Cookbooks are a food lover's best friend. They're filled with delicious recipes, dynamic stories, and mouth-watering photos — plus, there's a cookbook out there for every cuisine, cooking level, and occasion. Over time, cookbooks can become collectibles and even increase in value. All of this makes them the perfect holiday present for your foodie family member or pal — but if you're not sure how to pick the book best suited to their palate and cooking style, don't fret. Our comprehensive list of the six best cookbooks to gift will take the guesswork out of the process.
1. For the Cook Who Loves Hosting Dinner Parties
Anyone who entertains knows how hectic throwing a party can be; planning the menu, sending out invites, and arranging the tablescape all take time and energy. Enter Sebastien and Sheila Centner. In Eatertainment: Recipes and Ideas for Effortless Entertaining (Buy from Amazon, $23.70), the event management and catering company owners share decades' worth of expertise. With more than 140 recipes, inspiring food and tablescape photos, and entertaining tips suited for any difficulty level, budget, or available preparation time, it's the ideal gift for every host or hostess with the mostest.
2. For the Avid Home Baker
Baking shouldn't be reserved for holidays and special occasions only. In her second cookbook, Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day (Buy from Amazon, $29.25) pastry chef Gemma Stafford demonstrates how to bake your way through a busy week. From No-Yeast Cinnamon Rolls to Dulce de Leche Lava Cake, the book's 125 recipes are too delicious to resist. The best part? Most of them take 10 steps or less. Talk about ending a weeknight meal on a sweet note!
3. For the Cook Who Embraces Nature
Expert forager Lisa M. Rose’s book Urban Foraging (Buy from Amazon, $19.31) is the perfect gift for hands-on foodies who prefer gathering to grocery shopping. In her book, Rose teaches readers the fundamentals of sourcing ingredients from the built environment — specifically, how to identify, harvest, and cook 50 common wild plants found in cities. Edible gems like dandelion and honeysuckle, for example, make tasty Dandelion Greens Salad and Honeysuckle Honey. Tips for safely and ethically collecting natural food in your home city are included alongside the book's delectable recipes.
4. For the Cook Who Values Multi-Generational Recipes
Certain foods hold sentimental value, taking you back to your childhood or a specific happy memory. Restaurateur Nadia Liu Spellman grew up with dumplings as a staple in her family home, and in 2014, she opened a modern Chinese restaurant in Minnesota called Dumpling Daughter. More recently, Spellman authored a cookbook by the same name (Buy from DumplingDaughter.com, $35), in which she shares dishes from her own restaurant and the restaurant owned by her mother, Sally Li. Readers can also find family favorite recipes — both old and new — to make delicious homestyle Chinese food.
5. For the Cook Who Is Guided by the Seasons
Peaches may be a summertime treat, but it's never too early to dream up new ways to use them. With The Peach Truck Cookbook (Buy from Amazon, $19.99), you'll find 100 fresh and flavorful recipes to utilize this fruit, including White Pizza With Peach, Skillet Blueberry Peach Cobbler, and Mas Tacos Peach Tamales. The cookbook also includes a breakdown of various peach varieties and the process of growing Georgia peaches. Think of it as an all-in-one guide for a perfectly peachy pantry.
6. For the Home Bartender
If your loved one is never without a well-stocked bar cart, gift them A Bartender’s Guide To the World (Buy from Bookshop.org, $26.04). In this cocktail book, Lauren Mote shares drink recipes and stories from her experience bartending around the globe for over 20 years. Each drink is assigned one of four categories: standard, mid, low, or zero proof. There's also an entire chapter dedicated to non-alcoholic cocktails — which should come in handy for Dry January. Raise an early toast to 2023!
There you have it: Six cookbooks worth giving to the food and drink connoisseur in your life. Need additional gift ideas? Check out our story on the best home and kitchen items worth splurging on this season.
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