12 Best 2023 Cookbooks To Make You A Better Chef

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Some cookbooks simply give you great recipes, while others go further and turn you into a better chef. Whether you're just learning to cook or have been cooking all your life, the right cookbook can transform your culinary abilities from ordinary to extraordinary. You want a cookbook that will challenge you, give you new ideas, and provide tools and techniques to take your food to the next level.

2023 is a great year for cookbooks that can help you learn new skills to integrate into your kitchen repertoire. We've included cookbooks from culinary schools, test kitchens, and cookbooks that are part of a well-loved series. We've also found books that will open your mind to cooking possibilities with items you often neglect to use, like fruit and leftovers. Whether you crave savory foods or sweet treats, you'll find plenty to cook for every meal of the day and every craving. So, prepare to put several of these 2023 cookbooks on your kitchen shelves and cookbook wishlist.

Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit

Most of us don't know how to cook with fruit unless we bake it into a pie. In 2019, Abra Berens taught us how to cook vegetable better with "Ruffage." In 2021, she did the same with legumes and seeds in "Grist." Now, she's moved on to making fruit the star of our meals with "Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking With Fruit." Berens previous cookbooks were award winners, so we expect no less from her 2023 cookbook "Pulp." It's destined to become the next must-have food reference and cookbook on your shelf.

The cookbook is well-organized so that whatever type of fruit is in season, you can find information about it along with sweet and savory recipes. However, Berens has decided to only include fruits she finds growing where she lives in the midwestern U.S. states. With so many fruit recipes, there's no excuse for the fruit you pick or buy at the farmer's market going to waste. More familiar fruits include apples, blueberries, grapes, and melons. Meanwhile, she's also included recipes for midwestern delicacies like ground cherries, quinces, currants, and lingonberries.

Its 432 pages are full of gorgeous pictures and down-to-earth writing to inspire people of any cooking skill level to use more fruit in their meals. Recipes include raw, roasted, poached, stewed, baked, and preserved fruits. Each recipe tells you in the title whether it's sweet or savory so that you know what to expect.

Mary Berry's Baking Bible: Revised and Updated

The year Mary Berry started hosting "The Great British Baking Show," she also taught us how to bake with her "Baking Bible." Her classic cookbook first came out in 2010, but fans will be thrilled with the newly revised and updated 2023 version. It has modernized photos and over 250 recipes, 20 of which are new. Plus, many of the old recipes you loved have been re-tested and altered to simplify them so you can spend less time prepping and get your baked treats to your mouth even faster.

You don't have to be a baking expert using "Mary Berry's Baking Bible." While there are a few more complicated recipes in the book, Berry has also included recipes simple enough for children to try. She offers simple instructions and doesn't overwhelm beginners with complicated baking terms. In this version, as with the last, measurements are both British and U.S. style, so you don't have to spend time doing conversions. You'll also find all the baking temperatures in Fahrenheit rather than Celcius. This change alone is worth repurchasing for U.S. cooks with the original book.

Vegetable Revelations: Inspiration for Produce-Forward Cooking

"Vegetable Revelations: Inspiration for Produce-Forward Cooking" turns the standard cookbook on its head. Instead of being a text focusing on meats with a few vegetables thrown in for good measure, Steven Satterfield's cookbook centers on vegetables with a few recipes containing meat. Satterfield is a James-Beard-Award-winning chef who incorporates his southern roots into his cooking. However, he certainly doesn't shy away from other flavors, with 150 recipes taking inspiration from foods he's eaten around the world.

The first section of "Vegetable Revelations" features what he calls the "building blocks" of eating vegetables. These are the components that help enhance vegetables, like spice blends from around the world, vegetable stocks, sauces, creamy dipping condiments, and complementary vinaigrettes. There are also recipes for crunchy toppings to add texture and "flavor bombs" that can immediately elevate your vegetables. The second portion of the cookbook focuses on different categories of vegetables, ranging from root vegetables and leafy greens to brassicas (like cabbage and broccoli) and cucurbits (like squashes and melons). While not technically vegetables, he even has a section on mushrooms.

As a book of vegetable revelations, you'll find new ways to enjoy vegetables you already love, as well as vegetables that you don't normally buy. You'll also discover ways to eat vegetables in unconventional ways, like for breakfast, snacks, and even beverages.

Lune: Eating Croissants All Day, Every Day

One way to become a better chef is to try making something that has seemed overwhelming in the past. While croissants require a lot of work, they're within your grasp to master with a little guidance. People line up at Lune Croissanterie in Melbourne for its amazing croissants, which many consider the best in Melbourne, all of Australia, and maybe even the world. So, if you want to learn how to make some of the best croissants you've ever eaten, you're going to want to snag a copy of "Lune: Eating Croissants All Day, Every Day," written by Lune Croissanterie's baker and founder, Kate Reid.

