What’s Cookin’? 7 Cookbooks to Fall in Love With Now

By Anjli Mehta

Between the rise of recipe apps and the convenience of saved recipes on Pinterest, the case for cookbooks has gotten harder to make these days. But there’s nothing like cracking open a new cookbook and thumbing through pages of beautiful, vivid photography that those lackluster user-generated recipe photos just can’t compete with. It’s inspiration in its purest form, and it’s about time we got back to basics. Here’s our list of cookbooks we think every Austinite should make room for in their kitchen.


1. Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish by Jesse Griffiths

The brainchild of Dai Due owner and chef Jesse Griffiths, consider this book your almanac to cooking wild game (think Hogs, Rabbits, even Squirrel) and fish (think catfish and white flounder). Griffth’s commitment to locally grown vegetables and nose-to-tail cooking really shines through here.


2. The Picnic Cookbook: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket by Marnie Hanel

Sure, it’s February, but 65 degrees and sunshine still make for picnic-perfect weather. The simple pleasure of eating al fresco is not lost on us. Make it even more enjoyable by skipping the deli and planning a picnic from scratch instead. This book is jam-packed with quirky tips (99 uses for a mason jar) and travel-friendly recipes (cocktails you can batch-prepare ahead of time). And not to encourage judging a book by its cover, but we must admit this one is truly darling.


3. Cooking For Artists by Mina Stone

Art world chef Mina Stone is behind the world’s most luxe private gallery dinners, whipping up beautifully plated courses that rival the works displayed on the walls. But the best part of all? This book isn’t filled with overwhelming, overcomplicated recipes. Instead, it’s anchored by simple recipes inspired by Stone’s greek heritage. And considering we live in a city full of artists, this book couldn’t possibly look more cool on your kitchen counter.


3. Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, California by Travis Lett

For those constantly traveling from ABIA to LAX and back, this book will become your guide to creating veggie-centric, oh-so-Californian meals at home. If you’ve been looking to step up your salad game, or dabble in grain-based dishes, prepare to feel giddy as you read each recipe. Plus, the lush photography practically transports you to sunny Los Angeles, so what’re you waiting for? Gjet this book already!


4. Near and Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel by Heidi Swanson

Bestselling author Heidi Swanson really outdoes herself with this collection of 120 vegetarian recipes from lands far, far away and places only a hop, skip and a jump away. Take a tasting tour around the world with flatbreads from Morocco, soba noodles from Japan, and even more. If traveling the world isn’t part of your plan any time soon, you can definitely cure your wanderlust with this cookbook.


5. The Broad Fork: Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits by Hugh Acheson

Calling all CSA subscribers and frequent Farmers Market shoppers—you must add this book to your arsenal. It answers key questions, like “What the hell do I do with kohlrabi?” and might we add, it does so with innovative, yet simple ideas. Flip through 200 recipes inspired by 50 common produce ingredients, like beets and chard. Acheson even makes a convincing case for pickling blueberries. Enough said, let’s eat.


6. Tacos: Recipes and Provocations by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman

We know you probably already have a go-to spot for your taco fix, but when you want to really take Taco Tuesday to the next level, look no further than this book. This is a deep dive into the famously folded entrée. It breaks down each step from mastering the art of the corn tortilla to simmering complex moles. We had you at “tacos,” right?