The James Beard Foundation Awards are annual awards presented by the James Beard Foundation. Sometimes called the Oscars of the food world, the awards are voted on by more than 600 culinary professionals to recognize the best chefs and restaurateurs in the U.S.
As part of the award, the James Beard Foundation Book Awards recognize authors and journalists for cookbooks and other non-fiction food or beverage-related books.
This year’s Book Award winners were announced on April 26th.
Book of the Year
Cocktail Codex by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, with Devon Tarby
“There are only six cocktails.” So say Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, the visionaries behind the seminal craft cocktail bar Death & Co. In Cocktail Codex, these experts reveal for the first time their surprisingly simple approach to mastering cocktails: the “root recipes,” six easily identifiable (and memorizable!) templates that encompass all cocktails: the old-fashioned, martini, daiquiri, sidecar, whisky highball, and flip. Once you understand the hows and whys of each “family,” you’ll understand why some cocktails work and others don’t, when to shake and when to stir, what you can omit and what you can substitute when you’re missing ingredients, why you like the drinks you do, and what sorts of drinks you should turn to—or invent—if you want to try something new.
Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day by JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers
In two of the most renowned and historic venues in Harlem, Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson created a unique take on the Afro-Asian-American flavor profile. Their foundation was a collective three decades of traveling the African diaspora, meeting and eating with chefs of color, and researching the wide reach of a truly global cuisine; their inspiration was how African, Asian, and African-American influences criss-crossed cuisines all around the world. They present here for the first time over100 recipes that go beyond just one place, taking you, as noted by The New Yorker , “somewhere between Harlem and heaven.”
This book branches far beyond “soul food” to explore the melding of Asian, African, and American flavors. The Afro Asian flavor profile is a window into the intersection of the Asian diaspora and the African diaspora. An homage to this cultural culinary path and the grievances and triumphs along the way, Between Harlem and Heaven isn’t fusion, but a glimpse into a cuisine that made its way into the thick of Harlem’s cultural renaissance.
Baking and Desserts
SUQAR: Desserts & Sweets from the Modern Middle East by Greg Malouf and Lucy Malouf
The traditional time to eat sweets in the Middle East is not after meals (when fruit is served) but at breakfast, with coffee in between meals or on religious holidays and special occasions. The repertoire of these dishes is vast and varied. In SUQAR , acclaimed chef Greg Malouf and writing partner Lucy Malouf share the best and most delectable sweet treats from the region (alongside some personal favourites and tried-and-tested creations from Greg’s restaurant kitchens). The recipes merge the spices, flavours and scents of Greg’s childhood with the influence of Greg’s training in the West to create dishes in Greg’s signature Modern Middle Eastern style.
The book’s ten chapters cover: Fruit; Dairy; Frozen; Cakes; Cookies; Pastries; Doughnuts, Fritters & Pancakes; Halvas & Confectionery; Preserves; and Drinks. Accompanied by beautiful photography and illustrations, SUQAR is a journey through the sweets of the Middle East.
Wine Folly: Magnum Edition by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack
Wine Folly became a sensation for its inventive, easy-to-digest approach to learning about wine. Now in a new, expanded hardcover edition, Wine Folly: Magnum Edition is the perfect guide for anyone looking to take his or her wine knowledge to the next level.
Milk Street: Tuesday Nights by Christopher Kimball
At Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, Tuesdays are the new Saturdays. That means every Tuesday Nights recipe delivers big, bold flavors, but the cooking is quick and easy–simple enough for the middle of the week.
Kimball and his team of cooks and editors search the world for straightforward techniques that deliver delicious dinners in less time. Here they present more than 200 solutions that will transform your weeknight cooking, showing how to make simple, healthy, delicious meals using pantry staples and just a few other ingredients. Here are some of the fresh, inventive meals that come together in minutes: Miso-Ginger Chicken Salad Rigatoni Carbonara with Ricotta Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps Peanut-Sesame Noodles White Balsamic Chicken with Tarragon Seared Strip Steak with Almond-Rosemary Salsa Verde Chocolate-Tahini Pudding Tuesday Nights is organized by the way you cook. Some chapters focus on time–with recipes that are Fast (under an hour, start to finish), Faster (45 minutes or less), and Fastest (25 minutes or less). Others highlight easy methods or themes, including Supper Salads, Roast and Simmer and Easy Additions. And there’s always time for pizza, tacos, “walk-away” recipes, one-pot wonders, ultrafast 20-minute miracles, and dessert.
Health and Special Diets
Eat a Little Better by Sam Kass
This book lays out Kass’s plan to eat a little better. Knowing that sustainability and healthfulness come most, well, sustainably when new habits and choices seem appealing rather than drastic and punitive, Kass shares his philosophy and methods to help make it easy to choose, cook, and eat delicious foods without depriving yourself of agency or pleasure. He knows that going organic, local, and so forth all the time is just not realistic for most people, and that’s ok—it’s all about choosing and doing a little better, and how those choices add up to big change. It’s the philosophy he helped the Obamas instill in their home, both in Chicago and that big white one in Washington.
Feast: Food of the Islamic World by Anissa Helou
A richly colorful and exceptionally varied cookbook of timeless recipes from across the Islamic world
In Feast, award-winning chef Anissa Helou–an authority on the cooking of North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East–shares her extraordinary range of beloved, time-tested recipes and stories from cuisines throughout the Muslim world.
