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Fall Food Book Guide: 9 Hot Titles to Check Out

By Linnea Covington
September 6, 2013
Photo by: Linnea Covington

As the leaves start changing and the weather crisps, there is no better time than fall to hunker down with a good food book and dream about what cozy meals you can create. This year a lot of big names are putting forth their first books like Andy Ricker of Pok Pok, Gramercy Tavern and Ivan Orkin of the yet-to-be-opened Ivan Ramen noodle shop in New York. There are some old favorites too, like Alice Water’s new book and vegetarian guru Mollie Katzen’s fresh take on vegetables. From foie gras dumplings to beer tasting to perfecting Midwestern fare, no matter what you are looking for, each of these titles offer a good read and plenty of superb recipes.

  • Le Pigeon by Gabriel Rucker and Meredith Erickson
    Ten Speed Press
    Release date: September 17

    Finally, two-time James Beard Award winner Gabriel Rucker has come out with a cookbook celebrating his popular Portland restaurant, Le Pigeon. There are plenty of recipes focusing on fish, lamb, pork and vegetables, all laid out in a simple to read table of contents. Also, because Rucker has a thing for foie gras, you can find this rich ingredient lacing everything from black bean muffins to mushroom soup to dumplings. Needless to say, you can also find recipes for their iconic bird including a tasty sounding pigeon crudo with figs and bourbon. But that’s not all, you can complete your meal by pairing wines chosen by the restaurant’s sommelier Andrew Fortgang, for example, the lamb and green garlic risotto goes well with a bottle of Cabernet Franc from Girolamo Dorigo. Then follow it up with a recipe for one of the expertly crafted desserts by pastry chef Lauren Fortgang, say the peach Napoleon or the honey-bacon-apricot cornbread with maple ice cream. 

  • The Complete Beer Course by Joshua M. Bernstein
    Sterling Epicure
    Release date: Out now

    Lucky you, this second beer book by Joshua M. Bernstein just hit shelves and offers readers a clever breakdown of the beer world. Touted as the “boot camp for beer geeks,” Bernstein sections off this intricate world with chapters focusing on sour ales, barley wine, dark beers like stouts and porters, IPAs, Trappist and Abbey-style ales, and how the heck this popular brew is made. The back is full of festivals and beer gatherings across the country that you can attend so you can share your newfound knowledge with others. Also, just in case you need more inspiration, each chapter offers tasting notes on how to appreciate each type of brew as well as examples of ones Bernstein personally enjoys.

  • Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand by Andy Ricker and JJ Goode
    Ten Speed Press
    Release date: October 29

    When James Beard Award-winning chef Andy Ricker opened his pop-up Thai restaurant Pok Pok in Portland, it was a success almost immediately. So popular in fact, the eatery still draws crowds and the shop he brought to Brooklyn in the spring of 2012 is constantly packed. Now, you can read about Ricker’s adventure researching food for his restaurants and learn how to cook some of his most beloved recipes including khao soi kai, papaya salad and laap pet isaan. Ricker also highlights the people behind the foods by dishing out personal narratives, cultural insights, and a look into the intricate world of Thai food.

  • Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint by Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying
    Ten Speed Press
    Release date: October 29

    Another highly anticipated book that is overshadowed only by New York’s anticipation of chef Ivan Orkin actually opening his ramen joint, which has been delayed on a month-by-month basis, is the chef’s début title. Thought the restaurant has been delayed, come October 29 you for sure can check out this noodle master’s first cookbook and learn all the secrets to his success. Well, some of them, anyway. At least you can try to cook some of his expertly executed ramen dishes and other Japanese delights. You might even master one or two of his dishes before you get a chance to try them.

  • The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony
    The Crown Publishing Group
    Release date: October 29

    It’s surprising that even after almost two decades, there still wasn’t a recipe tome for the prestigious Gramercy Tavern. That time is ending with their cookbook debut this October, and a lovely glossy volume filled with chef Michael Anthony’s instructions on how to make country terrine, seafood chowder, mushroom lasagna and blackberry lime sherbet. The beginning starts with a forward by Danny Meyer with the history on how he started the restaurant. Each of the 125 recipes are broken down by season and laced with personal stories, clever antidotes and gorgeous photographs. Even if you don’t cook, this release is worth getting, if anything so you can dream and plot your next meal there.

  • The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden by Alice Waters
    The Crown Publishing Group
    Release date: October 29

    Taking readers from seed to plate, this latest in revered chef Alice Water’s repertoire gives us a glimpse of her kitchen garden and how to grow, cultivate and prepare the vegetables, herbs and fruits that come from it. The book offers 300 plant-forward recipes sectioned off into plant categories with names like Colorful Chicories and Ripe Summer Fruits. Nestled in these chapters you can find instructions on how to make dishes including garlic mayonnaise, chickpea and broccoli rabe soup and blackberry-honey compote with tarragon. Another fun aspect are the elegant line drawings of the plants in place of photographs.

  • The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen
    Clarkson Potter
    Release date: September 24

    The way cookbook author and chef Amy Thielen makes Midwestern food sound in this book is amazing, like dishes you want to eat all the time. Thanks to her skills at developing recipes, you can whip up scalloped corn, old-fashioned potato donuts with a coffee glaze, and malt and chili-glazed chicken. Sound like stuff you eat in Minnesota? Not exactly, but since Thielen takes her years of cooking at restaurants across New York and meshes it with her Midwestern sensibilities, she has created a comforting harmony of the two ideals. Plus, she delves into the world of pickling, fermenting, making stock and baking—all things essential for Brooklyn living.

  • The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Release date: September 17

    Vegetarian cookbook author Mollie Katzen wowed cooks of her generation with the Moosewood Cookbook, a volume chockfull of deviant vegetable recipes all written by hand with cute drawings of the dishes to accompany them. With Katzen’s latest book, she aims to take a modern approach to vegetarian cooking and offers up contemporary recipes like mushroom bread pudding, broccoli millet, fried green tomato burgers and plenty of sauces to top things with. But, before you dive in, check out the guide to the tools you need to make these dishes, and the expertly cultivated menus, which she breaks down into vegan and vegetarian. Suddenly, creating a veggie-friendly dinner party just got a whole lot easier.

  • Roberta’s Cookbook by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini, and Katherine Wheelock
    Clarkson Potter
    Release date: October 29

    Ever since Roberta’s opened in Bushwick, Brooklyn in 2008, guests of this popular pizza joint have wondered when a cookbook might come out. Well, the time is now and soon hungry readers can attempt to whip up their delicious pies and succulent side dishes. Give their classic margherita pizza or the kale and chili-laced Baby Sinclair a whirl, after all, they even give tutorial on how to make the best pizza dough. Though, just because these pies are the go-to dish at Roberta’s doesn’t mean that’s all the cookbook has to offer. They also offer recipes for smoky corn salad with purple basil and ‘nduja sausage, venison saddle with sunchokes, chestnuts and pomegranate, plus a super savory duck ragu on fresh papperdelle. The best part is, you don’t have to wait in line.

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