The CODES List

The CODES List: Cookbooks highlights titles for both avid home chefs and those just learning the rewards of making a meal. The list further supports those who appreciate the many joys of reading cookbooks, even if they rarely venture into the kitchen. As judged by librarians who cooked from them and hosted book groups about them, these are the cookbooks that will stand the test of time, become reliable favorites, and nourish readers. This juried list marks a new initiative from CODES to help librarians identify works destined to become the backbone of our most popular collections, works that serve as sure bets for readers and standards of their genre.

For further information, please visit the committee roster page (login required) or the staff contact page.

Award Recipients

In a vibrant celebration of Israeli cooking, Admony and Gur present a compelling exploration of this multi-ethnic cuisine with ancient roots. While specialists, they make accessible the sights, sounds, smells, and foods of the region. From the sensuality of shopping in open-air markets to preparing generous amounts of food for the family table, the journey Shuk takes cooks on is vivid and enticing. Try the Red Wine Lamb Tagine with Dried Fruit.

Burtka–chef, actor, and entertainment guru–puts the glitter in party planning with sixteen seasonally themed events. Colorful photos, inventive menus, easy tips, and great ideas for engaging the guests are its calling card but the delicious recipes might just become staples of your weeknight rotation. Burtka makes it easy to turn any party into a memorable occasion. Pecan Streusel-Topped Baked Apples are perfect for a fall party brunch or any day of the week.

Chaplin, a James Beard and IACP award winner, guides readers through the foundations of vegetarian cooking while avoiding dietary sensitivities. Chapters highlight a core recipe and then provide variations on it. This hefty resource offers rock solid instruction, inspiration, and useful overviews of key methods. The tone is both expert and can-do. Even if you are happy to eat meat, gluten, dairy, or refined sugar, try the Spicy Miso-Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant.

Eden’s gorgeously conceived and designed guide to the cuisine and culture of the lands surrounding the Black Sea is a multisensory immersion into place, a stirring and evocative mix of memoir, travel tale, history, literary gazetteer, and cookbook. It reads like the journal of an intrepid and knowledgeable adventurer obsessed with food and is such a pleasure to delve into that you might forget to stop reading and start cooking. Try the Black Sea Börek.

Truly one of a kind, designed to support those living with, treating and recovering from cancer, Living Kitchen provides targeted advice, nutritional wisdom, and recipes. Those struggling with side effects will appreciate the thorough indexing and how recipes are cleverly coded with icons to aid in meal choice. Don’t think dietary restrictions equal a lack of flavor, recipes are nourishing and delicious and encourage healing as much as the enjoyment of food. The Coconut Chicken Fingers will be a hit for the whole family.

Food writer Priya Krishna chronicles the personal food journey of her mother, Ritu, as a new American and working mother of two. The result is a bold, exuberant, and delectable cookbook teeming with complex and diverse flavors. While Indian cuisine is the cornerstone of the Krishna kitchen, a world of influences and family experiences are reflected in their recipes. There is only one chicken recipe in this book for a reason, try Garlic-Ginger Chicken with Cilantro and Mint.

Millennial cooking comes of age with this lively, energetic cookbook from rockstar chef Lazarus Lynch. His Queen’s based spin on Soul food with Caribbean, West African, and Southern influenced recipes is punctuated by high concept, flamboyant photography that highlights the flash and fun in his fresh, modern cooking. More than just a cookbook, this is an experience. Indulge yourself with his decadent Dulce De Leche Banana Pudding.

“This is not a cookbook in the classic sense,” writes author Daniel Paterna in what may be the understatement of the year. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a delightful, personal tour of Italian American cooking, based on Paterna’s Brooklyn family. Weaving memories, recipes, and profiles of Bensonhurst bakers and butchers, this is a visually intoxicating love letter to an era, a way of life, and above all a cuisine. Make the Eggplant Parmigiana tonight.

At nearly five pounds, this ninth revision in its 90-year history poses one question: does this new edition warrant purchasing? The answer is a resounding yes. While the new Joy includes many classics (Creamed Spinach), this volume offers over 600 new recipes. More importantly, it responds to the way we cook today, with recipes for the Instant Pot and sous vide, while paying attention to food safety, fermentation, and gluten-free dough. Don’t miss the Apple Dumplings.

