It’s here! ZK’s annual cookbook gift guide is here just in time for your holiday shopping!

For the storyteller at heart


Cookbook cover of I am Filipino

I Am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook 
by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad

This best-selling book from restaurateurs Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad celebrate the big, bold flavors of Filipino food. This creative book is full of “modern Filipino recipes that captures the unexpected and addictive flavors of this vibrant and diverse cuisine.” 

With layers upon layers of different cultures and flavors, this is a book of recipes that are achievable—thanks to readily available ingredients and simple cooking processes—and incredibly delicious.


Cover of Season cookbook

Season: Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food
by Nik Sharma 

Nik Sharma (author of A Brown Table) has created a visually stunning masterpiece in which he shares the bold flavors of Indian cuisine through modern yet familiar recipes and ingredients of Southern America and California. 

This book teaches the home cook how to take old favorites and turn them up a notch—think Caprese Salad with Sweet Tamarind Dressing, or Apple Masala Spice Cake. 

This is a story of a child from India becoming a man in America and how he’s combined the two in his cooking. 


Cover of Paulie's cookbook

Paulie’s: Classic Italian Cooking in the Heart of Houston’s Montrose District
by Paul Petronella 

This little known book from Paul Petronella is more of a story than a cookbook. Don’t get me wrong, the recipes are absolutely mouth-watering. But Paul writes, “this is a book about story first, a recipe book second,” and there’s no denying that’s what this book is. 

The stories and anecdotes just ooze authenticity throughout the book, making the reader feel like they’re sitting right next to Paulie in his family’s Italian restaurant. 


For the cook who likes to experiment


Sous Vide for Everybody: The Easy, Foolproof Cooking Technique That’s Sweeping the World
By America’s Test Kitchen

This seemingly intimating method of cooking began largely as a restaurant-only practice only to eventually find its way into home kitchens. Why? Because it’s a convenient and hands-off way of cooking.

In this complete guide to sous vide cooking, the editors at America’s Test teaches home cooks everything they need to know about this easy cooking technique, beginning with the basics gradually working up to more in-depth recipes.   


The Noma Guide to Fermentation
By René Redzepi and David Zilber

René Redzepi, chef and co-owner of Noma (four times named World’s Best Restaurant), and David Zilber, the chef who runs the restaurant’s acclaimed fermentation lab, offer their knowledge and insight of the fermentation world in their new best-selling cookbook.

Known for their extensive use of fermented foods, this book from Noma has long been anticipated in the restaurant world.

But possibly at the disappointment of chefs, this guide to fermentation, featuring 500 step-by-step photographs and illustrations and more than 100 thoroughly tested recipes, was written, developed and designed for the home cook.  


For the person who wants to master the classics, both the simple and the complex


Cover of Revolutionary Recipes

Cook’s Illustrated Revolutionary Recipes
by America’s Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen celebrates 25 years of Cook’s Illustrated in their new extensive cookbook.

Featuring the familiar, yet undeniably elegant layout and educational voice, each recipe can be mastered by the home cook. (Remember those full essays for each recipe in the magazines? Yup, those are included too.) 

If you’re looking to gift a book that will be used for years to come, this is the book. Not only are the recipes spectacular, but the techniques and tips are invaluable.

For the busy, but avid home cook



Cover of cookbook Small Victories

Small Victories

by Turshen: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs
by Julia Turshen

I’ve been a long-time lover of this book. It’s one of the only books that I’ve bought four or five copies of just to give to people—it’s just that good!

This book, full of creative and achievable recipes, is also full of ideas. Nearly every recipe has three or four variations, or as she refers to them, “spin-offs.”

Intrigued by the Korean Clambake? Well guess what, with just a few ingredient swaps you can also make an Old-Fashioned Maine-Style Clambake, Old Bay Shrimp Boil, or a Cajun-Style Clambake. Just about every recipe in this book has variations like that, it’s truly one of a kind.

And if all of that wasn’t reason enough, Ina Garten wrote the forward for the book. ‘Nuf said.


Cover of Now & Again cookbook

Now & Again
by Julia Turshen

This newest book from Turshen focuses on gathering people around the table. With tips and tricks for entertaining, celebratory menu ideas, and creative uses for leftovers, this book is another one of a kind from Turshen (she’s amazing).

A highly anticipated book of 2018, Now and Again is the type of book that will be pulled off the shelf time and again.


Cover of cookbook Ottolenghi Simple

Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi

There’s no doubt that Yotam Ottolenghi is a powerhouse in the chef category of cookbooks. In his new book, Ottolenghi shares streamlined Middle Eastern-inspired recipes that everyone can enjoy.

Containing the occasional hard-to-find ingredient, this book is more approachable for the home cook than some of his other books. It’s described as “elemental Ottolenghi for everyone,” and it really is.

Plus, everything this man touches turns to gold—this one’s a winner.


Cover of Cook it in Your Dutch Oven cookbook

Cook It in Your Dutch Oven
by America’s Test Kitchen

This creative book from America’s Test Kitchen features realistic, everyday recipes that celebrate the kitchen powerhouse. From Chicken Pot Pie and Green Shakshuka to Babka and Peach Cobbler, this useful cookbook puts your Dutch oven to work.


For the adventurous and curious


Cover of Soframiz cookbook

Soframiz: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery and Cafe
by Anna Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick

This book (from 2016) is ever present in my kitchen. From award-winning chefs and restaurant owners, Anna Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick, this cookbook is full of Middle Eastern recipes that are guaranteed to satisfy.

Featuring creative recipes ranging from breakfast and meze, to specialty pastries and drinks, you’re bound to find more than a few new recipes to try. It’s also stunning. 


Cover of Korean BBQ cookbook

Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces
by Bill Kim and Chandra Ram

Not only will Chef Bill Kim teach you how to be a better grillmaster, but he’ll also teach you how to be a more interesting grillmaster. Kim begins by sharing seven different master sauces and three rubs which set the stage for an array of grilled goodness. If you or someone you know loves to grill, this is the book for you.

For the cook cooking for one

Cover of SOLO cookook

Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One
by Anita Lo

Eating alone doesn’t have to be boring, rather “blissful and empowering.” In her new book, award-winning chef Anita Lo draws on her cooking and travel experience to share creative and exciting meals designed for one. Eating alone just got a whole lot more enjoyable.


For the baker

Cover of Rose's Baking Basics cookbook

Rose’s Baking Basics: 100 Essential Recipes, with More Than 600 Step-by-Step Photos 
by Rose Levy Beranbaum

This book is for any and all kinds of bakers. With a variety of recipes and in-depth instructions and photos, this baking book is right at home on the shelf of the avid baker and the amateur.


Cover of Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Sweet and Decadent Baking for Every Occasion
by Jeff Hetzberg M.D. and Zoë François  

This is nowhere near Jeff and Zoë’s debut into the bread world. Known for their book The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is universally loved in the baking world.

In their newest collection of holiday bread recipes, the baking duo seamlessly combination art, science and celebration in 100 creative recipes.

Also, if you’re interested, check out Zoë’s Instagram where she shares process videos of her recipes weekly. They’re so fun to watch! 

GIVEAWAY! Keep an eye out on Instagram over the next week or so as I’ll be giving away a FEW of these books from this year’s gift guide!
Happy holidays, cheers!

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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  1. Now and Again is for sure on my xmas list! It looks like you have a great roundup here. Can’t wait to checkout the others.