Late fall is a time that many of us look forward to, not only for the weather and the sports and the holidays, but because that’s when publishers tend to drop their best and often heftiest cookbooks. This year’s collection is a terrific one, loaded with books from notable chefs and much-loved cookbook writers and television personalities (Anthony Bourdain! Alton Brown!), with new baking books, conveniently in time for cookie season.
Whether you’re looking for cookbooks to gift, cookbooks to cook from for your own holiday tables or just want something to read while you watch football, we’ve highlighted some of our favorites.
‘Everything I Want to Eat’
by Jessica Koslow (Abrams, $40)
This is the first cookbook from the chef and owner of Sqirl, the relentlessly on-trend East Hollywood toast shop. Sqirl, of course, is far more than a toast shop. Jessica Koslow’s tiny restaurant articulates much of what L.A. is eating these days: beautifully orchestrated grain bowls, things-on-toast, homey dishes invariably topped with eggs or house lacto-fermented hot sauce.
‘How to Bake Everything’
by Mark Bittman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35)
Mark Bittman, the former New York Times food columnist, has written 20 books. His latest is in the vein of his popular cookbook, “How to Cook Everything.” Because cooking is different from baking, and because we can never have too many dessert-focused cookbooks, especially in time for the holiday season. It’s a predictably massive book, with the heft and presentation of Webster’s dictionary. With over 2,000 recipes, plenty of the variations that the author is known for, and many step-by-steps and instructive sidebars, the book is exhaustive, as you’d hope it would be, given the title.
by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35)
Dorie Greenspan has written 11 cookbooks and many columns, run a baking club and a popular food blog, and done more than probably anyone to bring French macarons into our kitchens. But she has not, until now, written a book specifically about cookies. That sound you hear is holiday bakers clapping. Greenspan gives recipes for 170 cookies: classic cookies, bar cookies, savory cookies, refrigerator cookies and maybe best of all, cookies from her now-closed Beurre & Sel New York City cookie shop.
‘Mozza at Home’
by Nancy Silverton with Carolynn Carreño (Knopf, $35)
This is the seventh book from Nancy Silverton, the co-owner of the Mozza group of restaurants, the founder of La Brea Bakery, the recipient of many culinary awards and a woman who is probably the culinary soul of Los Angeles. Her latest book is a kind of companion piece to “The Mozza Cookbook,” a collection of menus of what Siilverton likes to cook at home — or more specifically, what she cooked at her home in L.A. and her other home in Umbria as a way to reboot her love of cooking after years spent primarily cooking in her restaurants. Thus we have simple dishes built around market produce, plates of roasted grapes and charred peppers and marinated olives with cheese. There’s braised oxtails and roasted chicken and Silverton’s near-legendary hamburgers, even a recipe for Frito pie.
‘EveryDayCook: This Time It’s Personal’
by Alton Brown (Ballantine Books, $35)
Alton Brown, of course, is the former host of “Good Eats” — which ran for 14 seasons on the Food Network — and some other shows, such as “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Iron Chef America,” as well as author of eight cookbooks. His latest, Brown’s first in five years, is composed of the 100 or so recipes he actually cooks for himself. What this means is less of the MacGyver-ing that he was known for and more everyday stuff, recipes for butterscotch pudding and one-pot chicken and little brown biscuits. This is still Brown, though, so there’s a recipe for pancakes made with nitrous oxide, as well as a “hack” for a four-ingredient snack made from saltines, hot sauce, mustard powder — and clarified butter.
‘Appetites: A Cookbook’
by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco, $37.50)
Anthony Bourdain has been busy for the last decade, hosting “No Reservations,” “The Layover” and “Parts Unknown” on television, publishing other people’s books and slurping noodles with President Barack Obama in Vietnam. So he can be forgiven for not doing anything as mundane as writing a cookbook. This is what he’s just done, though: his first since the 2004 “Les Halles Cookbook.” “Appetites,” unsurprisingly, is not a boring book.
‘The Red Rooster Cookbook’
by Marcus Samuelsson, with Roy Finamore and April Reynolds (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $37.50)
When chef Marcus Samuelsson opened his restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem in 2010, it was as kind of a mission statement. Named for a neighborhood speakeasy where James Baldwin used to drink, staffed with people from the community, serving “cross-cultural soul food,” the restaurant was Samuelsson’s ode to Harlem and its culture. There were many nested ironies in the project, of course, coming from a chef who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden. But the chef was embracing his adopted neighborhood, and the cookbook that comes out of that project is a way to further it.
‘Taste of Persia’
by Naomi Duguid (Artisan, $35)
Naomi Duguid has won a stack of awards for her cookbooks that’s probably about as high as the stack of cookbooks she’s written: gorgeous volumes that are equal parts food and anthropology. Her books are like travelogues and have covered the cuisines of China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Duguid’s latest book is about the area that was once the Persian Empire, or more specifically: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan.
‘Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes From the Culinary Heart of China’
by Fuchsia Dunlop (Norton, $35)
For Fuchsia Dunlop’s fifth book, we are in Jiangnan, in the Lower Yangtze region of China, home to the city of Shanghai and known as “the land of fish and rice” — hence the title of the cookbook. Dunlop, who trained as a chef in China at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine and is based in London, has written a number of lauded books on Chinese cooking, including cookbooks on Sichuan and Hunan cuisine. The recipes here are titled in English, Chinese characters and pinyin, the standard romanization of Mandarin, with lovely accompanying photographs by Yuki Sugiura and plenty of contextual narrative. Dunlop tells us where the recipes come from, the techniques involved, how to source particular ingredients and so on.
‘Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables!’
by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach (Clarkson Potter, $35)
The latest in the series of cookbooks from the Lucky Peach folks, “Power Vegetables!” comes on the heels of “The Wurst of Lucky Peach,” a cookbook devoted to sausages. Consider it a kind of corrective, or at least something to appease the vegetarians among us. This book, written with Lucky Peach editor Peter Meehan on point, divides said vegetable recipes into various camps: starters, salads, pies, soups, etc. That said, this isn’t really about telling us all to cook seasonally or specifically healthfully, but rather how to “approach vegetable cookery from a Lucky Peach perspective.” Which is to say, a book that’s “98 percent fun and 2 percent stupid.”