Since Reid started her professional life as an aerospace engineer rather than a cook, she has a background in experimentation that has led to improving the humble croissant by recreating the process from scratch. So, what you will find inside this book is not the standard French croissant-making process. Reid starts by explaining the specific types of ingredients she uses and why, along with important equipment. Then, she goes through the entire 3-day preparation and baking process step-by-step.

Until you opened this book, you probably didn't know it was possible to make so many types and shapes of croissants. However, as the title suggests, there are recipes here for more than just a plain croissant. Once you master the 3-day prep and baking process, you can feel confident making anything in the book.

The Everlasting Meal Cookbook: Leftovers A-Z

When you pick up "The Everlasting Meal Cookbook: Leftovers A-Z," it will remind you of an encyclopedia. It contains any ingredient you can imagine that could be leftover in your fridge and cupboard, arranged alphabetically from A to Z. Don't let the encyclopedic format turn you off. The more you look through it, the more you realize this cookbook is a must-have. Interspersed with listings for leftovers are simple recipes for using your leftovers. For example, you can add leftover cooked broccoli to an herby-baked dish, turn broccoli stems and leaves into a pesto, or cook old broccoli into a flavorful topping for toast, pasta, or eggs.

Tamar Adler's "Everlasting Meal Cookbook" solves the problem that all of us have; odds and ends that don't look appetizing on their own but can have a new life with a little creativity. Adler says, "All cooking is actually problem-solving" (via CBS News). The cookbook shows us how to break out of our normal cooking box and see the solutions. She also shows us how one good ingredient, like fresh herbs, good cheese, or high-quality olive oil, can elevate unappetizing leftovers into a truly spectacular dish without much work. Whether you're a seasoned cook or barely know your way around the kitchen, you'll find that you're a better improvisational cook after embracing this cookbook.

Sundays: A Celebration of Breakfast and Family in 52 Essential Recipes

Mark Pupo's inspiration for "Sundays: A Celebration of Breakfast and Family in 52 Essential Recipes" was cooking with his 6-year-old, neurodivergent son. With Sundays usually being a day with nothing planned, Pupo decided he would use those lazy mornings to make breakfast with and connect to his child. The eventual result is a cookbook that is one part memoir and one part breakfast recipe book. With a Sunday coming around 52 times a year, the cookbook includes 52 breakfast recipes that he cooked with his son.

If your approach to breakfast is usually to grab some buttered toast and a mug of coffee, it's not so different from the way Pupo once approached breakfast. It's easy to get in a rut with having the same breakfast over and over, but there are lots of choices. And there's probably some time in your life somewhere to learn how to have a slow breakfast. Let Pupo inspire you to become a better breakfast chef with 52 different options. There are options as child-pleasing as homemade Pop-Tarts, as simple as plantain fritters, and as fancy as cherry crostata.

Mind Over Batter: 75 Recipes for Baking as Therapy

If you've ever considered learning how to bake as a form of relaxation and therapy, "Mind Over Batter: 75 Recipes for Baking As Therapy" is the book you've been looking for. Not only is author Jack Hazan a licensed psychotherapist, but he grew up taking mental refuge through baking with his Jewish Syrian family in their New York City kitchen. This 2023 cookbook is a culmination of his two passions: psychotherapy and baking.

Hazan starts with his story and then explains how to turn your kitchen into a baking sanctuary. He suggests employing the French "mise en place" concept, wherein you pre-measure and chop everything and have all your equipment ready to make your baking as stress-free as possible. Once you get into 75 recipes, they're like baking with a friend at your side. Each recipe contains anecdotes, and each step contains soothing commentary. He reminds you to be forgiving of yourself for not having a perfect peach galette crust and encourages you to keep whisking when your caramel sauce seems too thick. Some may choose this cookbook as a meditative baking tool. However, this is also the perfect cookbook for timid bakers to use to overcome their fear of baking as being too complex.

Everyday Bread: 100 Recipes for Baking Bread on Your Schedule

If you've bought bread-baking cookbooks before and found yourself overwhelmed by complicated techniques, this book is for you. In "Everyday Bread," America's Test Kitchen explains the lingo and science behind your bread with plenty of tips and detailed instructions. Plus, the cookbook contains one of the best cookbook innovations since photographs: QR code links to instructional videos. So, you can see what you're supposed to be doing without having to guess. The instructions are still in front of you on the page. However, you can better grasp what the process looks like through QR-code-linked YouTube videos, which can help demystify the baking process.

Another thing that makes this bread cookbook a standout is that it contains seven simple, core recipes. All the other 93 recipes in the book are variations on one of the core recipes. If you hate the process of kneading bread, you'll be happy to learn that one of the core recipes is for no-knead bread. Another feature you'll appreciate is that the book breaks recipes down into various stages, and you can pause some recipes for later. For example, you can put the dough in the refrigerator for a slow rise that allows you to prepare your rolls one day and bake them for supper the next. Once you have this cookbook, you'll find most of your old bread-baking excuses melting away.

