The 11 Most Exciting Cookbooks to Look Out for This Fall

Weeknight dinners from Antoni, a guide to Japanese cocktails, and recipes celebrating Latin America.

cookbook covers
Image by Chineme Elobuike for Thrillist

In the same way that fashion comes alive with the September issue, food starts to get exciting again during the fall cookbook season. It’s a time for reinvention—the leaves change colors, the air gets nippy, and turning on the oven doesn’t mean enduring a mini heat wave. While it doesn’t seem like the pandemic is going anywhere, we can at least continue to make the most of our time experimenting in the kitchen, alongside culinary voices that will make us feel less alone.

And for that, we have a roster of cookbooks that satisfy the two camps of cooks. For those who have been relishing in the art of complex undertakings, there’s Julia Momosé’s The Way of the Cocktail, a guide to mastering Japanese cocktail culture, and Virgilio Martínez’s The Latin American Cookbook, a whopping 600-recipe compendium of traditional Latin American dishes. And for those who are entirely fed up with the concept of meals, looking for a no-fuss, easy way out, Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad’s Shelf Love is a must-have, with recipes centered around pantry staples.

Here’s a full list of the food and drink guides we cannot wait to get acquainted with this fall:

The Weekday Vegetarians by Jenny Rosenstrach

Release date: August 31
Jenny Rosenstrach, creator of acclaimed blog Dinner: A Love Story, poses an accessible transition to plant-based eating. Rather than committing to an all-or-nothing approach, she encourages readers to adopt a vegetarian diet on weekdays, saving meat for weekends. With comforting recipes like cauliflower cutlets with ranch dressing, or squash and black bean tacos, Rosenstrach will try to convince you that taking care of your health, as well as the planet, does not always have to feel like a sacrifice.
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Life Is What You Bake It by Vallery Lomas

Release date: September 7
Lawyer-turned baker Vallery Lomas won the third season of The Great American Baking Show. But you might not have known that, because ABC abruptly stopped airing the show when allegations of sexual harassment were raised against one of the judges. This cookbook, then, will be Lomas’ true crowning glory. In it, she shares a collection of heirloom family recipes, like crawfish hand pies and her grandma’s million dollar cake, all while telling a story about perseverance.
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Antoni: Let’s Do Dinner by Antoni Porowski

Release date: September 14
In Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski’s second cookbook, the focus is simple, weeknight dinners that manage to feel special. Antoni: Let's Do Dinner is filled with innovative takes on pantry staples, like pasta carbonara with scallions and peas, as well as a few nods to Porowski's Polish heritage, including a Polish banh mi. Embodying a “less is more” philosophy—with short shopping lists and a few pans—Porowski teaches us how to make the most out of just a few ingredients and does so alongside a few familiar faces, like Gigi Hadid. 
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Divine Your Dinner by Melinda Lee Holm and Courtney McBroom

Release date: September 28
Just in time for Halloween, this cookbook will imbibe your kitchen with a witchy energy. Created by tarot priestess Melinda Lee Holm and chef Courtney McBroom, the book features 78 recipes, each of which interprets a specific tarot card. So when you can’t decide what to make for dinner, let the spirit of the tarot guide you, with titles like “Fight Five of Swords anxiety with Salt and Juniper Berries: Confit a Duck!”
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The Way of the Cocktail by Julia Momosé and Emma Janzen

Release date: October 5
Japanese American bartender Julia Momosé is known for her meticulously-crafted cocktails at Kumiko in Chicago. In this guide, she breaks down all the essential elements of Japanese cocktail culture, from the philosophy to the master techniques. The recipes are inspired by the 24 micro-seasons that define the flow of life in Japan. And beyond the alcoholic drinks, you can expect to find mocktails using ingredients like yuzu, matcha, and umé.
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The Korean Vegan by Joanne Lee Molinaro

Release date: October 12
Trial lawyer and TikTok star Joanne Lee Molinaro intertwines creative, plant-based Korean recipes with intimate story-telling. In Molinaro’s debut cookbook, recipes are laden with narratives about her family history. You’ll find a vegan version of jjajangmyun, the rich Korean-Chinese black bean noodles she used to eat on birthdays, as well as gamja guk, a potato-and-leek soup her father likes to make. 
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Black Food edited by Bryant Terry

Release date: October 19
Bryant Terry’s Black Food is more than just a cookbook—it combines recipes with original poetry and essays, artwork, and even a musical playlist. Pulling from his experience as the chef-in-residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, Terry explores Black foodways within America and around the world. Among the contributions from Black cultural luminaries are essays entitled “Jollofing with Toni Morrison” by Sarah Ladipo and “The Spiritual Ecology of Black Food” by Leah Penniman.
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The Latin American Cookbook by Virgilio Martínez

Release date: October 27
Peruvian star chef Virgilio Martinez has created a culinary encyclopedia that brings together 600 traditional recipes from across Latin America. Martinez dives deep into each region’s food culture and local ingredients. Rather than rely on umbrella recipes like “empanadas,” for example, this book gives us the Tucumán and Belizean varieties.
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Shelf Love by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad

Release date: October 29
Shelf Love has all the signature Ottolenghi touches—big flavors, veggie-forward approaches, and diverse influences—but with maximum ease. With chapters dedicated to making use of your freezer, or mastering the art of one-pot meals, this book is all about using what you have on hand, without compromising on taste. Within recipes for mac and cheese with za’atar pesto or cacio e pepe chickpeas, there’s an emphasis on MIYO (Make It Your Own), which encourages ingredient swaps.
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Death & Co Welcome Home by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan

Release date: November 2
The geniuses behind one of the most influential cocktail bars, Death & Co, have created a manual for aspiring home bartenders. It begins with a boot camp, where you learn how to develop your palate and understand what makes a cocktail work. From there, you’ve got more than 400 impressive, yet easy-to-follow recipes for your next big at-home gathering.
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The Modern Tiffin by Priyanka Naik

Release date: November 2 
World traveler Priyanka Naik showcases the global vegan experience in The Modern Tiffin. In her debut cookbook, Naik takes you to a different part of the world in each chapter, featuring plant-based recipes that also include her own Indian-inspired twists. The dishes, which have mouth-watering names like "Bucatini à la Pumpkin with Pink Peppercorn & Pistachio," are meant to be put into a tiffin, an Indian-style lunchbox, so that travelers alike can take them wherever they go.
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Jessica Sulima is a staff writer on the Food & Drink team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram