurants in California by the Michelin guide.
Everyone’s Table by Gregory Gourdet
“This one is easy for me—since having a baby in January, we’ve been awake at ridiculous hours and have heavily leaned on this cookbook to help with fast and nourishing recipes. If we cook from Gregory Gourdet’s new cookbook, Everyone at Table at least once a week, we get a new recipe each time. In 2021, this book will be my favorite cookbook. The recipes are both beautiful and easy to make. As a head ice cream maker at Salt & Straw, Tyler Malek makes the best ice cream around.
Treasures of the Mexican Table by Pati Jinich
“I love this book because it’s a simple way to make classic recipes that are easy to make.” The book is so excited and friendly that I think Pati’s energy comes right into the food. The cook’s love and energy shine through to the audience. Pati knows what’s going on. —Ellen Marie Bennett, founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett
Life Is What You Bake It by Vallery Lomas
If I had to pick a favorite, I’d pick Life Is What You Bake It by Vallery Lomas. If you want to make something beautiful and inspiring, this book is for you! Vallery’s personal story throughout the book is so fascinating that I couldn’t put it down until I had read all the way through it. Each recipe Vallery makes is unique and well-received by her. I can’t wait to try all of the recipes in this cookbook for years to come. There’s a book author and food blogger named Maegan Brown, and she runs the Instagram account @TheBakeMama.
The Joy of Pizza: Everything You Need to Know by Dan Richer
Because I like these pizzas so much, I could eat them all the time. I liked how in-depth it was when it came to teaching the small parts that go into making a truly great pizza. From start to finish, each recipe was a lot of fun to make and a great date night activity. Kelsey Lynch, the author of Cooking Through Trader Joe’s and the person behind @TraderJoesFoodReviews, says this.
My Shanghai by Betty Liu
“My favorite cookbook released in 2021 is My Shanghai by Betty Liu. I was working on the opening team of a large Asian-inspired, multilevel restaurant in Hudson Yards where most of my research and development went into making nostalgia-inducing small bites, and Liu does a very good job of modernizing these types of flavors. My goal was to be able to recreate things you’d find at your favorite dim sum restaurant or things you grew up eating at home, and I felt that she was an extremely knowledgeable guide to me. Liu inspired recipes that I’d love to share with all of my patrons, family, and friends.” —Ross Philip Pineda, sous chef at Thai Diner, Soho, NYC
Black Food by Bryant Terry
Black Food by Bryant Terry is one of the best. There are so many to choose from.” Bryant is so thoughtful about his approach to this cookbook, featuring so many different voices and stories in addition to incredible recipes. As a reader, it is always a pleasure to open the book and let the pages drift between my hands, because his book is truly a journey. —Joanne Molinaro, YouTube creator, writer, and author of The Korean Vegan Cookbook
Let’s Make Dumplings!: A Comic Book Cookbook by Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan
The delicious dumplings from your favorite dim sum place aren’t as easy to make as they look.” This book takes something that takes a lot of time and effort and turns it into a beautiful illustrated step-by-step guide that is fun, engaging, and fun from start to finish. Let’s Make Dumplings! is a great book to read with friends or family and learn how to make dumplings. Steve Valentine, an associate creative director at Grillo’s Pickles, said this.
The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes From Omma’s Kitchen by Joanne Molinaro
When it comes out in 2021, my favorite book is the Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma’s Kitchen. In this book, you’ll get everything you need: beautiful images, rich stories, and simple recipes. The author, Joanne Molinaro, takes us into her life as she presents each vegan dish. It’s great that each recipe has a story that’s somehow linked to her past. As someone who is still learning how to cook, I also appreciate the extra tips that came with some of the new ingredients. Because the book isn’t scary, I love it. I was able to cook all of the recipes because Joanne made them so simple. Lisa Nguyen is a YouTuber and a content creator.