The perfect cookbooks of 2023 up to now – popculturebuzz

The perfect cookbooks of 2023 up to now

Comfort and Joy

Ravinder Bhogal, a chef and food writer, grew up in Kenya with Indian parents. Her early fascination with vegetables was sparked by her grandfather’s lush garden and the vibrant produce from local women growers. In her new vegetarian cookbook, Bhogal shares her passion, asserting that “vegetables are the soul of the kitchen” with boundless opportunities for creativity. The book features enticing recipes like hot and sour sweetcorn risotto with lime leaf butter, and mango and ‘golden coin’ curry. Bhogal, who moved to multicultural London at a young age, infuses the book with her rich heritage and experiences. If you enjoy inventive, cross-cultural recipes filled with warmth and love, Bhogal’s work is unmatched.

Recipe to try: Sweet and sour dal with chickpea flour pasta rags.

Interesting fact: Lime leaf salt can dramatically elevate a tomato salad.

Published by: Bloomsbury (£26).

The Flavour Thesaurus: More Flavours

Niki Segnit’s third book, following her classic The Flavour Thesaurus, explores plant-based flavour pairings and their intricacies. Segnit’s aim is to instill the joy of understanding and experimenting with flavours. Despite its scholarly depth, the book is written with a lively, humorous style. This resource should be a staple in any kitchen.

Recipe to try: Neri miso, a blend of miso, honey, and sake, praised for its perfectly balanced extremes of saltiness and sweetness.

Interesting fact: During World War II in Italy, barley coffee (caffe d’orzo) became popular due to bean coffee shortages.

Published by: Bloomsbury (£20), available at Blackwells.

Love is a Pink Cake

Claire Ptak, owner of East London’s Violet Bakery and former Chez Panisse pastry chef, has written a beautiful cookbook reflecting her dual heritage. With recipes like black tea poppy seed muffins from California and apricot, chamomile, and honey scones from her English home, Ptak celebrates seasonal baking and introduces her favorite growers. The book is filled with tips to boost your baking confidence and technique.

Recipe to try: Pistachio green plum cake with candied violets.

Interesting fact: Early in his career, Andy Warhol illustrated a cookbook by etiquette expert Amy Vanderbilt.

Published by: Square Peg (£22), available at Blackwells.

Notable Releases

Vietnamese Vegetarian

Uyen Luu, a food writer, photographer, and supper club cook, presents a stunning book celebrating the harmonious combination of sweet, sour, hot, umami, and bitter flavors. From tapioca dumplings with sweet lime sauce to lemongrass noodle soup, the recipes are joyous and vibrant.

Recipe to try: Green papaya salad with pomelo, apple, and artichoke.

Interesting fact: In Vietnam, asking ‘how are you’ is phrased as ‘have you eaten rice yet?’

Published by: Hardie Grant (£25), available at Waterstones.

50 Pies, 50 States

Stacey Mei Yan Fong’s book is a heartfelt tribute to America through pie, reflecting her 17 years in the USA. With recipes ranging from the classic Florida key lime pie to Montana’s pasty-inspired pie with buffalo stew and cherry filling, this book invites readers to explore American culture through its pies.

Recipe to try: Honey peach pie with pecan crumble topping.

Interesting fact: Washington State produces nearly half of the USA’s apples.

Published by: Voracious (£30), available at Blackwells from June 29.

Simply Scandinavian

Trine Hahnemann, a Copenhagen-based chef, offers a collection of uncomplicated, seasonal recipes perfect for weeknight dinners. The book’s design is as pleasingly simple as the recipes, which include roast pork loin in vermouth and autumn pear pie with hazelnut pastry.

Recipe to try: Chicken breasts in curry sauce with grapes.

Interesting fact: Potato pancakes are a traditional dish at Norwegian weddings.

Published by: Quadrille (£27), available at WHSmith from June 8.

For The Love of the Sea II

Compiled by food writer Jenny Jefferies, this book celebrates the British seafood community with recipes from fishmongers, restaurateurs, and foragers. The focus is on sustainability and the contributions of the seafood industry to national food security. Recipes like oat fried herring and champagne oysters highlight the diversity and simplicity of the dishes.

Recipe to try: Pale smoked haddock scotch egg.

Interesting fact: Cornish sea salt contains over 60 naturally occurring minerals.

Published by: Meze Publishing (£22), available at Blackwells.

Tandoori Home Cooking

Maunika Gowardhan’s second book brings the flavors of Indian tandoori cooking to home ovens. Her recipes, such as aubergine tikkas in creamy yogurt, mustard, chili, and ginger, are vibrant and well-balanced, with insightful tips like the ‘double marinade technique.’

