Genius Cookbooks Everyone Should Own


As the pandemic has us spending more time at home and in the kitchen, what better way to embrace this time by learning how to cook homemade pasta or bake a delicious cake? Cooking provides a sense of escapism, and if you’re anything like us and miss travelling, you can visit a new country every night of the week with the cuisine you cook.

Cookbooks have engaging photos and tasty recipes that can inspire your inner chef. As there are many cookbooks published each year, it can be hard to decide which one to purchase first, so we’ve gathered our top cookbooks with tasty recipes and exciting cuisines that can take you on a journey and improve your skills in the kitchen.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef looking for new dishes or someone who thinks their cooking capacities are limited to toast (or boiling water), here are our favourite cookbooks for you to dive into!

Mastering the Art of French Cooking By Julia Child 

Cuisine: French

As a New York Times bestseller with raving reviews, this cookbook is a French masterpiece of 524 amazing recipes for both beginners and experts. Julia has a way of writing straightforward recipes with a friendly and warm tone that makes it seem like you’re being guided through by a close friend. Julia has a philosophy that food is an experience and should be shared, and this is reflected throughout her classic and well-loved cookbook.  

Good Housekeeping’s Illustrated Cookbook By Zoe Coulson

A cookbook blessing for any struggling home cook. Zoe’s cookbook contains everyday recipes and is highly recommended for beginners in the kitchen. Her recipes include diagrams for each step and explanations on techniques such as folding in egg whites and kneading bread. Each recipe is reliable and incredibly delicious, with beautiful illustrations that reference each recipe to help readers recreate her dishes.

101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: Discover a New World of Flavors in Authentic Recipes By Jet Tila

Cuisine: Asian

If you’ve ever wanted to replicate the flavours of your go-to Asian takeaway or the dish you indulged in when you backpacked through Asia, then this cookbook is perfect for you. Named as one of the Top 10 Cookbooks of 2017 by the Los Angeles Times, this cookbook has all the classics as well as recipes with tasty twists from Vietnamese Banh Mi to Thai Pad See Ew. Jet’s cookbook is easy to follow and has helped build the foundation of Asian cooking for cooks worldwide. 

East By Meera Sodha

Cuisine: Vegan

Out to give vegetables a new name is this plant-based cookbook from the award-winning author of Fresh India.

Meera redefines vegan diets with salted miso brownies, kimchi pancakes, delicious bakes, noodles, and curries. Her dishes are bursting with flavour and are easy to follow – a must-have cookbook for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone wanting to cut some meat out of their diet. 

Warn Mai By Damien Coulthard and Rebecca Sullivan

Cuisine: Native Australian

This unique cookbook has informative and contemporary dishes with native Australian foods you can try at home. Damien Coulthard’s cookbook is beautifully illustrated with sections dedicated to explaining how to use native Australian ingredients. If you’re looking for a book of knowledge and inspiration that draws from the rich sources of the native bush tucker, this is a cookbook that you’re sure to enjoy.

Binging with Babish By Andrew Rea

Andrew Rea is the genius behind the Binging with Babish YouTube channel, which endeavours to recreate film food despite how whacky and irrational they may be. This cookbook is a continuity of his channel with the same humour, thoughtfulness and a step-by-step guide to cooking. This may not be a staple cookbook, but it’s a reminder that cooking can be fun.

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking By Marcella Hazan

Cuisine: Italian

An Italian cookbook for both beginners and advanced cooks, with 50 authentic and traditional Italian recipes. Italian cooking has never been easier and more delicious as Marcella explores accessible and comprehensive techniques and ingredients to create tasty dishes for everyone to enjoy.

Baking: From my Home to Yours By Dorie Greenspan 

Cuisine: Baked Goods

Nothing warms the heart like baked goods – this cookbook has some of the most-loved recipes. Each dish has a step-to-step guide and helpful tips that can help you improve your cooking skills. This one-of-a-kind cookbook has over 100 recipes and beautiful imagery of Dorie’s baked goods from cakes, pastries, cookies to tarts, and more. 

Feast: Food of the Islamic World By Anissa Helou

Cuisine: Halal

Anissa delves into many dishes associated with Arab, Persian, South Asian, and North African cooking. As Islamic cuisine often uses ingredients that may be difficult to source, Anissa provides accessible alternatives to create each dish. All recipes are well-researched and have mouth-watering photographs. If you’re looking to change your weekly cooking cuisine, this cookbook has many new dishes on offer. 

The Professional Chef By The Culinary Institute of America

This cookbook is unlike anything else as it serves as the founder of factual and scientific cooking. Meticulously crafted to develop your cooking skills, this cookbook covers everything from stocks, sauces, soups, meats, fish, and more. It uses the official text of The Culinary Institute of America’s culinary degree program and includes cooking foundations from worldwide readers.

Whether you’re passionate about cooking or looking to advance your skills during the pandemic, our favourite cookbooks are sure to spark some cooking inspiration in the kitchen. Home cooking can transform the way you eat and even think about food. These genius cookbooks include recipes that combine philosophy, history, and life-long cooking tips. Take your skills in the kitchen to the next level with these genius tips and have a go at a new recipe or two this week. Let’s talk about these cookbooks and the new dishes you make with other book lovers on Carry a Book.