1. EAT A PEACH: A MEMOIR
Chef, restaurateur, and food media personality David Chang details his journey to culinary stardom in the brutally honest Eat a Peach (Penguin Random House, September 2020; $28). With candor and humor, the man who gave us cereal milk ice cream and ramen cacio e pepe writes openly about his struggles with mental health and his radically non-linear path to culinary recognition. From fond childhood memories to ugly truths of the restaurant industry, Chang and co-author Gabe Ulla take readers on a captivating ride through the failures and successes of an influential artist and chef.
2. WELCOME TO BUTTERMILK KITCHEN
In Welcome to Buttermilk Kitchen (Gibbs Smith, April 2020; $30) chef and restaurateur Suzanne Vizethann pays tribute to this well-loved butter byproduct, breaking breakfast boundaries and imbuing classic dishes with her Southern charm. Vizethann (a.k.a. Mrs. Buttermilk) combines memories of childhood meals with grown-up culinary creativity, crafting nostalgic recipes for the dedicated home cook. Standouts include her famous buttermilk biscuits, “secret” fried chicken recipe, and drool-worthy Pimento Cheese Omelet with Bacon and Red Pepper Jelly.
3. KOJI ALCHEMY: REDISCOVERING THE MAGIC OF MOLD-BASED FERMENTATION
Koji isn’t your average kitchen ingredient, but Koji Alchemy: Rediscovering the Magic of Mold-Based Fermentation (Chelsea Green, May 2020; $35) provides a key to unlocking its secrets. Chefs Rich Shih and Jeremy Umansky explore the historical use of koji, the microbe responsible for umami flavoring, and reveal how today’s chefs can use this powerhouse enzyme to rapidly age cheese, charcuterie, and other fermentation-based foods.
4. MOON MILK: EASY RECIPES FOR PEACEFUL SLEEP
Anni Daulter’s Moon Milk: Easy Recipes for Peaceful Sleep (Gibbs Smith, March2020; $17) introduces dairy into your pre-bed ritual with over fifty easy-to-make beverages that can help reduce stress, boost health, and encourage peaceful slumber. In 2018 alone, the popularity of this all-natural sleep aid rose 700 percent, so Daulter and her little cups of cow’s milk magic are definitely onto something. Recipes range from herbal and spiced, to floral and aromatic, to various dairy alternatives.