The Most Exciting Cookbooks to Look Out for This Summer
Read up on outdoor meals, Juneteenth, and cuisine from around the world.
It happens every summer: The weather heats up, and our capacity for meal-planning (and the desire to turn on our oven at all) goes down. Luckily, the season brings with it an exciting lineup of cookbooks that’ll help you put dinner on the table without any sweaty head-scratching.
Let’s start with the titles fit for outdoor entertaining. Matt Abdoo and Shane McBride’s Pig Beach BBQ Cookbook offers up Mojo-Marinated St. Louis Ribs, while Nicole A. Taylor’s Watermelon and Red Birds is an essential source for Juneteenth cookouts—think inventive, refreshing drinks like Afro Egg Cream and Marigold Gin Sour. If you’re aiming for comfort at your next picnic, look no further than the potato-chip loaded sandwiches from Mason Hereford’s Turkey and the Wolf.
Perhaps all your friends have booked far-away trips this summer, and you’re desperate to scratch that travel itch. Celebrate Beirut’s rich culinary heritage with Barbara Abdeni Massaad’s Forever Beirut, explore the spices that define Indian cuisine with Anita Jaisinghani’s Masala, and learn how to make vibrant Caribbean recipes with Adrian Forte’s Yawd.
Here are all the cookbooks we can’t wait to dive into this summer:
Pig Beach BBQ Cookbook by Matt Abdoo and Shane McBride
Release date: May 17
New York City’s favorite summer hangout, Pig Beach, is known for barbecue that transcends with worldly influences. Founders Matt Abdoo and Shane McBride, who have backgrounds in Michelin-starred kitchens, are not afraid to get experimental on the smoker. And this new cookbook is proof: Inside you’ll find recipes for classics like Buffalo wings and smoked beef brisket, alongside more inventive additions like Secret Spice Pecan Candied Bacon. The book also places emphasis on regionality, consulting pitmaster friends across the U.S. to show just how diverse American barbecue can be.
Watermelon and Red Birds by Nicole A. Taylor
Release date: May 31
James Beard award-nominated food writer (and former Thrillist editor) Nicole A. Taylor brings us the first cookbook to celebrate Juneteenth. Watermelon and Red Birds carries a spirit of jubilation with recipes that combine the traditional African American table and 21st century flavors, like Beef Ribs with Fermented Harissa Sauce, Peach Jam and Molasses Glazed Chicken Thighs, and Southern-ish Potato Salad. It also serves as a resource for BIPOC-owned food businesses that specialize in everything from hot sauces to waffle mixes.
Yawd by Adrian Forte
Release date: June 7
Top Chef Canada star Adrian Forte fills the pages of his debut cookbook, Yawd, with the colors of the Caribbean. He delivers new riffs on island classics, like Coconut Fried Chicken and Pepper Shrimp Paella while paying homage to African ancestral ingredients with recipes like Ackee & Saltfish Fritters and Okra Pilaf. Yawd also teaches you how to expertly prepare Afro-Caribbean provisions, like Jerk Dry Rub and Marinade, or Pickled Scotch Bonnets.
Turkey and the Wolf by Mason Hereford
Release date: June 21
At his New Orleans restaurant, Turkey and the Wolf, Mason Hereford takes an irreverent approach to Southern comfort food. His new cookbook replicates the restaurant’s kitschy and nostalgic vibes, with playful takes on familiar dishes, like deviled-egg tostadas with salsa macha, and his mom’s burnt tomato casserole. You’ll read all about how he drew inspiration from family-run country stores in rural Virginia, turning a bologna sandwich and a bag of salt and vinegar chips into one of the most influential meals of the decade.
Koshersoul by Michael W. Twitty
Release date: August 9
The James Beard award-winning author of the acclaimed The Cooking Gene explores the marriage of two distinct culinary cultures: the African Atlantic and the global Jewish diaspora. Koshersoul explores Twitty’s own identity as a Jew of Color, and how food has shaped his journey to and within Judaism. Look forward to about 50 recipes that celebrate African-Jewish cooking.
Spice Kitchen by Ariel Fox
Release date: August 23
Hell’s Kitchen winner Ariel Fox takes a healthier approach to Latinx and Caribbean cuisines with a compilation of 110 recipes. In Spice Kitchen, Fox shows us how you can still maintain a connection to the flavors of your childhood while also exploring more nutritional alternatives. You’ll find tips on how to maximize your pantry, useful suggestions for adapting the dishes for any diet, and, of course, a foreword from Gordon Ramsay.
Forever Beirut by Barbara Abdeni Massaad
Release date: August 23
Forever Beirut is a tribute to the culinary capital of the Arab world. Lebanese chef and author of Soup for Syria, Barbara Abdeni Massaad, shares 100 recipes that exemplify the ways in which Lebanese cuisine is multi-layered, influenced by Arab, Turkish, and French cooking styles. It’s filled with Massaad’s personal stories and anecdotes, as well as sections for perfecting Middle Eastern staples, like mezze and kibbeh.
Masala by Anita Jaisinghani
Release date: August 30
Anita Jaisinghani, the chef behind Houston’s Pondicheri restaurant, details the fundamentals of the Indian diet, adhering to the tenets of ancient Ayurveda. Masala is your go-to guide for cooking with fresh, whole spices: identifying warming versus cooling, what order they should be used, how to temper in hot oil, and more. Expect to find recipes like Saffron Citrus Pilaf, Coconut Lassi, Jackfruit Masala, Vindaloo Ribs, Avocado Mushroom Chilla, and Smoked Eggplant Raita.
Simple Pasta by Odette Williams
Release date: August 30
In Simple Pasta, Odette Williams removes the intimidation factor of homemade pasta, making it an accessible option for a weeknight meal. The book features three base doughs, but every recipe is adaptable for store-bought pasta as well. Recipes include familiar classics, like Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara, as well as more adventurous options, like Beet and Carrot Agnolotti with Sage-Hazelnut Butter. Scattered throughout the book are recipes for side dishes, drinks, mains, and desserts, which all serve to round out the experience of la dolce vita.
Dinner in One by Melissa Clark
Release date: September 6
Melissa Clark does it again with a repertoire of no-fuss, weeknight meals, this time focusing on recipes that can be made in under one hour, using one pot or sheet pan. From one-pot pastas, like Gingery Coconut Noodles with Shrimp and Greens, to comforting casseroles, like Herby Artichoke and Gruyere Bread Pudding, Clark shows you how you can create a restaurant-worthy meal without spending too much time in the kitchen. There’s even a section on one-bowl cakes—from an Easy Chocolate Fudge Torte to a Ricotta-Olive Oil Pound Cake—to round out the meal.
Budmo! by Anna Voloshyna
Release date: September 6
Budmo!, meaning “cheers” in Ukrainian, is an innovative approach to classic Eastern European cooking. Ukrainian-born, California-based chef, blogger, and culinary instructor Anna Voloshyna hones in on the fresh ingredients, time-honored heritage, and warm hospitality that define Ukrainian cuisine. She’s an expert in taking the dishes she grew up with to their modern iteration, reinventing borscht with green sorrels and semi-soft eggs or turning pkhali magenta with roasted beets and a tangy pomegranate molasses.