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Kitchen & Cooking

11 cookbooks to celebrate Women's History Month

Expert recipes from top chefs, restaurateurs, wine pros, and more.

Five cookbooks on a mint colored, patterned background Credit: Reviewed / Tara Jacoby

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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

Left: A photo of the cookbook, Why We Cook. Right: An illustration of ingredients being prepped for cooking.
Credit: Workman Publishing

This cookbook is a collection of recipes from over 100 women chefs and food industry professionals.

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!

Get Why We Cook: Women on Food, Identity, and Connection by Lindsay Gardner on Amazon for $21.95

2. Black Girl Baking

Left: A photo of the cookbook, Black Girl Baking. Right: A tray of chocolate cupcakes with min chocolate icing.
Credit: Page Street Publishing / Instagram / @chocolateforbasil

Jerrelle Guy's debut cookbook includes baking recipes with vegan and gluten-free options.

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.

Get Black Girl Baking: Wholesome Recipes Inspired by a Soulful Upbringing by Jerrelle Guy on Amazon for $16.24

3. Simply Julia

Left: A photo of the cookbook, Simply Julia. Right: Overhead photo of three white and blue bowls filled with orange and Greek yogurt cake.
Credit: Harper Collins

This is the latest cookbook from author and chef Julia Turshen.

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).

Get Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food by Julia Turshen on Amazon for $26.99

4. My Shanghai

:eft: A photo of the cookbook, My Shanghai. Right: An overhead photo of various bowls filled with ingredients to be used for cooking.
Credit: Harper Collins

This highly anticipated cookbook was released March of 2021.

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.

Get My Shanghai: Recipes and Stories from a City on the Water by Betty Liu on Amazon for $35.99

5. In Bibi's Kitchen

Left: A photo of the cookbook, In Bibi's Kitchen. Right: A woman mixes food in a pan over an open flame.
Credit: Penguin Random House

Hawa Hassan's debut cookbook is filled with recipes from grandmothers from eight African countries.

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.

Get In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean from Amazon for $21.99

6. Always Add Lemon

Left: A photo of the Always Add Lemon cookbook. Right: Closeup image of cheesy pasta with bright red cherry tomatoes and fresh torn basil.
Credit: Hardie Grant

Australia-based chef Danielle Alvarez makes her cookbook debut with 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.)

Get Always Add Lemon: Recipes You Want to Cook | Food You Want to Eat by Danielle Alvarez on Amazon for $24.22

7. Coconut & Sambal

Left: A photo of the cookbook, Coconut & Sambal. Right: One hand holds a bowl filled with food while the other lifts a food-filled fork.
Credit: Bloomsbury / Food52 / Louise Hagger

This cookbook has been praised by the likes of The New York Times, Food & Wine, Forbes, and more.

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.

Get Coconut & Sambal: Recipes from my Indonesian Kitchen by Lara Lee on Amazon for $36

8. Saltwater Table

Left: A photo of the cookbook, Saltwater Table. Right: Overhead shot of a hand spreading sauce on fried oysters, plated on a white platter on top of a modern white table.
Credit: Harry N. Abrams

Chef Whitney Otawka's cookbook takes readers to what she calls the Coastal South.

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.

Get Saltwater Table: Recipes from the Coastal South by Whitney Otawka on Amazon for $23.79

9. Hot Cheese

Left: A photo of the cookbook, Hot Cheese. Right: Hands lift fondue sticks laden with cheesy bread out of a small red fondue pot.
Credit: Chronicle Books / Instagram / @polina.chesnakova

Hot Cheese is filled with rich, gooey recipes to eat alone or share with friends.

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.

Get Hot Cheese: Over 50 Gooey, Oozy, Melty Recipes on Amazon for $19.95

10. A Woman's Drink

Left: A dark purple-hued cookbook titled A Woman's Drink. Right: The cookbook lays open on a white countertop surrounded by various bar tools and cocktail ingredients, with a hand pressing gently to keep the cookbook open.
Credit: Chronicle Books

This cocktail book was inspired by the Brooklyn-based bars Elsa and Ramona.

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.

Get A Woman's Drink: Bold Recipes for Bold Women by Natalka Burian on Amazon for $15.99

11. Spirits of Latin America

Left: A photo of the cocktail book, Spirits of Latin America. Right: A closeup photo of a red-hued cocktail topped with an orange peel.
Credit: Ten Speed Press / Leyanda

Many of the recipes in this cocktail book were inspired by the bar and restaurant, Leyanda.

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.

Get Spirits of Latin America: A Celebration of Culture & Cocktails by Ivy Mix on Amazon for $18.99

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