The New Year is upon us, and rather than list out the best food moments or the top cookbooks or the worst food failures of 2013, we’d like to only look forward. But let’s face it, 2013 was a big year for food and foodies. Before moving on, let’s recap. It’s important — and there will be a quiz later.
- The resurgence of ramen
- MasterChef Junior premiered and Gordon Ramsey showed he is a real human being
- Pickles and fermented vegetables became an ‘It Thing’
- Mason jars everywhere
- Coffee-making style was streamlined and thoughtful: chemex brewers, V60s, and freshly-roasted, small-batch, single-origin beans
- Pumpkin-flavored everything
- The Paula Deen scandal
- Horsemeat in everything — accidentally
- Sriracha operations were suspended and everyone panicked
- A possible global wine shortage was announced and everyone freaked out
- $65,000 of chicken wings disappeared
- 65 cases of Pappy van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20-Year Bourbon were stolen and bourbon-lovers cried
- Cronut™ craze
- Pumpkin-flavored everything
What really caught our eye were some amazing cookbooks. Eater National put together a List To End All Lists for the best cookbooks of 2013 by cross-checking with all the other (39 in total) best 2013 cookbooks lists published. With a total of 38 cookbooks that you can’t miss published last year, you have some reading (and cooking) to catch up on. Like we said, though, we’re about looking to the future, and we have a whole year of cookbooks in front of us. There are some exciting things that lay up ahead. Namely, there are 10 cookbooks being published in 2014 that we can’t wait to get our hands on. We all need something to look forward to. Here are some beautiful and delicious things.
Patisserie by William Curley (February 1, 2014)
Scottish patissier and chocolatier based in London, William Curley became The Savoy’s youngest ever Head Pastry Chef at 27 (he’s now 42) and has been awarded Britain’s Best Chocolatier by The Academy of Chocolate four times. His first cookbook, Couture Chocolate, received Cookery Book of the Year award in 2012 from the Guild of Food Writers.
With his upcoming cookbook Patisserie, Curley is bringing the art of fine pastries home to those of us who haven’t studied under Marco Pierre White with step-by-step instructions accompanied by gorgeous photographs. He’ll explain sponges, custards, creams, doughs, syrups, and other essentials to have in your pastry-making arsenal. We’re looking forward to mastering these essentials as much as we’re looking forward to the beautiful photographs Curley’s last cookbook was known for.
Fresh from the Farm by Susie Middleton (February 11, 2014)
You may not know of Suzie Middleton, but you need to know about her upcoming cookbook. Middleton is the former editor of Fine Cooking magazine, occasional writer for the Huffington Post, and the farmer of her own little plot of land on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, complete with one farm dog, 500 chickens, a farmstand, and a whole lot of vegetables. The farm-to-table movement is just heating up, and the localvore movement keeps reining in its radius. Hyperlocal and backyard growing are really taking off, and this cookbook not only provides seasonal recipes, but it’s full of tips for “aspiring market gardeners” and contains four designs for backyard projects. Ready your mason jars and heirloom seeds, because this book can help you where Pinterest can’t: in the dirt.
elBulli 2005-2011 by Ferran Adrià (March 1, 2o14)
Ferran Adrià was the grandfather of molecular gastronomy and elBulli was his food lab. The Spanish restaurant opened in 1961 and held three Michelin stars from 1997 until it closed its doors in 2011. There have been books written and movies made about what it was like inside of elBulli, which all come down to a few words: magical, astonishing, and inspiring. Upon its closing, the New York Times called it the “most influential restaurant in the world.” Adrià plans to open an interdisciplinary “creativity center” in 2015.
For now, though, we’re ready to empty our wallets and shell out for his new collection, elBulli 2005-2011, a seven volume set of recipes, step-by-painstaking-step instructions, and photographs along the whole journey. Move over Nathan Myhrvold, this is straight from the master. The first six books of the set are recipes from every season at elBulli between 2005 and 2011. Each book starts with a catalog of each dish served in that year and finishes with each recipe and step to complete them all, and it’s organized in the same way the elBulli menu was: cocktails, snacks, tapas, pre-desserts, desserts, and morphings. There are notes from Adrià on hard-to-find ingredients, finishing, presentation, and techniques. The seventh book is called Evolutionary Analysis, and it focuses on the evolution of the restaurant, key discoveries, analysis of the influences, and creative methods that were prominent during each season, new products, and all the genius of the processes over the years.
You can pre-order this set, which is normally $625, for a limited time at $500.
Huxtabook by Daniel Wilson (March 1, 2014)
As he’s often told interviewers, Kiwi Chef Daniel Wilson of Melbourne, Australia’s restaurant Huxtable, has known he was going to be a chef since he was 13 years old (and for anyone who’s counting, that’s how old Alexander Weiss was when he won Masterchef Junior). Shortly after opening Huxtable, Heston Blumenthal dropped by unannounced, sampled most of the menu, and gave the establishment his approval. Wilson focuses his energy on creating consistently spectacular but unpretentious dishes, saying that “life is too short for mediocrity in the mouth.” If a dish isn’t perfect, it gets taken off the menu.
We’re excited about this book because it’s playful and a great companion to a home cook who’s looking for something more challenging than cupcakes but less momentous than elBulli. Arranged as the Huxtable menu is, the contents of Huxtabook are presented in a bites, sea, land (designating fauna), earth (designating flora), and sweets order. It promises clean flavors that play well together, a conversational tone, and beautiful photography. What more can you ask for?
