If you’re anything like us, then cooking requires recipes which require cookbooks. Same goes for Suzy Chase, a former radio host and cookbook publicist who saw a hole in the podcast marketplace and now hosts Cookery by the Book Podcast, the #1 cookbook podcast. In her opinion, every cookbook has a story, and these are the 7 she’s reading right now.
I love cookbooks, I’ve always been an avid cookbook reader — not necessarily an avid cook — but always an avid reader. That is until I had a child and became the home cook that I am today. Yup, now I’m the gal putting dinner together at 5pm in my tiny kitchen on West 4th Street, a great departure from our pre-kid days when my husband and I would meet for late night dinners, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Being in the kitchen and feeding my family brings me such joy, and these are seven of my all time favorite cookbooks that help make my job even more rewarding.
— Suzy Chase
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Les Halles Cookbook
by Anthony Bourdain
I still miss Anthony Bourdain. He left a huge hole in the culinary world. Bourdain’s simple, frank instructions give me the confidence to tackle a long-winded, complicated classic French recipe. This cookbook brings me back to his famed Les Halles restaurant in the 90’s where he served up some of the best French Brasserie food in New York. The Park Avenue location was featured in his book Kitchen Confidential.
The Silver Palate Cookbook
by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
“Ah the ’80’s,” Jonathan Gold said about The Silver Palate Cookbook. This is one of those older cookbooks that I cherish. Published in 1982, Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso gave women the permission to make a fantastic meal without working on it all day. The one recipe I make over and over again is the Chicken Marbella, which was the first main dish to be offered at The Silver Palate store on the Upper West Side. It’s a homey dish of roast chicken with prunes, olives and capers.
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
by Ina Garten
A simple, well-tested cookbook and who doesn’t love Ina! When this cookbook came out in 1999, it was a revelation for me. Not since Julia Child have I been so enamored with a woman who’s not afraid of a stick of butter. I mean who doesn’t want to live like Ina in East Hampton with a shingle-style farmhouse and a dream test kitchen in a renovated barn?
The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking
by Mimi Sheraton
A totally authentic German cookbook. Every recipe was tested in Mimi’s kitchen during a solid year of research. Sheraton, who’s in her 90’s, was the first female restaurant critic at the New York Times in 1975. Growing up in Kansas, my Mom made a lot of German food so this cookbook transports me back home.
Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes Through Darkness and Light
by Caroline Eden
Half travel narrative, half cookbook Black Sea is a multi-sensory piece of travel writing, one that you can read, see and eat. This is one of my favorite cookbooks of 2019. Black Sea is all about the interconnecting culinary cultures on the Black Sea.
Every Day is Saturday
by Sarah Copeland
This cookbook is all about making weeknight meals a breeze while holding on to that Saturday feeling. Sarah Copeland is that Mom you want to be friends with. She looks like a J Crew model and grows fruits and vegetables in her garden next to her darling home in the Hudson Valley. She’s the one who will tell you to crack open that melon, wrap it in prosciutto and sprinkle with parm. Her recipe for the Chocolate Snacking Loaf is a crowd pleaser. Dig into the Steak with Chimichurri and Summer Macaroni and you’ll be so happy. Don’t miss out on her Hungarian Snacking Tray, either. Heaven! Easy breezy weekend feels all week long.
The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends
by Elizabeth Minchilli
In The Italian Table we explore not just the recipes, but the entire experience that is eating in Italy. This cookbook combines menus and recipes with visual experiences and inspiration for the home cook, which is why I love it. It will make you want to move to Italy. Elizabeth is a Midwesterner who fell in love with an Italian guy, had two daughters and splits her time between a rooftop apartment in Rome and a restored farmhouse in the heart of Umbria designed by her husband. I mean — how dreamy!
In 2015 Suzy Chase noticed there weren’t any podcasts devoted solely to cookbooks. The former radio host & cookbook publicist hosts Cookery by the Book Podcast, the #1 cookbook podcast. Every cookbook has a story. She lives in the West Village with her husband and son where she records her podcast at her dining room table and makes meals out of cookbooks for her family in her tiny kitchen.