Our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: 15 of the Year’s Best Books

New Yorkers wrote a bumper crop of food books in 2014. Here are the ones we want to hole up with all winter.


Photo credit: Scott Gordon Bleicher

Looking for more gift ideas? Check out our holiday gift guide.

1. The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook
Leeann Lavin
Who this book is for: For those with a deep appreciation of “out East” terroir and the local institutions that have helped to define it.

A favorite recipe:
 Nick & Toni’s Peconic Bay scallops with butter and lemon over garden arugula
The best part: 
With a foreword by Edible’s Brian Halweil and photography from our Lindsay Morris, this more-than-a-cookbook celebrates the symbiosis between Long Island’s chefs and farmers.

2. A Good Food Day: Reboot Your Health with Food That Tastes Great
Marco Canora
Who this book is for: Vegetable lovers who are looking for new, creative ways to eat kale and similar trendy ingredients.
A favorite recipe: Citrus-spiked hazelnut and rosemary granola
The best part: Just in time for resolutions, recipes for conscious eating and good health from Hearth’s beloved chef.

3. The Real Food Cookbook: Traditional Dishes for Modern Cooks
Nina Planck
Who this book is for: Cooks who value whole and quality seasonal ingredients. 
A favorite recipe: Fermented ginger ale
The best part: Recipes your great-grandma would have made, but way sexier.

4. The Meat Hook Meat Book
Tom Mylan
Who this book is for: Both budding and seasoned butchers, in Brooklyn and beyond.
A favorite recipe: How to butcher a chicken
The best part: A cookbook-cum-butchering handbook from Brooklyn’s trailblazing meats master.

5. The Kitchen Ecosystem: Integrating Recipes to Create Delicious Meals
Eugenia Bone
Who this book is for: Those who like to think outside the plate and have a penchant for preserving ingredients.
A favorite recipe: Lady apple basil jelly
The best part: Bridging simple, seasonal ingredients from dish to dish and meal to meal.

6. Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques and Recipes for Sweet Baking
Johnny Iuzzini
Who this book is for: An in-depth primer for eager and creative bakers, beginners or not.
A favorite recipe: Earl Grey crème caramel
The best part: The latest invaluable publication from James Beard Award-winning sweets superstar.

7. The Architecture of the Cocktail
Amy Zavatto
Who this book is for: Your friend or family member who is trying to step up their cocktail-making skills with a precise knowledge of classic combinations. 
A favorite recipe: Long Island Iced Tea
The best part: Longtime Edible contributor lays out blueprints for master mixed-drink construction.

8. American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood
Paul Greenberg
Who this book is for: Anyone who eats.
The best part: A lyrical account of why the nation’s seafood supply could become the one that got away.

9. The New Greenmarket Cookbook
Gabrielle Langholtz
Who this book is for: Greenmarket devotees who value the stories behind their ingredients as much as what they’re able to concoct with them. 
A favorite recipe: Carrot pancakes with maple pears from chef Bill Telepan
The best part: Edible editrix gathers recipes from the top toques who start their days at Union Square.

10. The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking
Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand
Who this book is for: Design and DIY enthusiasts who are either settling into or looking to make the most of their home kitchens.
A favorite recipe: Homemade oven cleaner
The best part: Recipes, cooking school lessons, helpful tips and tool reviews from the geniuses at Apartment Therapy.

11. Di Palo’s Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy: 100 Years of Wisdom and Stories from Behind the Counter
Lou Di Palo and Rachel Wharton
Who this book is for: New York City history and food buffs who won’t settle for less than fresh, handmade, in-house mozzarella.  
A favorite recipe: Concetta Di Palo’s Meatballs 
The best part: Fourth-generation owner of Little Italy’s landmark joins Edible editor Wharton for a feast of family history, adventure and recipes.

12. The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food
Dan Barber
Who this book is for: Farm-to-table believers who are looking to push the boundaries of this eating philosophy. 
The best part: Blue Hill’s celebrated chef gives the farm-to-table state of the state (spoiler alert: we need to do more).

13. Sunday Suppers: Recipes + Gatherings
Karen Mordechai
Who this book is for: Minimalist cooks who are as interested in eye candy as they are in actual candy (or at least making blueberry and balsamic ice cream from scratch). 
A favorite recipe: Buttermilk cornbread with honey butter
The best part: Brooklynite blogger Karen Mordechai shares inspiration for communal meals including upstate escapes, city picnics and birthday parties for kids (or adults, whatever).

14. Eating with the Chefs: Family Meals from the World’s Most Creative Restaurants
Per-Anders Jörgensen
Who is book is for: Those who like to feast their eyes as much as their stomachs. Just looking at this book is almost enough to fill you up. 
A favorite recipe:
Emmer wheat focaccia from Blue Hill at Stone Barns
The best part: 
Disclaimer, this book is not written by a New Yorker. It is the work of the stunningly talented Per-Anders Jörgensen (photographer and publisher of Fool magazine) and features recipes for home cooks from some of New York’s trailblazing institutions including Roberta’s, wd~50 and Blue Hill.

15. The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries
Ben Towill, Phil Winser and Nick Wilber with Julia Turshen
Who this book is for: Cooks who treasure straightforward and inventive preparations of the best seasonal produce. 
A favorite recipe:
Honey and orange duck with roasted fennel
The best part: The Fat Radish teams up with cookbook writer Julia Turshen to share vegetable-forward dishes that bring the taste of their comforting farm-to-table dishes to your own kitchen.

Still looking for the perfect gift? Investigate our 2014 holiday gift guides to Manhattan and Brooklyn.




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