The Best Cookbooks of 2017

As we kick off the New Year, the Clever Cookstr looks back at just a few favorite cookbooks of 2017.

Kara Rota,
January 2, 2018
Episode #180

kachka cookbook

It was an amazing year for cookbooks, and we were lucky enough to have some fantastic authors on the Clever Cookstr to talk about their work. But as always, there’s plenty we didn’t get to highlight. Before we begin to celebrate everything new and noteworthy in food and cooking in 2018, let’s take a moment to look more closely at some of the best of the year.

Maybe my favorite subtitle belonged to the cookbook Night + Market: Delicious Thai Food to Facilitate Drinking and Fun-Having Amongst Friends. This cookbook  recognizes that we don’t always need another solid recipe for slow cooker boeuf bourguignon—home cooks are going outside of their comfort zones and exploring big flavors. And this book doesn’t disappoint, with everything from pad thai and beef curry in the aptly named "Grandma" chapter, which pays homage to the author’s family restaurant roots, to mashup late-night hits like Oyster Mushroom and String Cheese tacos or Thai-Style Korean short ribs.

That said, perhaps my favorite food of all time is cheese, so I have to give a shoutout to Liz Thorpe’s incredible, gorgeous cheese encyclopedia, The Book of Cheese: The Essential Guide to Discovering Cheeses You'll Love. It introduced me to some of my new favorites, from Harbison to Red Hawk, and it’s made me a total cheese plate know-it-all at parties.

Kristin Kish came out with her first cookbook, Kristin Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques. I fell in love with Kristin years ago when she became known as Barbara Lynch’s protégé on Top Chef, so Ive been anticipating this book for a while! She competently breaks down techniques like how to prep a lobster or how to double cook mushrooms, that will make you feel like a top chef yourself.

In Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking, Bonnie Morales spills the beans on all the smoked fish, pickles, dumplings, and delicious infused vodkas that her Portland restaurant is known for. And along the way, she tells the most amazing family stories and hilarious anecdotes.

Julia Turshen’s Feed the Resistance: Recipes + Ideas for Getting Involved combines food and activism in the most organic ways. If you follow Julia's work, you know that her commitment to fostering community through coming together around the table runs deep, and this book is full of nourishing, affordable meals as well as plenty of resources and essays.

Alison Roman’s Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes has been a big hit this year, for good reason. It’s full of smart little kitchen hacks that Alison had plenty of time to pick up from her time as senior food editor of Bon Appetit, and recipes that perfectly straddle the worlds of super impressive and super doable.

Thanks so much for tuning into the Clever Cookstr in 2017. It’s been our pleasure to bring you some of the most interesting news and exciting voices in food, and we hope youll join us in 2018 for more tips and tricks from the kitchens of the world’s best cooks.

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