Gift Giver’s Guide to the (Cookbook) Universe

Yes, m’dear, winter is here—time to stoke your fire, uncork your Pinot Noir, and cozy upppp. We could be sad about the cooler temps and longer nights but we have a secret for you. Winter is the best time to cook, eat, and host. And it all starts with the perfect cookbook.

At EC, our favorite thing is cuddling up with our cookbooks and working through our future dinner parties—from the menu to the styling to the playlist. Cookbooks are great starting point to get your own creativity going.

We’ve done a roundup of our favorite editions – new and old – for you all to cook your way through this December (or to order for that last minute Secret Santa gift—no judgment, we need last minute gifts too!)

Enjoy our 2018 cookbook gift guide!

Cookbooks for the Instagram-Obsessed

Why we love it: Ignacio Mattos is a James Beard nominated chef, and his food is as slight and lovely as it is delicious. When we saw our favorite food writers and chefs buzzing about this cookbook, we knew we had to have it.

Why we love it: Alison Roman – she’s our IG icon, our favorite food stylist, recipe creator, and culinary personality. When she likes a thing, we know we’re going to like it too. We love the umami photography, the accessibility of the recipes, and the focus on at home entertaining (our jam).

Why we love it: Teigen is one of our favorite Instagram influencers – we love that she keeps it real on family, friends, and cooking. And the girl does get down in the kitchen. We’re looking forward to cooking through these “Cravings.”

Why we love it: Samin Nosrat is our favorite food anthropologist – whether she’s making pesto with a pestle and mortar in Pistoia or spritzing citrus over a grill in Mexico City – she has a unique ability to draw out her subjects and to bring the magic of food into focus. This cookbook isn’t a traditional ‘cookbook’ but is an adventure into ingredients and preparation—either way, it’s a great gift for anyone who is deep into her Netflix special.

Gifts for Those Eating Green, Lean and Veggie

Why we love it: YO makes the most mouth watering and soul nourishing vegetarian and Middle Eastern flavors. We love cooking from this cookbook which is clean, lean, and sumptuous (not to mention that most of these recipes take 30 minutes or less!).

Why we love it: we found out about this edition on IG and fell in love! Timothy is inspired by his own eclectic garden, southern soul food classics and his mushroom foraging. His photography is beautiful and you can sense the love in everything he creates. He’s veggie forward, but his recipes are accessible and delicious. We think he’s going to be huge (Amy Chaplin and Jamie Oliver are also big fans).

Why we love it: Alice Waters understood the power of veggies before anyone else, and this book is a fantastic resource for creating delicious vegetable-forward dishes. Give this to anyone who is looking to eat cleanly in 2019 (aren’t we all?).

Why we love it: Diving into niche-driven eating (Paleo, vegan, etc) can be challenging – this cookbook makes it approachable and delicious. Even if you aren’t interested in a full transition, this will cleanse your palette for 2019. 

Cookbooks for the Serious (or Aspiring) Chef

Why we love it: River Cafe is the stuff of culinary legends—it’s where so many of our favorite chefs and culinary creators have gotten their start. This cookbook is equal parts visual feast and soulful inspiration.

Why we love it: This is a gorgeous adventure into the world of tea that brings a new type of storytelling to the cookbook space. It’s an excellent addition to a coffee table collection and would make for an epic gift as well.

Why we love it: before Somm, Jon Bonne (a wine writer for the SF Chronicle) created this book – an approachable and practical (and tasttty) guide to understanding wine. And we all know, with delicious eats must come amazing wine. 

Why we love it: Hamilton is one of our favorite writers and chefs—this volume is a capstone for any chef’s kitchen, with everyday and decadent French recipes that are delightful for dinner parties or quiet nights solo.