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7 Essential Cookbooks this Fall

Whereas summer is defined by freshness and abundance, fall is marked by the chef’s creativity and skill in the kitchen. Kitchens center around the pantry, the chef’s color palette.

Eric Yang


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Summer is easy — especially for chefs. With fresh ingredients aplenty, much of what we eat is still raw, taking some of the pressure (and work) out of cooking. Fall, however, is when we find chefs at their best: market offerings change, then dwindle, prompting skill and creativity to prosper where abundance lacks. It centers kitchens ’round the pantry, which is to the chef as the palette to the painter. With a little spice and bit of love, a forgotten root or a dense cabbage can suddenly turn into a showstopper.

This part of the year is also a time of gathering, when our rituals of communion are most frequent. Many of us will soon be in the kitchen, if we haven’t been drawn there already, and most of these parties require some culinary guidance. It only seems fitting, then, to showcase the best cookbooks from some of the world’s most creative and acclaimed chefs. The recipes inside range from the complex and refined to folkier fare — things that our grandmothers would have cooked up. Our favorites lean towards the latter, but choose one for yourself to try at home now.

OTHER GREAT RECIPES: Jamaican Jerk Chicken | Bacalhau à Brás from Aldea | The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Meat: Everything You Need to Know

A fourth-generation butcher from one of the Tri-State Area’s most respected meat purveyors, Pat LaFrieda goes through the cuts of different meats and provides both new and hand-me-down recipes on how to best cook them.

Butcher: Pat LaFrieda
Affiliation: Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors (North Bergen, NJ)
GP Favorite Recipe: The Black Label Burger (pgs. 74-79)

Buy Now: $26


Sean Brock is the recent star of the award-winning PBS show Mind of A Chef. His cookbook, filled with now-famous recipes, provides insight into the chef’s rise and his Southern influence.

Chef: Sean Brock
Affiliation: Husk (Nashville, TN), Husk (Charleston, SC), McCrady’s (Charleston, SC)
GP Favorite Recipe: Fried Chicken Skin (pgs. 252-253)

Buy Now: $26

My Portugal: Recipes and Stories

With a Michelin star already under his belt, George Mendes explores the land and sea that inspires his cooking: his homeland of Portugal.

Chef: George Mendes
Affiliation: Aldea (NYC, NY)
GP Favorite Recipe: Pork Belly with Clams and Pickles (pgs. 82-85)

Buy Now: $22

Mallmann On Fire

One of South America’s most famous chefs, Francis Mallmann tames fire for his new book of recipes and stories from the land of our American neighbors.

Chef: Francis Mallmann
Affiliation: Francis Mallmann 1884 (Mendoza, Argentina), Patagonia Sur (Buenos Aires, Argentina), El Garzón Restaurant (Garzón, Uruguay)
GP Favorite Recipe: Leg of Lamb on Strings with Mint-Chile Salmuera (pgs. 109-111)

Buy Now: $28

Downtown Italian

From New York’s West Village, this trio run four restaurants collectively and cook their way through that which binds them all together: Italy.

Chef: Joe Campanale, Gabriel Thompson, Katherine Thompson
Affiliation: dell’anima (NYC, NY), L’Artusi (NYC, NY), Anfora (NYC, NY), L’Apicio (NYC, NY)
GP Favorite Recipe: Olive Oil Cake with Crème Fraîche Mousse and Raisin Marmellata (pgs. 191-193)

Buy Now: $25

Kitchen Notebook: Hundred of Recipes, Tips, and Techniques for Cooking Like a Chef at Home

Harold Dieterle first made waves in the kitchen as Top Chef’s season one champ. Now, with two successful restaurants to his name, he provides a first glimpse at the inner workings of his eclectic, multicultural well of inspirations.

Chef: Harold Dieterle
Affiliation: Perilla (NYC, NY), Kinshop (NYC, NY)
GP Favorite Recipe: Turducken Lasagna (pgs. 157-159)

Buy Now: $29

The New Charcuterie Cookbook: Exceptional Cured meats to Make and Serve at Home

James Beard Award-winning chef Jaime Bisonette provides an easy-to-read guide on the world of cured meats and the best way to serve them at home.

Chef: Jaime Bissonette
Affiliation: Toro (NYC, NY), Toro (Boston, MA), Coppa (Boston, MA)
GP Favorite Recipe: Easiest Chicken Liver Mousse (pgs. 54-55)

Buy Now: $15

Honorable Mention


Sure, we all know about sherry, but few of us really know it. The wine, “once considered one of the world’s great[s]”, is today one of the most misunderstood and under appreciated. For connoisseurs and curious palates alike, Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret, with Cocktails and Recipes by Talia Baiocchi is an informative and beautiful account of the history and culture of this forgotten aperitif.

Jack Seemer is the deputy editor at Gear Patrol.
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