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Books for Cooks
Top 10 NYC Cookbooks of 2013 (Photo: Sackton/Flickr CC)

A Taste of New York: 2013′s 10 Best New Cookbooks

As much a pleasure to the eye as to the tongue, these ten cookbooks from chefs at New York's most respected restaurants will take you on a delicious culinary trip through the city

Reserving a table at a top New York City restaurant isn’t the only way to taste the creations of the best chefs in the city. Cookbooks are a portal into their world — showcasing all the inspirations, anecdotes and background stories that shaped their signature cooking style. Flip through the pages of the following 10 cookbooks published in 2013 and you will bring these chefs’ secrets straight into your own kitchen. Consider the almost-edible photography an added bonus.

 

Best NYC 2013 cookbooks, Balaboosta

‘Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love’ by Einat Admony. 288 pages. Artisan.

Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love
The title of this cookbook will resonate with anyone who has eaten at chef Einat Admony’s popular Nolita restaurant, Balaboosta. Her take on Mediterranean, Israeli cooking is not only delicious, but also delivered from the soul of a chef who cooks to nourish those she loves. This attitude is palpable in the pages of her first cookbook, divided into sections for weeknights, romantic dinners, kids and more. This fun, organizational device makes it easy to find a tempting recipe to suit any situation (with 140 in all). Full color pictures, family tales, and yes, the recipe for her addictive hummus, are all tucked into the pages of this book. Available at McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St., 212-274-1160, mcnallyjackson.com

 

Best 2013 Cookbooks, I Heart NY

‘I Heart NY: Ingredients and Recipes’ by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. 512 pages.  Ten Speed Press.

I (Heart) New York: Ingredients and Recipes
Chef Daniel Humm and co-owner Will Guidara, the team behind the beloved New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad, have penned an impressive 512-page tome, I Heart New York. As much a love letter to the New York’s food bounty and the people who grow, harvest and raise it as simply a cookbook, this photo-filled beauty has recipes arranged alphabetically by local ingredients — you’ll find recipes for everything from asparagus to oysters to walnuts. Given the complex nature of some of these dishes, the cookbook is best either for the aspirational cook who isn’t afraid of a challenge or someone who just wants to page through in awe. Available at the Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway, 212-473-1452, strandbooks.com

 

Best 2013 NYC Cookbooks, Roberta's

‘Roberta’s Cookbook’ by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini and Katherine Wheelock. 288 pages. Clarkson Potter.

Roberta’s Cookbook
Is it any wonder that Roberta’s, that quirky Bushwick-born-and-bred pizza restaurant that shot to crazy levels of fame since its 2008 opening, has a cookbook? For five years now, hungry locals and visitors have been trekking out to somewhat sketchy Brooklyn for the perfect pie and a taste of the city’s new food elite. Written by the men behind its success, chef Carlo Mirarchi and co-owners Brandon Hoy and Chris Parachini, this cookbook tells the restaurant’s story from the beginning, highlighting its uncertain start and offering up details on how one little restaurant won over the city. The pictures (at least the ones not of food) look like they’d be more at home in a punk ‘zine, but the recipes include very specific, quality ingredients that will send you on your way to the perfect pie, or marrow bones or strawberry shortcake. Once you’ve assembled the occasionally esoteric goods, cooking often involves only a few simple steps. Available at Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St., Brooklyn, 718-246-0200, greenlightbookstore.com

 

Best 2013 NYC cookbooks, Gramercy Tavern

‘The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook’ by Michael Anthony and Dorothy Kalins with an introduction by Danny Meyer. 352 pages. Clarkson Potter.

The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook
For almost 20 years, Gramercy Tavern has maintained its reputation as one of the best, most consistent restaurants in New York. Its current executive chef, Michael Anthony, along with Dorothy Kalins, has been there since 2006 and has just released this tantalizing cookbook, bringing the legendary restaurant’s seasonal cooking to your kitchen. With an introduction from famed restaurateur Danny Meyer and more than 100 detailed recipes full of rich, colorful pictures, this cookbook should be a staple on any food-lover’s bookshelf — whether they’ve pulled up a bar stool for a cocktail before dinner at the lovely Gramercy Tavern or not. Available at Book Culture, 536 W. 112th St., 212-865-1588, bookculture.com

 

Best 2013 NYC Cookbooks, Pok Pok

‘Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand’ by Andy Ricker and JJ Goode. 304 Pages. Ten Speed Press.

Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand
First in Portland and more recently in New York at Pok Pok Ny, chef Andy Ricker has made a splash with his recreations of the street-influenced tastes of northern Thailand. This cookbook enables and encourages readers to make Thai food at home, with a healthy warning about the time and effort required. This is more than just a cookbook — it’s a guide and introduction to a style of cooking. You’ll learn about where to find certain ingredients and techniques for cooking success along with a chapter on the integral meal component of rice. From salads and curries to one-plate meals — even the famed Ike’s fish sauce wings — this book is a fantastic foundation of Thai cooking. Available at Word Bookstore, 126 Franklin Street, Greenpoint, wordbrooklyn.com

 

Best 2013 NYC Cookbooks, Ivan Ramen

‘Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint’ by Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying with a foreward by David Chang. 224 pages. Ten Speed Press.

Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint
For readers that love the narrative elements of cookbooks, this tale is for you. In these 224 pages, Ivan Orkin tells the unlikely story of a guy from Long Island who finds success in the Tokyo ramen scene. This book is as much a guide to what Westerners can expect traveling (or living) in Japan as it is a cookbook. Readers can taste his ramen at his Gotham West Market shop, or attempt the (very) detailed recipe at home. Recipes for appetizers and desserts are included, as well, in this photo-filled ode to ramen. Available at St. Mark’s Bookshop, 31 Third Ave., stmarksbookshop.com

 

Best NYC 2013 Cookbooks, Payard Desserts

‘Payard Desserts’ by Francois Payard with contributor Tish Boyle. 368 pages. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Payard Desserts
Legendary pastry chef Francois Payard shares some of his decadent secrets in Payard Desserts, a cookbook with recipes that span his career. Learn tips from his time training in France, time spent working at Daniel, as well as the current creations of his ever-popular patisseries spread throughout several New York City neighborhoods. Colorful creations in the detailed photos will have one of two consequences: inspire a budding pastry chef to get messy and give it a try, or send readers in the direction of the nearest Payard patisserie to taste the real thing without lifting a finger. Available at Kitchen Arts and Letters, 1435 Lexington Ave., kitchenartsandletters.com

 

Best 2013 NYC Cookbooks, Classico E Moderno

‘Classico e Moderno: Essential Italian Cooking’ by Michael White and Andrew Friedman with a foreward by Thomas Keller. 448 pages. Ballantine Books.

Classico e Moderno: Essential Italian Cooking
One of New York’s most loved masterminds of pasta is Michael White, a chef who churns out perfect plates of pasta at his restaurants spread throughout New York. This cookbook is divided into old and new recipes, showcasing classic and modern approaches to Italian cooking. His crowd-pleasing recipes are a great place for budding Italian cooks to start, recreating dishes like tagliatelle with Bolognese. The book includes many of White’s signature dishes and approaches to cooking such as serving dishes that combine seafood and cheese — a no-no in the hands of many other chefs. Available at Posman Books, multiple locations, posmanbooks.com

 

Best NYC 2013 Cookbooks, Daniel

‘Daniel: My French Cuisine’ by Daniel Boulud and Sylvie Bigar. 416 pages. Grand Central Life & Style.

Daniel: My French Cuisine
Twenty years after the three Michelin-starred Daniel opened its doors, chef Daniel Boulud released this colossal cookbook. It’s more than just a cookbook as it contains chapters breaking down restaurant recipes, home cooking and classic French recipes — in addition to essays and striking photographs. Equally appealing to those readers that love Daniel as well as those that have never dined in his magnificent restaurant, this cookbook outlines seasonal recipes that are distinctly Daniel Boulud. The photographs offer a view into his iconic kitchen too. Available at Rizzoli Bookstore, 31 West 57th St., 212-759-2424, rizzolibookstore.com

 

10 Best NYC 2013 Cookbooks, Four and Twenty Blackbirds

‘The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop’ by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen. 224 pages. Grand Central Life & Style.

The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop
In 2010, the Brooklyn neighborhood of Gowanus became exponentially more delicious when two sisters opened a pie shop, Four & Twenty Blackbirds. Now they’re sharing more than 60 New York-approved pie recipes in a delectable cookbook detailing how to make the perfect crust and other baking techniques. This shop is devoted to seasonality, so recipes are broken down into spring, summer, fall and winter chapters. From salted caramel apple to rhubarb crumble, there’s a pie for every palette in this book. Available at the Community Bookstore, 143 Seventh Ave., Park Slope, communitybookstore.net

Insider’s Tip: Complete your cookbook collection with a few classics by browsing at one of New York’s best small shops, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, which specializes in older and out-of-print cookbooks. 163 W. 10th St., 212-989-8962, bonnieslotnickcookbooks.com

Read more of our 2013 year-end wrap-ups here.

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