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Make Room on the Shelf: The Best Cookbooks of the Year

Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books, gives us her picks for the year's best cookbooks. Order up and get cooking.

1. Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking (Wiley, $35) by Paula Wolfert. A melting pot of flavors by the Queen of Mediterranean cooking. Wolfert makes it all seem so easy.
2. Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition (Ten Speed Press, $25) by Gerald Hirigoyen. Basque specialties like morcilla (sausages) in cider, and snapper ceviche make delicious additions to my repertoire. Following Hirigoyen's drink pairing suggestions is a must.
3. My New Orleans (Andrews McMeel, $45) by John Besh. Besh, one of the nicest chefs on earth, guides us through the essential cuisines of his hometown. I mean, who doesn't like crawfish etouffée?
4. Canal House Cooking (Canal House, $25) by Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirsheimer. The first two volumes of this thrice-yearly cookbook were issued this year, and they are a whole new breed. Seasonal food and drink photographed with a seductive eye made me want to make everything in these small volumes.
5. My Nepenthe (Andrews McMeel, $35) by Romney Steele. The subtitle says it all: "Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur." Cookbook and memoir, this is a great book.
6. The Country Cooking of Ireland (Chronicle Books, $50) by Colman Andrews. Andrews thougthfully includes the stories and origins behind each recipe in this massive tome. Lushly photographed by Christopher Hirsheimer, I felt like I'd been to Ireland after devouring this cookbook.
7. Ad Hoc at Home (Artisan, $50) by Thomas Keller. Wow, a cookbook by Thomas Keller that even I can cook from! His attention to detail and ideas for better cooking methods have shone a new light on my kitchen.
8. The Sweet Life in Paris (Random House, $25) by David Lebovitz. Travel guide, food memoir, and cookbook all in one. David's wit will keep you laughing.