An encyclopedic work, sure to be a classic, this book takes all the guess-work and intimidation out of shopping for, storing, and preparing over 100 types of fish. Organized by species, including aliases, it offers multiple recipes for each fish (salmon alone has 30!), including both traditional preparations as well as the innovative. Don’t be put off by this book’s reference demeanor; Seaver writes with passion and enthusiasm. Start with the Citrus-Crusted Fried Halibut.

Sever has delivered a baker’s dream. Filled with well researched recipes that seem to come straight from your grandmother’s recipe box. It’s so good you will want to read it cover-to-cover but the stunning photography halts you and sends you straight to the kitchen to start baking. Readers will be enchanted by this truly masterful collection of recipes. Attempting to decide what to make first is a challenge but try My Go-To Chocolate Chip Cookies.

James Beard winner Tipton-Martin offers recipes that explore the vast African American foodways in which she is so expert. Mixed in with recipes for Spoonbread and Pork Chops in Lemon-Caper Sauce are stories and gems that deepen what is already an astounding and important collection of history, culture, and cuisine. This most important, and kitchen-worthy, guide is destined to be a core title for decades to come. Make the Coconut-Lemon Layer Cake.

The perfect book for the fledgling cook, this super-well organized volume provides complete menus for 175 meals, including sides. Much like the popular meal kits, every step is broken down and photographed. This global collection of recipes also includes many vegetarian options. Try the black bean and sweet potato tacos.

Epitomizing the best features of cookbook-as-memoir, Deravian offers stories seasoned with joy and melancholy, underscoring how food conjures home. Her wide-ranging and deeply authentic debut showcases dishes made redolent by rose petals, limes, fenugreek, and saffron. Savor the Roasted Squash and Grapes.

Everyday Dorie is stunning and accomplished but unpretentious enough for a Monday night. Delight in discovering how to take Dorie’s classics and make them your own. Give the Gingered Turkey Meatball Soup a try.

Located at the intersection of culture, cuisine, and history, Feast is as joyful and accessible as it is far-reaching and authoritative. Over 500 pages, the recipes range from pita and chapati to rich curries and fragrant biryanis to more complex dishes as Helou explores South Asian, Arab, Persian and North African cooking. Don’t miss the Ramadan date cookies.

Delivers elaborate flavors in a down to earth package that is pure Bill Kim. You don’t need a grill to enjoy these recipes, just a sense of fun and adventure. Fire up your grill for the Sesame Hoisin Chicken Wings.

Feel confident that you can make pie crust, and baked goods, with the aid of this warmly supportive cookbook. A feeling of community and empowerment flows out of charming pages that are as rewarding to read as to cook from. Roll up your sleeves and bake the Honey Lemon Meringue Pie.

Great storytelling and even better recipes from Toronto- based Matteson, a YouTube sensation and the star of Viceland’s It’s Suppertime and Dead Set On Life. While the recipes range from the simple to the complex, they’re all as full of flavor as Matheson is full of personality. Start with the Mussel Stew and end with the Blackberry Coffee Cake.

Simple is not a word generally used to describe Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes, but it’s an apt title to his latest cookbook. That’s not to say the recipes are all easy, but rather they hone in on the essence of the dish without fussiness. Add to the fact that many dishes can be made ahead of time or under 30 minutes and you’ve got a keeper. See for yourself with the Pasta alla Norma.

As the name of his cookbook suggests, Richards’s delivers the pure life force of southern cooking. Call your friends and family, turn up the radio and head to the kitchen. Amp up your entertaining with the Grilled Peach Toast with Pimento Cheese.

Nothing about Nik Sharma’s debut fits neatly into a cookbook category. Sharma is not a professionally-trained chef nor does the food subscribe to any one type of cuisine. But there lies its appeal: the recipes are unique, creatively (ahem) seasoned and Sharma’s voice is passionate and inspired. A welcome addition. The Bombay Frittata should convince you.

This gathering of classic dishes and culinary history is a jubilant, expanding romp, as the award winners behind acclaimed Philadelphia restaurant Zahav take readers onto the streets of Israel and then urges them into their home kitchens to cook. Step-by-step directions, a litany of variations and dish toppings, and a strong point of view make the collection deeply inviting, and engaging. Give the 5-Minute Hummus a test-run.

Tiffin is more than just a cookbook. It’s a tour through India that sheds light on the country’s regional specialties and nuanced flavor combinations to demonstrate the culinary diversity of the country. As much a reference title as an indispensable cookbook. Seize the day and start with dessert; make the Banana Coconut Bake.


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