Want to recreate that mouthwatering kebab from a street vendor in Istanbul or the tangy margarita from the hippest restaurant in Marfa, Texas? Here are eight exciting new cookbooks that will help you travel without leaving your kitchen.
Photo: Visit Walla Walla (right)
Washington Wine + Food ($39, Figure 1) —If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy or Twin Peaks, you know that Washington is full of forests, ferry boats and falls. But you might not know that the Pacific Northwest state is the second–largest producer of wine in the U.S., with more than 970 wineries. This forthcoming tome celebrates the state’s winemakers and their signature bottles, pairing each with a recipe developed by a top chef in Seattle. For Twin Peaks fans: actor, vintner and Washington native Kyle Maclachlan (a.k.a. Agent Cooper) penned the book’s foreword.
Gateway dish: Seared Scallops in Herb Stock with Calamari and Savory Clams. Created by chef Quinton Stewart of Ben Paris, the restaurant inside the Pike Place Market–adjacent State Hotel, this dish showcases the best seafood available on the Pacific coast, and pairs beautifully with Abeja’s complex and citrusy chardonnay.
Photo: Anita Murphy and Zania Koppe (left)
The Irish Cookbook ($60, Phaidon) —Irish food goes way beyond stew and soda bread – and this book is here to prove it, complete with a whopping 480 recipes. Chef and author JP McMahon went deep into the history of the Emerald Isle’s cuisine (did you know that in ancient Ireland, dairy products were referred to as “white meat” (bánbhia) and red meat was primarily reserved for feasts?), highlighting traditional techniques and wild ingredients, such as nettles, elderflower and seagrass.
Gateway dish: Colcannon. The traditional mash–up of potatoes and kale, cabbage or, in this case, parsley, is comfort food at its simplest.
Photo: Oriana Koren (right)
The Baja California Cookbook: Exploring the Good Life in Mexico ($40, Ten Speed Press) —From one of the oldest (and most under the radar) wine regions in the Americas to seaside towns along the Pacific coast, the Mexican state of Baja California is an epicure’s heaven. Authors David Castro Hussong, chef at the award–winning Fauna in Baja’s wine country, and Jay Porter celebrate the food and lifestyle on the peninsula, with tantalizing photos of both dishes and destinations.
Gateway dish: Beer–Battered Fish Tacos with Cabbage and White Sauce. These replicate one of northern Baja’s most beloved street foods, which are made with just–caught yellowtail or grouper and sold for as little as a dollar in Ensenada.
Photo: Rashid/Unsplash (left)
Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore ($50, Ten Speed Press) —In this thoughtful anthology, author and food scholar Darra Goldstein sets out to dispel the belief that Russian fare is heavy and bland. Through essays and recipes, she outlines the diverse influences behind the cuisine that often gets abridged to “borscht and potatoes,” and reminds us that fermentation (pickles and kombucha), whole grains (kasha) and infused vodkas (like pepper and birch–bud) have long been on the menu.
Gateway dish: Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls. Fun fact: Cabbage rolls are known as “little doves” in Russian because of the way they nestle together in the pot. This lighter take on the Russian staple sees a filling of mushroom and barley instead of the traditional ground meat and rice.
Photo: Kristin Teig (right)
My Korea: Traditional Flavors, Modern Recipes ($54, W.W. Norton) —If you’re craving Korean, let chef Hooni Kim be your guide. While his New York restaurant Danji was the first Korean restaurant to receive a Michelin star, his comprehensive (13 chapters!) debut is attainable for the home cook. You get Kim’s contemporary versions of classic dishes, fundamental techniques and knowledge on the country’s food culture and history, plus plenty of wanderlust–worthy shots.
Gateway dish: Sizzling–Hot Stone Bowl Bibimbap. The popular combo of rice, meat and vegetables is a great place to start, introducing common ingredients like gochujang (fermented red chili paste). Once you master this favourite, try spicy rice cakes and bulgogi sliders.
Dinner in French ($50, Clarkson Potter) —Whip up a multi–course spread that will instantly transport you to a bistro in Paris or farmhouse in Burgundy. New York Times food writer Melissa Clark’s latest is a collection of 150 modern and approachable French recipes, such as Ratatouille Sheet–Pan Chicken, French Onion Soup with Grilled Gruyère Sandwiches and Raspberry–Lavender Clafouti. Clark’s experience with French food was largely gleaned from trips – she spent summers in France with her parents and sister, going to markets, preparing feasts and dining in Michelin–star restaurants.
Gateway dish: Classic Salade Niçoise. This iconic recipe, which originated in Nice, has been lauded and recreated by famous chefs the world over. Clark’s version stays true to the original with canned tuna, making it extra accessible.
Photo: Douglas Friedman (right)
Cooking in Marfa ($60, Phaidon) —You have probably heard of this arts hub in west Texas, where a Prada store sits on a dusty desert road. As co–founder of arts non–profit Ballroom Marfa, Virigina Lebermann is perhaps most known for bringing that Instagram–famous installation to the area – but she and her husband, chef Rocky Barnette, also own the town’s top restaurant. This stunning volume, which outlines Lebermann and Barnette’s story and highlights recipes from their “roadside saloon,” will make you feel as though you’ve journeyed to Marfa, where a Texas–sized mezcal awaits you at the Capri.
Gateway dish: Hibiscus Margarita. Add this refresher to your happy–hour rotation – a dose of vitamin–rich hibiscus flowers brings an incredibly vibrant hue to the classic lime margarita. (No wonder it’s the most popular drink at the Capri.)
Anatolia: Adventures in Turkish Eating ($39, Murdoch Books) —This book is the next best thing to dining in a Turkish restaurant. Structured around a typical day of eating in the country – Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Meze and Dinner – authors Somer Sivrioglu (an Istanbul–born chef) and David Dale provide 140+ recipes for dishes like pide and charred eggplant salad alongside the region’s centuries–old culinary history and stories of local chefs. For future travels, Sivrioglu also included his guide to the best eating experiences in Istanbul, Gaziantep and Bodrum.
Gateway dish: Pistachio Pancakes with Clotted Cream. This five–ingredient treat (filo pastry, ghee, cream, pistachios and sugar) is a staple in the pastry shops of Gaziantep, where local pistachios fill baklava and other sweets.