Best Cookbooks of 2019: Critics Picks

January 24, 2020 | M. Elwood

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I love looking at year-end critics lists and calculating which books have made it onto the most lists. Below are the results of my very unscientific search for the best cookbooks of 2019. Basically I make a spreadsheet and list the cookbooks that have been on a Best of 2019 list from food-related websites, magazines and any organization that creates a list of favourite cookbooks. Then I tally which books have been mentioned the most. There are so many lists like that and I can't look at everything. In the end, I consulted 35 different lists with 209 different cookbooks named. The ones listed here had the most mentions.


These 2 cookbooks were by far the most mentioned on the lists I consulted. Each was selected by 15 sources. 


Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin

Part cookbook and part anthropological study of African American culinary history, this book graced many best of 2019 lists. Author and scholar Tipton-Martin examined over 400 Black cookbooks some dating back to the early 19th century. Critics praised its thought-provoking history and its delicious, easy-to-follow recipes. 

Selected by: Allrecipes, Atlantic Monthly, Buzzfeed, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, City of Asylum, Dandelion, Eat Your Books, Eater, Food52, The Manual,, NPR, New York Times and New Yorker.


Nothing fancy

Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over by Alison Roman 

Columnist and social media icon Alison Roman has produced a fun cookbook that promises to help you make quick, easy and elegant dishes suitable for entertaining or just a quiet night at home. 

Selected by: A Beautiful Plate, Booktopia, Buzzfeed, City of Asylum, Dandelion, Eat This Not That, Eat your Books, Eater, Epicurious, Good Food, The Guardian, iNews, New York Times, New Yorker and Washington Post.


The following are cookbooks that appeared on five or more critics lists:


Amá: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock


The food of sichuan

The Food of Sichuan by Fuchsia Dunlop


From the oven to the table
From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry



Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family by Priya Krishna with Ritu Krishna



Maangchi's Big Book of Korean Cooking by Maangchi with Martha Rose Shulman


Mastering spice

Mastering Spice: Recipes and Techniques to Transform your Everyday Cooking by Lior Lev Sercarz with Genevieve Ko



Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral


Pastry love

Pastry Love: A Baker's Journal of Favorite Recipes by Joanne Chang


Ruffage a practical guide to vegetables

Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables by Abra Berens



Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from my Israeli Kitchen by Adeena Sussman


Sean brock south

South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations by Sean Brock with Lucas Weir and Marion Sullivan



Tartine: A Classic Revisited: 68 All-New Recipes + 55 Updated Favorites by Elizabeth Preuitt and Chad Robertson


Vietnamese food any day

Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors by Andrea Nguyen


Did you discover any new favourite recipes in 2019? What other new cookbooks do you love? Tell us below in the comments!