The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon (March 4, 2014)
We’re suckers for a cookbook produced by a well-loved blogger. We know we can count on them. We might go out to a fancy restaurant and pick up the cookbook when it’s published years later, but a blogger is in your home every week teaching you how to cook. We know about their lives and we know their writing and eating habits. With Angela Liddon, we know her struggles, too. Recovering from a decade-long eating disorder, the Oh She Glows blog started as a way for Liddon to document her progress for herself and her loved ones. Liddon, a vegan, focuses on how plant-based food can make you feel — especially for someone who has had a rough relationship with eating. One of her crowning achievements is learning how to cook healthful meals that her fast food loving husband enjoys. Whether you want to go vegan or just eat healthier meals, this book is a must-buy for 2014. If she can do it, so can you.
Charcutería: The Soul of Spain by Jeffery Weiss (March 11, 2014)
Last year was big for charcuterie; everywhere you turn, there were house-cured and -smoked meats, recipes to DIY, and a total love affair with it all. What we’ve been missing, though, is a really deep look into Spanish curing culture and history. It’s been all about Italy. I like prosciutto as much as the next person, sure, but jamon Iberico needs a place in our hearts, too. We dig sopressata, but there needs to be more chorizo and morcilla. In fact, Michael Ruhlman, author of a charcuterie book himself, says that, “Charcutería is not just another in a slew of American books devoted to this ancient craft, it’s the first to explore the Spanish tradition of curing meat and fish — a lovely, loving, fascinating, and, most all, useful book all lovers of the craft should be grateful for.” That’s why we’re excited about this book.
My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn (March 11, 2014)
We’ve spent a lot of time on ethnic recipes from around the world in the past two years (a trend we pray continues), but Irish cuisine has never gotten any love. Bollocks, I say! Ireland has long been a land of grass-fed lamb, high-fat and creamy butter, dreamy cheeses, and gorgeous seafood. Even better, Irish cuisine has been undergoing a transformation in the past years to prove it’s more than boiled mash and fried fish, and Ireland sports a whole nine Michelin-starred restaurants.
Beyond being a chef, Cathal Armstrong has been dubbed a Champion of Change by the White House and other comparable titles from various publications for his work in bringing education about sustainable eating and growing practices to communities and schools. His own restaurant, Restaurant Eve, features an organic, worm-composted, rain-watered garden providing fruit, vegetables, and herbs for the kitchen. This is food we can get behind. This is your new menu for St. Patrick’s Day.
A Girl and Her Greens by April Bloomfield (June 17, 2014?)
April Bloomfield won our hearts and stomachs with her book A Girl and Her Pig. Bloomfield is the critically acclaimed British chef of NYC restaurants The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and The John Dory Oyster Bar. A nose-to-tail, whole-hog cooking kind of woman, Bloomfield glorifies and uses every part of her pig, honoring the animal with leaving nothing to waste. The book had as many stories as it did recipes and photographs, filling the cookbook with what Bloomfield and her publisher, Ecco, call “voice-driven recipes.” Serious Eats has a serious crush on her and she won Food52′s Tournament of Cookbooks. Food writer Cathy Barrow claims that, “Every recipe [she] made had a surprise. Each one taught [her] a technique.”
Bloomfield’s next book is A Girl and Her Greens, and we couldn’t be more excited. In the foreword of A Girl and Her Pig, coauthor JJ Goode calls her a “vegetable savant.” Knowing how skilled she is with meat makes us salivate in anticipation of what she can do with a bushel of vegetables. Bloomfield has mentioned to Epicurious that her favorite preparation of vegetables is roasting and/or pureeing, and we’re already preheating our ovens.
Amazon has set the release date for June 17, 2014, but the publisher has told Eater.com that they don’t expect to release it until March 2015. We’re crossing our fingers and readying our vegetable peelers just in case. You can pre-order this book here.
Home by Bryan Voltaggio (Fall 2014)
Bryan Voltaggio is a prime example of a rock star chef. A finalist in both Top Chef and Top Chef Masters, Voltaggio, his brother Michael, and all of their combined tattoos held the release party for their first cookbook, Volt ink in a baseball stadium with music, chef-driven concessions, and beer. Their first cookbook, of course, is aesthetically beautiful but a little challenging for anyone without seriously high-tech kitchen gadgets, so we’re really looking forward to the next book due out, called Home. Voltaggio claims that this book focuses more on home cooking, with recipes from his restaurant Family Meal — itself a restaurant meant to bring family and community together to eat — and what Voltaggio himself cooks at home. Considering that this book is as close as we’ll likely get to Chef Bryan Voltaggio’s home kitchen, we’ll take it.
Dominique Ansel: The secret recipes by Dominique Ansel (November 1, 2014)
You all know who Dominique Ansel is, even if you don’t recognize his name. Chef and Owner of the eponymous and well-awarded Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC , Ansel has been named one of the most innovative people under 40 by Business Insider, the most feted pastry chef in the world by the Daily Mail UK, one of the top 10 pastry chefs in the U.S. by Dessert Professional magazine, one of the top ten pastry chefs you need to know by Time Out New York, and he was a finalist for the Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation. You may know him as the creator of the Cronut™.
Of course, we’re hoping for a recipe for the infamous Cronut™ (ready your butter sheeters, marble boards and rolling pins), but we’re also excited about possibly seeing recipes for his cannele de Bordeaux, liquid caramel chocolate tarts, black and blue pavlovas, and Paris-NY choux pastry filled with chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter. Oh, and his seriously beautiful cakes.
This book will be published by Simon and Schuster and the Kindle version is available for pre-order here.