With KCRW’s Amazon affiliate program you can support KCRW when you shop for your loved ones this holiday season. These 10 books are my picks for the best cookbooks of the year. Click away to shop for your holiday gifts while giving to the programing that you love.

Jerusalem: A Cookbook Burma: Rivers of Flavor The Mile End Cookbook: Redefining Jewish Comfort Food from Hash to Hamantaschen
Jerusalem: A Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Burma: Rivers of Flavor
by Naomi Duguid
The Mile End Cookbook: Redefining Jewish Co…
by Noah Bernamoff
Afield: A Chef's Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard Meringue
Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Coo…
by Jesse Griffiths
Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard
by Nigel Slater
by Linda Jackson
The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work The America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook
The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Explor…
by Sandor Ellix Katz
Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They W…
by Aki Kamozawa
The America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook
by Editors at America’s Test Kitchen

Click below to read more about my picks…

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tammimi

Noted writer-restauranteur Ottolenghi (Jew from West Jerusalem) collaborates with his chef Tammimi (Arab from East Jerusalem) on a modern look at the diverse food of their city.  It’s a love letter to a world’s worth of incredibly rich culinary cultures crammed together in a tiny geographical space.

Burma by Naomi Duguid
Naomi Duguid creates cookbooks that are a culinary anthropologist’s dream.  Burma is no exception. Perfectly timed to come out just as the country begins to open up the heavily photographed brick of a book shares Naomi’s experiences traveling to Burma over the decades and reveals a cuisine that I’m sure will be quickly embraced and shared.

The Mile End Cookbook: Redefining Jewish Comfort Food from Hash to Hamantaschen by Noah Bernamoff and Rae Bernamoff.
The talented young couple bring the deli food of Montreal and their modern eyes to a comfort laden culinary tradition.  Food from their tiny deli in Brooklyn, where a fascination with curing and smoking meats and fish, and pickling,  is re-energizing traditional Jewish food.

Afield:  A Chef’s Guide to preparing Wild Game and Fish by Jesse Griffiths
Griffith shares a lifetime of being taught and living in the hunter-gatherer tradition of Texas, home to some of the best game and fish in the country.  Griffiths approach is straightforward from a deep place.  Even if you don’t hunt or fish there is a lot to learn and cook from in this book.  Great photography.

Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard by Nigel Slater
Like Tender, his love song to vegetables, Ripe is a lifelong gardener-cook’s riff on simple, seasonal, and satisfying Fruit cookery.  If you shop farmer’s markets and cook seasonally you need this book.

Meringue by Linda K. Jackson & Jennifer Evans Gardner
Yes, an entire book on the magical things you can make with egg whites and sugar.  The photographs are beautifully suited to the subject.  I can’t get the pink perfection of Fresh Strawberry Italian Meringue Buttercream out of my mind.

The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World by Sandor Katz
From bacteria forming from the primal ooze to sauerkraut this is now the reference work on the subject.

Ideas in Food:  Great Recipes and Why They Work by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot
Aki and Alex’s blog lept into the consciousness of every chef or food nerd who wanted to start to learn techniques of modern food preparation.  The book shares how they use chemistry, biology and a host of techniques, ingredients and new tools to create.  Fascinating.

The America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook
You want to do more than make dinner in your kitchen but you’ve been reluctant to plunge into culinary DIY without taking a class.  Well here is as close as you can get to having a mentor in book form.  The folks at ATK walk you through each recipe with exacting clarity.  And there are step-by-step photos!

Foraged Flavor by Tama Matsuoka Wong and Eddy Leroux
With so many of the top chefs of the world turning to unsung and overlooked foraged materials it would be good to know what they are.  Here’s a dictionary’s worth of North American materials, some of which you may have in your backyard.  With beautiful line drawings.

This year’s cookbook offerings have been so exceptional that in addition to the 10 books singled out above I will be tweeting one more cookbook suggestion a day until the 24th.  You can follow me @evankleiman

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  • Recipe: Burmese Tea-Leaf Salad | Good Food said:

    [...] Food, Evan talks with Naomi Duguid about her book Burma: Rivers of Flavor, which made Evan’s list of top 2012 cookbooks. Burmese cuisine draws from the many countries that surround it – India, China, Thailand, [...]

  • A Few More Holiday Gift Ideas? | Good Food said:

    [...] Gillian, put together a beautiful holiday gift guide earlier this week; Evan also shared her favorite cookbooks of the year. But what if your giftee has all the fancy olive oil they [...]

  • Best of 2012: Cookbooks « The Conscientious Omnivore said:

    [...] Good Food offers nine selections from Evan [...]

  • Jennifer said:

    Thank you for including our book, Evan – happy new year!