Eating Material

Curated by local chefs and other industry insiders, our annual cookbook gift guide ­showcases manuals for perfecting pasta, mastering Mediterranean fare, and crafting coppa like the chef of, well, Coppa.

Photograph by Bruce Peterson

Photograph by Bruce Peterson

The New Charcuterie Cookbook, by Jamie Bissonnette

Picked By: Michael Dulock, M. F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats
The Gist: In his debut cookbook, Jamie Bissonnette (chef-owner of Coppa and Toro) breaks down nose-to-tail meat ­curing for charcuterie novices.
Dulock’s Take: “Rather than spend chapter after chapter on basic cooking techniques, the recipes are the centerpiece of the book and suitable for most skill levels. I especially like the recipes that use offal as a primary ingredient.”


Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen,  by Dana Cowin

Picked By: Kristen Kish, formerly of Menton
The Gist: Food & Wine editor in chief Dana Cowin asked big-name chefs to help correct her recurring home-cooking errors, then turned the valuable lessons she gleaned into recipes suitable for any level of cook.
Kish’s Take: “Dana is coming from such a humble point of view. No one is above picking up tips and learning the basics or how another chef sees a recipe.”


Grill to Perfection, by Andy Husbands, Chris Hart, and Andrea Pyenson

Picked By: Josh Ziskin, La Morra
The Gist: From barbecue masters Andy Husbands—chef-owner of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel—and Chris Hart, this guide begins with the basics before moving into grill-heating techniques and tried-and-true recipes from around the country.
Ziskin’s Take: “My dad and I both use it. I catered a party this summer that wanted chicken, so I used the brine recipe.”


Flour + Water: Pasta, by Thomas McNaughton

Picked By: Dan Bazzinotti, BISq (coming soon)
The Gist: For the first time, ­acclaimed San Francisco chef Thomas ­McNaughton shares the handmade pasta ­recipes—pumpkin tortelloni, tagliatelle ­Bolognese—that put his Italian restaurant on the map.
Bazzinotti’s Take “It includes unique pastas, such as scarpinocc, which comes from the word scarpa, for shoe, because it resembles a wooden shoe, and strozzapreti, which translates to ‘priest strangler.’”


My Paris Kitchen, by David Lebovitz

Picked By: Fernanda and Jakob White, Comedor
The Gist: Chez Panisse alum David Lebovitz, who lived in Paris for a decade, captures the spirit of both traditional and modern French cooking through the lens of an outsider in this story-filled tome.
The Whites’ Take: “The book covers more than just traditional French cuisine. It includes a lot of globally influenced recipes, as well as a narrative on a chef’s life in Paris.”


Mallmann On Fire, by Francis Mallmann

Picked By: Alex Crabb, Asta
The Gist: In his second book, Argentine chef Francis Mallmann, known for his
grilling prowess, explores live-fire cooking from a global perspective.
Crabb’s Take: “It’s a pretty coffee-table book, but who doesn’t like to get messy sometimes? It’s rustic and approachable.”


Plenty More, by Yotam Ottolenghi

Picked By: Cara Chigazola, Oleana
The Gist: In the follow-up to his hit Plenty, Israeli-born chef Yotam Ottolenghi highlights a multitude of cooking techniques, demonstrating his signature vegetable- driven Mediterranean fare in raw, braised, mashed, and many other forms (two words to consider: cauliflower cake).
Chigazola’s Take: “I’m a really visual person and the design aspect is always so cool—he has a way of matching colors and textures.”


Prune, by Gabrielle Hamilton

Picked By: Nevin Taylor, Tres Gatos
The Gist: Chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s first cookbook emphasizes the comforting, gutsy fare served at her famed New York City bistro. Handwritten notes in the margins add a personal touch to recipes such as head-on shrimp with anchovy butter.
Taylor’s Take: “Her style is simple, honest, and personal, and I bet this cookbook will have the same appeal. Her restaurant is one of those places where you want to settle in for the afternoon.”


Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails, by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan

Picked By: Ryan McGrale, Tavern Road
The Gist: Death & Co owners Alex Day and David Kaplan capture the history of their iconic craft- cocktail bar—and proffer more than 500 drink recipes— in this monumental volume.
McGrale’s Take: “They’ve included every cocktail menu they’ve ever had. It might be overly intimidating for a beginner, but for the Boston cocktail community, this is the next bible.”