Helou has lived and traveled widely in this region, from Egypt to Syria, Iran to Indonesia, gathering some of its finest and most flavorful recipes for bread, rice, meats, fish, spices, and sweets. With sweeping knowledge and vision, Helou delves into the enormous variety of dishes associated with Arab, Persian, Mughal (or South Asian), and North African cooking, collecting favorites like biryani or Turkish kebabs along with lesser known specialties such as Zanzibari grilled fish in coconut sauce or Tunisian chickpea soup. Suffused with history, brought to life with stunning photographs, and inflected by Helou’s humor, charm, and sophistication, Feast is an indispensable addition to the culinary canon featuring some of the world’s most inventive cultures and peoples.
Tokyo New Wave by Andrea Fazzari
In a luxe collection filled with portraits, interviews, and recipes, author and photographer Andrea Fazzari explores the changing landscape of food in Tokyo, Japan. A young and charismatic generation is redefining what it means to be a chef in this celebrated food city. Open to the world and its influences, these chefs have traveled more than their predecessors, have lived abroad, speak other languages, and embrace social media. Yet they still remain distinctly Japanese, influenced by a style, tradition, and terroir to which they are inextricably linked. This combination of the old and the new is on display in Tokyo New Wave, a transporting cookbook and armchair travel guide that captures this moment in Japanese cuisine and brings it to a savvy global audience.
Reference, History, and Scholarship
Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry by Anna Zeide
A century and a half ago, when the food industry was first taking root, few consumers trusted packaged foods. Americans had just begun to shift away from eating foods that they grew themselves or purchased from neighbors. With the advent of canning, consumers were introduced to foods produced by unknown hands and packed in corrodible metal that seemed to defy the laws of nature by resisting decay.
Since that unpromising beginning, the American food supply has undergone a revolution, moving away from a system based on fresh, locally grown goods to one dominated by packaged foods. How did this come to be? How did we learn to trust that food preserved within an opaque can was safe and desirable to eat? Anna Zeide reveals the answers through the story of the canning industry, taking us on a journey to understand how food-industry leaders leveraged the powers of science, marketing, and politics to win over a reluctant public, even as consumers resisted at every turn.
Restaurant and Professional
Chicken and Charcoal: Yakitori, Yardbird, Hong Kong by Matt Abergel
The first cookbook from cult yakitori restaurant Yardbird in Hong Kong puts the spotlight on chicken – taking grilling to a whole new level
Chicken is the world’s best loved meat, and yakitori is one of the simplest, healthiest ways to cook it. At Yardbird in Hong Kong, Canadian chef Matt Abergel has put yakitori on the global culinary map. Here, in vivid style, with strong visual references to Abergel’s passion for skateboarding, he reveals the magic behind the restaurant’s signature recipes, together with detailed explanations of how they source, butcher, skewer, and cook the birds with no need for special equipment. Fire up the grill, and enjoy. The first comprehensive book about yakitori to be published in English, this book will appeal to home cooks and professional chefs alike.
Goat: Cooking and Eating by James Whetlor
We should all be eating more goat. It’s sustainable, ethical, highly nutritious and low in calories. Why, then, does it remain so underused and misunderstood? This book tells the story of how food and farming culture developed in the west without the help of this staple of global agriculture, and showcases the best recipes from around the world using this fabulous beast. Utterly delicious cooked fast and lean, or slow-cooked in curries, stews, braises and roasts, from kebabs to stir-fries to sausages, goat is the one meat we should all be eating more of. With 100 dishes created by Cabrito’s founder James Whetlor, plus a foreword by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and guest recipes from world-renowned chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi, Gill Meller, Neil Rankin and Jeremy Lee, Goat is a ground-breaking, bold cookbook.
Saladish by Ilene Rosen
A “saladish” recipe is like a salad, and yet so much more. It starts with an unexpectedly wide range of ingredients, such as Japanese eggplants, broccoli rabe, shirataki noodles, Bosc pears, and chrysanthemum leaves. It emphasizes contrasting textures–toothsome, fluffy, crunchy, crispy, hefty. And marries contrasting flavors–rich, sharp, sweet, and salty. Toss all together and voilà: an irresistible symphony that’s at once healthy and utterly delicious.
Cooking the saladish way has been Ilene Rosen’s genius since she unveiled the first kale salad at New York’s City Bakery almost two decades ago, and now she shares 100 fresh and creative recipes, organized seasonally, from the intoxicatingly aromatic (Toasty Broccoli with Curry Leaves and Coconut) to the colorfully hearty (Red Potatoes with Chorizo and Roasted Grapes). Each chapter includes a fun party menu, a timeline of preparation, and an illustrated tablescape to turn a saladish meal into an impressive dinner party spread.
Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine by Edward Lee
American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavors. But for Edward Lee, who, like Anthony Bourdain or Gabrielle Hamilton, is as much a writer as he is a chef, that first surprising bite is just the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions, the innovations, the memories?
A natural-born storyteller, Lee decided to hit the road and spent two years uncovering fascinating narratives from every corner of the country. There’s a Cambodian couple in Lowell, Massachusetts, and their efforts to re-create the flavors of their lost country. A Uyghur café in New York’s Brighton Beach serves a noodle soup that seems so very familiar and yet so very exotic–one unexpected ingredient opens a window onto an entirely unique culture. A beignet from Café du Monde in New Orleans, as potent as Proust’s madeleine, inspires a narrative that tunnels through time, back to the first Creole cooks, then forward to a Korean rice-flour hoedduck and a beignet dusted with matcha.
Sixteen adventures, sixteen vibrant new chapters in the great evolving story of American cuisine. And forty recipes, created by Lee, that bring these new dishes into our own kitchens.
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