The Milk Street Cookbook: The Definitive Guide to the New Home Cooking with Every Recipe from the TV Show (2017-2024)

Milk Street has been airing on PBS since 2017, and very often, the show puts out a new version of its cookbook. The cookbook contents from year to year are much the same with one change: every new cookbook includes new recipes from the latest season. "The Milk Street Cookbook," coming out in November of 2023, contains all the recipes from the show ranging from 2017 to 2024. So, welcome to the future!

Rather than being categorized by year, the recipes fall into particular sections, like ones for eggs, salads, soups, vegetables, meats, and desserts. The recipes are meant to be easy to make and are interspersed with techniques that can help you become a better chef, using flavors from around the world. For instance, you will learn that it's best to slice quiche after it has cooled in the fridge rather than while it is still warm, but they also provide information for warming pieces to serve. You'll also find how-to instructional photos for some steps, like how to roll dough and get it into a pan without it breaking.

As you can imagine, the cookbook is huge. The 2021 edition was 704 pages, while the one coming out in 2023 (the 7th edition) has a whopping 752 pages and weighs 1.74 pounds. So, you'll need to make room on your shelf for it.

Anyone Can Cake: Your Complete Guide to Making and Decorating Perfect Layer Cakes

If the last cake you made looked like you hired a kid to do it, you might be doubtful about your abilities. However, Whitney DePaoli is convinced that anyone "Anyone Can Cake" and has written a cookbook with that motto to prove it. Photos in the reviews for the cookbook show pictures of cakes by beginners that look as professional as the ones on the cover of the cookbook. So, it looks like there is hope for all of us cake novices after all.

DePaoli breaks her cookbook down into multiple parts. The first parts give insight into baking the cake layers, building the cake from those layers, and then decorating the cake. We like that DePaoli draws from her past cake failures to provide readers with tips that prevent them from making the same mistakes. She also extensively details techniques ranging from creating the perfect colors to getting great shapes from your piping tips. Once you've become acquainted with all the techniques, you can move on to the next part of the cookbook, which starts with easy cakes and progresses to more complex ones. Each recipe itself contains tips and notes to help you in your journey to learn how to "cake." DePaoli includes reference page numbers for techniques you should use, as well as the number for the Wilton cake piping tip you should use for decorating the cake.

Charcuterie: Pâtés, Terrines, Savory Pies: Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts

The U.S. concept of charcuterie boards differ from how the French use the term "charcuterie." The term started in 1475 when French royalty hired an official "charcutier," whose job was to be a master of cooked meats. Since then, French charcuterie has become the entire art of making meats. Who better to introduce you to the world of true French charcuterie (meats) than the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts, which has trained master French chefs since 1920? If you can't go to a French cooking school, you can still become a better chef cooking through "Charcuterie: Pâtés, Terrines, Savory Pies."

Of France's 400 types of charcuterie, this book focuses on meat in the form of savory pies and tarts, rillettes, pulled meats, fish, stuffed dishes, cooked meats, pâtés, and terrines. If all your French cooking techniques thus far have come from Julia Child's cookbooks, this cookbook will be a treat. You'll enjoy beautiful photos of finished products and sections devoted to step-by-step photos of complicated techniques. You're charcuterie dishes will not only taste amazing but will look professional, too. A book from Ferrandi on meats was an obvious next choice for the cooking school to produce after its previous successes with "French Pâtisserie," "Chocolate," "Legumes," and "Fruits and Nuts." While this isn't a 10-pound tome like the pastry book, it's still impressively large at 3.64 pounds, 288 pages.

Sweet Enough: A Dessert Cookbook

Many of us like desserts, but we don't make them because they're too much trouble. However, with "Sweet Enough" in your cookbook armory, you will likely make them more often. These aren't frou-frou desserts with twenty steps. Instead, you'll find non-fussy desserts you can whip together in only four or five steps, with shortcuts like using jam or preparations that require just one bowl. While Alison Roman's desserts aren't complicated, you'll still have to use more precise measurements for some ingredients like flour. One thing we appreciate about Roman's dessert style is that she's not concerned with how a dessert looks as much as it tastes. In fact, she embraces ugly desserts, which she likes to refer to as "rustic."

Each recipe contains a few notes. For example, Roman may suggest pairings for a specific dessert (like ice cream, charcuterie, or even Thanksgiving dinner). Or she may give you information about what part of the recipe you can make ahead and how far ahead (such as crumble topping, which keeps in the fridge for a month). So, if you need more homemade dessert in your life or are a dessert-forward person who needs inspiration for what to eat with your dessert, this is a 2023 cookbook you'll not want to miss.