Is there a genre of book more universal than the cookbook? It's not just that we all need food to stay alive, but because the best cookbooks, nowadays, include so much more than just recipes. The very best are beautiful to look at, stuffed with such delicious food styling and photography that you'd sometimes rather leave them on the coffee table for dinner guests to drool over rather than risk staining their pristine pages with grease or wet egg.
But they also tell stories. From tales of the dish to delicious family secrets, the best chefs can whisk you headlong into their world before you've even put a hand on an actual whisk.
“The internet really ought to have killed cookbooks,” the renowned food writer Helen Rosner wrote in The New Yorker last year, “.... yet somehow [they] stuck around.” The reason? The cookbook reinvented itself. “What once were primarily vehicles for recipes became anything but: the recipes still mattered, but now they existed in service of something more – a mood, a place, a technique, a voice.”
And this year has been no different. So, with moods, places, and voices in mind, here are eight of the best books for food lovers out in 2020. And for even more table inspiration, check out our sister site The Happy Foodie.