11 cookbooks to celebrate Women's History Month
Expert recipes from top chefs, restaurateurs, wine pros, and more.
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
In my house, every month is Women's History Month, just ask my husband! I never need an excuse to order my favorite women-made olive oil brands, shop these gorgeous girl-powered boxed cake kits, or cook with my collection of woman-owned cookware. That said, I always look for an excuse to buy new cookbooks, so I've created one for myself (and for you) because 'tis the season.
Here are my picks for cookbooks and cocktails books written by women chefs, cheese experts, bartenders, activists, and more. Snag a copy for yourself, send one to a woman you love, then cook yourself something delicious from the pages of these femme-forward bestsellers.
1. Why We Cook
This is an illustrated cookbook curated by artist and writer Lindsay Gardner, featuring recipes, essays, and profiles from over 100 women authors, writers, chefs, restaurateurs, activists, and other food industry professionals. Fellow cookbook author and TV personality Carla Hall said, "[This cookbook] highlights our voices and varied perspectives in and out of the kitchen and empowers us to reclaim our place in it.” And if that's not a glowing recommendation, I'm not sure what is!
2. Black Girl Baking
Jerrelle Guy's Black Girl Baking is all about baking (and cooking) with your senses. It's about feeling the food and nourishing yourself more so than following the recipes to a T. As a writer and photographer, Guy's recipes are as well-written as they were beautifully photographed.
Oatmeal Cheddar Cheese Moon Pies, Blistered Tomato Sheet Pizza, and Strawberry Butter Rose Buns are a few of the treats you'll find within this book's pages, including vegan and gluten-free options for each baked good.
3. Simply Julia
Author, chef, and activist has written and contributed numerous cookbooks to date, but this one is especially timely. As we all continue to search for food that comforts, Turshen has suggestions for nourishing, inspired dishes beyond the recipes you've had on loop for months. Personally, I can't wait to try her Orange and Greek Yogurt Cake (pictured above).
4. My Shanghai
Our senior staff writer, Valerie Li Stack, has had her eye on this cookbook for months—author Betty Liu organizes her recipes loosely based on seasonality, which is exactly the same relationship Stack's family has with food. In her roundup of cookbooks to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Stack noted that this is one of the few cookbooks dedicated to Shanghainese cooking, which includes regional dishes like Nanjing Salted Duck and Lion’s Head from the neighboring Yangtze river delta.
5. In Bibi's Kitchen
Contributing author Erika Hardison included this cookbook in her roundup of cookbooks by Black chefs—Somali chef Hawa Hassan has included 75 recipes from grandmothers, or "bibi." Hassan's cookbook is the next best thing to actual travel thanks to flavorful spices and pairings. Try the Ajemi Bread with Carrots and Green Pepper or the Shiro (Ground Chickpea Stew) for a hearty solution to everyday meals.
6. Always Add Lemon
I'm a firm believer in adding citrus to (almost) every dish, so Danielle Alvarez's debut cookbook feels right up my alley. If you have a similar zest for life, you'll find over 100 vegetable-forward, seasonal recipes in Always Add Lemon, from salads to desserts and everything in between. (Food pun 100% intended.)
7. Coconut & Sambal
Travel to the islands of Indonesia with Lara Lee's highly praised cookbook, Coconut & Sambal. Lee uses simples techniques to elevate the ingredients in each recipe, incorporating storytelling so the reader registers a deep sense of place as they eat. Discover dishes like Nasi Goreng and Pandan Cake, alongside recipes for flavorful, spicy relishes to compliment every meal: sambals.
8. Saltwater Table
Longtime restaurant chef Whitney Otawka wrote this cookbook as an homage to her chosen home, what she calls the Coastal South. Geographically speaking, this area includes the Atlantic coasts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
Otawka organizes her cookbook by food season: oyster, vegetable, shrimp, heat, and finally smoke and cedar. Seafood-heavy recipes like Blue Crab Ceviche and Grilled Head-On Shrimp are punctuated by an all-southern cheese board and thirst quenching cocktails.
9. Hot Cheese
Cheese lovers, this one's for you: Polina Chesnakova has crafted a delightfully cheesy book with recipes for every occasion. Whether you're prepping for an intimate at-home fondue night or a full-blown fromage fête, Hot Cheese has the finger foods, starring mains, supporting sides, and more cheese-centric eats for any time of day.
10. A Woman's Drink
Recreate the feeling of your favorite trendy cocktail bar at home with Natalka Burian's A Woman's Drink. Inspired by NYC-based Elsa and Ramona, co-owned by Burian, this book is packed with recipes for gorgeous, imaginative libations.
Try the Death in the Afternoon (absinthe, chilled Prosecco, and a white sugar cube), or sample the Tequila Old Fashioned (agave, orange bitters, tequila, etc.)—there's something for everyone.
11. Spirits of Latin America
James Beard Award-nominated Ivy Mix takes readers on a journey through Latin America by way of spirits, cocktails, and beverage culture. Many of the cocktail recipes are inspired by the Brooklyn-based bar and restaurant she co-ownes, Leyenda. Learn about rum styles, find out the difference between mezcal and tequila, and follow "the sugar trail" to the world of grape-based spirits.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.