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50 Notable Cookbooks & Food Writing from the Past 50 Years


To celebrate Bookshop Santa Cruz’s 50th Anniversary, and to complement the other 50 Notable lists we’ve comprised this year—Fiction, Nonfiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy—we have put together a list of fifty notable cookbooks and food writing titles that have been published since Bookshop opened its doors. With the strict start date of 1966, such obviously important cookbooks as Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) and The New York Times Cookbook (1961) missed the cut—not to mention all time classics like The Joy of Cooking (1931) and The Picayune Creole Cook Book (1900!). It was incredibly hard to leave off some favorites, and impossible to represent all types of cuisine, but we loved looking back at the culinary titles that made their mark in publishing, and in our kitchens. Enjoy!

50 NOTABLE COOKBOOKS (In chronological order)

A Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden, 1968 

James Beard’s American Cookery by James Beard, 1972 

Couscous and Other Good Food by Paula Wolfert, 1973 

An Invitation to Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey, 1973 

The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis, 1976 

La Technique by Jacques Pépin, 1976 

Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen, 1977 

Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji, 1980 

The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, 1982 

An Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David, 1984 

On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee, 1984 

The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham, 1987 

Catalan Cuisine by Colman Andrews, 1988 

Chez Panisse Cooking by Paul Bertolli, with Alice Waters, 1988 

The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy, 1989 

Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells, 1989  

The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, 1989 

The Way to Cook by Julia Child, 1989 

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan, 1992 

Simple French Food by Richard Olney, 1992 

Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax, 1994

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison, 1997 

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, 1998 

How to Eat by Nigella Lawson, 1998 

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl, 1998 

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999 

The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller, 1999

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, 2000 

Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin, 2000 

Mexico: One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless, 2000 

The Moro Cookbook by Samuel & Samantha Clark, 2001 

Thai Food by David Thompson, 2002 

The Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers, 2002 

Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli, 2003 

The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock, 2003 

Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin, 2005 

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, 2006 

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, 2006 

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters, 2007 

Pork and Sons by Stéphane Reynaud, 2007 

The Essential Cocktail by Dale DeGroff, 2008 

Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann, 2009 

Momofuku by David Chang, 2009 

Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, 2010

Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz, 2010

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman, 2012 

Manresa: An Edible Reflection by David Kinch, 2013 

Saving the Season by Kevin West, 2013