Holiday Shopping: Our Favorite 2017 Cookbooks


Are you looking for holiday gifts for the home cook in your life? We asked a few North Carolina cookbook authors to share their favorite books this year. Their suggestions and a few of our own are sure to make someone on your list very happy. 

Sheri Castle has written a number of excellent cookbooks including “The New Southern Garden Cookbook,” “The Southern Living Community Cookbook,” and “Sugar, Butter, Flour: The Waitress Pie Book.” For the baker on your list, Sheri recommends “BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts,” by Stella Parks, a senior editor at the Serious Eats website. She wrote: “Between the tempting recipes and approachable, rock-solid technique, this baking book with join the ranks of the classics such as The Cake Bible.” (The latter is by revered baking author, Rose Levy Beranbaum.) 

Sandra Gutierrez, author of “Empanadas,” “The New Southern-Latino Table,” and “Latin American Street Food,” is recommending Jewish foodways expert Joan Nathan's "King Solomon's Table.” Sandra said, “It's magnificent! I love the recipes, of course, but the history she includes is my favorite. It's really a book to read, as well as to cook from... I'm not Jewish, but have many friends who are and we often break bread together at table. This book is filled with recipes I want to make, including bagels, hummus, harira, and so much more.” 

Chapel Hill chef Bill Smith most recently appeared on A Chef’s Life to make his persimmon pudding this season. He’s written several cookbooks, including “Seasoned in the South,” and “Crabs & Oysters.” Bill has two book suggestions. First, “My Soul Looks Back,” a fascinating memoir by African-American foodways historian Jessica Harris, which includes a recipe at the end of each chapter. Second, “Feed the Resistance,” a cookbook and political fundraiser. The book, which includes Smith’s posole recipe, raises money for the American Civil Liberties Union. 

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention two more books: “Le Creuset Cookbook,” which came out this fall and was also written by Sheri Castle; and of course, Vivian’s award-winning cookbook, “Deep Run Roots.” You can order a signed copy of Vivian’s book from her website:

For more ideas, Vivian shared a list of her all-time favorite cookbooks with Omnivoracious, Amazon’s book review website, earlier this year.