Recipe to try: Aubergine tikkas in creamy yogurt, mustard, chili, and ginger.

Interesting fact: Traditional tandoor walls are reinforced with straw.

Published by: Hardie Grant (£25), available at Waterstones from May 4.

The Pepperpot Diaries

Andi Oliver’s book celebrates the rich diversity of Caribbean cuisine, reflecting the influence of the islands’ history. With recipes like tea-brined spiced chicken and sticky star fruit pork chops, Oliver’s book is a personal and vibrant exploration of Caribbean food.

Recipe to try: Aromatic shrimp curry.

Interesting fact: Short ribs taste exceptionally good when cooked in cola.

Published by: DK (£27), available at WHSmith from April 27.


Amy Newsome’s debut book is a tribute to bees and honey. The book spans the beekeeper’s year and showcases the versatility of honey in the kitchen, with recipes like smoked lime and honey chicken and lemon pollen pie.

Recipe to try: Gochujang apricot sticky wings.

Interesting fact: Honeybees’ body hair has the perfect electrical charge to attract pollen grains.

Published by: Quadrille (£27), available at Waterstones from May 11.

Pomegranates & Artichokes

Saghar Setareh, born in Iran and living in Italy, shares the culinary traditions of her two homes. This visually stunning book captures the migration of ingredients and recipes between these regions, with recipes like saffron roast chicken stuffed with dried fruit.

Recipe to try: Saffron roast chicken stuffed with dried fruit.

Interesting fact: Iran is the world’s largest producer of pistachios.

Published by: Murdoch Books (£26), available at Amazon from May 4.

Mom Tongue: Flavours of a Second Generation

Gurdeep Loyal’s debut book is a joyful exploration of British-Indian cuisine, filled with inventive recipes like sticky treacle and kokum chicken lollipops. Loyal’s writing is engaging, and he offers insights into flavor combinations that are both innovative and delightful.

Recipe to try: Pear and panjiri trifle.

Interesting fact: Red Leicester cheese pairs surprisingly well with spices and sweet potatoes.

Published by: 4th Estate (£26), available at Amazon from March 2.


Sumayya Usmani’s book is a memoir and cookbook, exploring her Pakistani heritage and the role of cooking in her life. The recipes are enticing, like sour lemon, mustard seed, and garlic pulao.

Recipe to try: Sour lemon, mustard seed, and garlic pulao.

Interesting fact: Andaza means ‘estimation’ in the context of cooking by intuition.

Published by: Murdoch Books (£25), available from April 13.

Of Cabbages and Kimchi

James Read’s book on fermentation is a treasure trove of techniques and recipes, perfect for both newcomers and seasoned fermenters. With adaptable methods for sauerkraut, kombucha, and more, the book also includes recipes like soy caramel dark chocolate tart.

Recipe to try: Kefir panna cotta with mandarin and thyme.

Interesting fact: In Germany, tinsel is colloquially known as ‘silver-plated sauerkraut.’

Published by: Express Books (£22), available at Waterstones.

Pasta Masterclass

Mateo Zielonka’s book is a vibrant guide to pasta making, featuring techniques for various doughs and shapes. The book is filled with delightful recipes like agnolini mantovani with pumpkin and amaretti.

Recipe to try: Agnolini mantovani with pumpkin and amaretti.

Interesting fact: Scraps from pasta cutting are called maltagliati, meaning ‘poorly cut.’

Published by: Quadrille (£26), available at Amazon from April 20.

Cucina Povera

Giulia Scarpaleggia’s book celebrates rustic Italian cooking, transforming simple, seasonal ingredients into delicious meals. With recipes like chestnut flour maltagliati with porcini sauce, this book highlights the art of making do with what you have.

Recipe to try: Chestnut flour maltagliati with porcini sauce.

Interesting fact: Chestnut flour has a short shelf life and is best stored in the freezer.

Published by: Artisan (£30), available at Blackwells.

Rice Table

Su Scott’s intimate book shares the Korean-British food experience, with recipes ranging from innovative ferments to bold mains. The book explores the importance of food in identity and relationships.

Recipe to try: Spicy squid salad.

Interesting fact: Many Koreans believe the touch of fingertips can influence the overall harmony of a dish’s flavor.

Published by: Quadrille (£27), available at Waterstones from March 30.

Salt of the Earth

Carolina Doriti’s celebration of Greek cuisine is rich with history and authenticity.

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