The Food Lab by Kenji Lopez-Alt
Kenji is a cookbook author, restaurateur, children’s book author and New York Times columnist. He has won many awards like the James Beard Award and IACP Cookbook of the year. The Food Lab is described as:
"A grand tour of the science of cooking explored through popular American dishes, illustrated in full color. Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that’s perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac & cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)―and use a foolproof method that works every time? As Serious Eats’s culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don’t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new―but simple―techniques."
Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat
This isn’t your traditional cookbook but offers a colorful description of how to learn the art of cooking. This a New York Times bestseller that helps you master these 4 important elements of cooking. Samin won the James Beard Cookbook of the Year award in 2018. If you’re not into reading, there is also a documentary on Netflix I’d recommend checking out! Alice Waters describes the book as:
"This beautiful, approachable book not only teaches you how to cook, but captures how it should feel to cook: full of exploration, spontaneity and joy. Samin is one of the great teachers I know."
Cocktail Codex by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald and David Kaplan
I’m a complete amateur when it comes to cocktails. This book perfectly articulated the simplicity of the drinks and also explained the differences between almost all of the major types of spirits. It also makes a compelling case that most cocktails can derive from 6 drink blueprints. The authors describe the book as this:
"A guide to crafting impeccable classic cocktails and creating original drinks, Cocktail Codex aims to change the way we perceive the art and process of creating the world’s best cocktails. Cocktail Codex simplifies the complex cocktail universe, declaring that there are truly only six fundamental recipes at the root of them all: The Old-Fashioned, Martini, Daiquiri, Sidecar, Whisky Highball, and the Flip. By studying each of the six drinks, the reader can learn the mechanics of a particular style of cocktail and important lessons in technique and ingredients that elevate his or her cocktail game."
Duck, Duck, Goose by Hank Shaw
In the era of COVID, where our food comes from has become a big focus. Millions of people are looking to the woods and waters around them and realizing there are protein sources they can obtain for themselves. But cooking wild protein can be like learning a new language–you’re still communicating, but all the words are different. Hank Shaw’s series of cookbooks, including Duck Duck Goose, demystify the process and makes game meat approachable for chefs of any skill level. Duck, Duck, Goose is described as this:
"Duck is having a renaissance in American restaurants and kitchens as cooks discover that diverse breeds, species, and cuts of meat offer an exciting range of flavors and textures. Many cooks—and even hunters—have a fear of cooking fowl. Duck, Duck, Goose shows you how to cook duck and goose like a pro: perfectly crisp skin crackling with each bite, succulent confit, impeccable prosciutto, and more."
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