As one of the country's most innovative culinary capitals, San Franciscans are spoiled when it comes to eating out. So much so that it can make cooking at home feel pretty lackluster.
But fortunately publishers with taste are always chomping at the bit to turn our Bay Area chefs into authors, and our kitchen shelves are always brimming with cookbooks from our favorite eateries. Here's a fresh crop of guides that will make it worth staying in.
'Season: A Year of Wine Country Food, Farming, Family & Friends'
If you've ever been to a farm-to-table dinner at Sonoma's Kendall-Jackson, you'll know immediately why this lauded winery has ventured into the cookbook game: With a casual approach to crafting fresh California cuisine inspired by the estate's extensive vegetable gardens, their food is as impressive as their award-winning vintages. In the book, the authors have broken recipes down by season, with dishes that celebrate the unique bounties of spring, summer, fall, and winter. Recipes such as braised lamb belly with farro, seared turnips, and ramps, and overnight broccoli rabe with anchovy and preserved lemon will cure your cravings for a trip to Wine Country. Even Thomas Keller says it's "more than a cookbook." // Season: A Year of Wine Country Food, Farming, Family & Friends, by Justin Wrangler and Tracey Shepos Cenami; $50 at seasoncookbook.com.
'The Foreign Cinema Cookbook'
Since opening its doors in 1999, Foreign Cinema has remained one of San Francisco's most beloved restaurants thanks to its delectable and distinctive North African–inspired, California-meets-Mediterranean cuisine. While you can't replicate the restaurant's dining experience—the twinkling, light-strung outdoor patio and nightly outdoor films are a key ingredient to its success—you can now, at least, recreate your favorite dishes at home. The restaurant's first foray into cookbooks (can you believe that?) includes 125 signature recipes such as Madras curry fried chicken with kish mish and ras el hanout honey, and bergamot tart with candied almonds—all tucked amid spirited stories from the landmark's last 20 years as well as a forward by Alice Waters. // The Foreign Cinema Cookbook: Recipes and Stories Under the Stars, by Gayle Pirie and John Clark (Abrams); goodreads.com.
Food52's 'Genius Desserts'
This homage to this generation's most beloved desserts includes some of San Francisco's favorite confections. Classics like Yank Sing's famous egg tarts are presented alongside new favorites—think Michelle Polzine's slow-roasted strawberries from 20th Century Cafe and Nicole Krasinski's double-chocolate cookie crumbles with apple granita and creme fraiche tapioca for State Bird Provisions. Recipes from celebrated chefs making magic farther afield—think Nigela Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Einat Admony—round out this book. Think of it as the only authority on desserts you'll ever need. // Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake, by Kristen Miglore (Ten Speed Press); get a signed copy ($35) at food52.com.
'Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder Cookbook'
This upcoming edition from Sonoma's Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery is a Wine Country take on everything you'll ever need for an enviable kitchen pantry. The book is divided into 10 chapters, each revolving around a classic larder ingredient—citrus, herbs, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, figs, quince, olives and olive oil, and grapes—to create staples like preserves, infused oils, and conservas in step-by-step photo guides. Additional recipes—think potato and green garlic ravioli or honey sage whiskey sours—put those ingredients to the test. The book hits shelves March 12, 2019. // Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder Cookbook: Seasonal Recipes for Pantry and Table, by John McReynolds, Mike Emanuel, and Fiorella Butron (Rizzoli); $35, pre-order at amazon.com.
The debut cookbook from Hayes Valley's Michelin-starred Rich Table is a close-to-the heart combination of dishes served at the restaurant and those the Riches prepare at home for friends and family. With 85 recipes, the tome showcases the couple's rustic, elegant take on fresh Northern California ingredients in starters like asparagus with lemon ice and gruyere and pastas such as spaghetti with mussels and bone marrow sofrito. This mind-blowing cookbook will effortlessly take your kitchen to the next level. // Rich Table, by Sarah Rich and Evan Rich (Chronicle Books); $33, richtablesf.com/store.
'A Little Taste of San Francisco'
A Little Taste of San Francisco isn't a showcase for a specific restaurant, but rather an illustrated and recipe-filled romp through the culinary history of the city. From SF-born drink recipes like the Pisco Sour and the Buena Vista Cafe's Irish Coffee to such iconic dishes as cioppino and ballpark garlic fries, these are the foods that have helped to define the flavor of SF. // A Little Taste of San Francisco, by Stephanie Rosenbaum (Welden Owen); $13, weldonowen.com.