With spring on the way (we promise!), what better way to spend the last few weeks of winter than experimenting in the kitchen? To keep you busy while the snow melts, here’s a rundown of 2013’s best cookbooks, chosen by fellow cookbook authors (the only rule was that they couldn’t pick their own books).

Mary Goodbody picks VEGETABLE LITERACY by Deborah Madison

Veg Literacy 200Goodbody is an award-winning cookbook writer and editor who has worked on more than 50 books. She is also a senior editor of Cookstr.com, and editor of Familytime.com. Goodbody was the co-author, with Chef Debra Ponzek, of The Dinner Time Survival Cookbook: Delicious, Inspiring Meals for Busy Families (Running Press, 2013). “I liked Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy,” says Goodbody. “First, because I trust her expertise and experience, as well as her passion, and secondly (and perhaps more importantly) because vegetarian cooking is very much on the radar these days, far more than in earlier years. A lot of people have always cooked vegetarian—I know it’s nothing ‘new’—but it’s now more than ever part of the conversation. And so, with that in mind, who better to help everyone cook vegetarian and vegan than Madison?”

Ellen Brown picks POK POK by Andy Ricker

 Pok Pok 200Brown is the founding food editor of USA Today, the author of more than 35 cookbooks, including Gluten-Free Bread: More than 100 Artisan Loaves for a Healthier Life (Running Press, 2013). “I think the best cookbook this year is Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand by Andy Ricker and J.J. Goode (Ten Speed Press),” she says. “While I haven’t eaten at Pok Pok, I have eaten all across Thailand, and I find this to be the best Thai cookbook on the market by far. I’ve been amazed that as the popularity of Thai food has grown, there haven’t been more authoritative books published to match the offerings on Chinese cooking and any number of European cuisines, such as every sub-region of Italy. But this one book is all you need, and it’s one to curl up and read to gain a fabulous sense of Thailand as well as its regional food. “

Ronnie Fein picks THE TASTE OF AMERICA by Colman Andrews

Taste of America 200Fein is a food writer and author of several cookbooks, the latest of which is Hip Kosher: 175 Easy-to-Prepare Recipes for Today’s Kosher Cooks (Da Capo Press). Her next book, Modern Kosher Kitchen, will be published next fall: “I love The Taste of America by Colman Andrews (Phaidon Press). It is a light-hearted history about 250 food products made in America. Very interesting and entertaining, and for those who enjoy knowing about ingredients and foodstuffs, especially the unique ones, this is a wonderful source. He discusses purely American foods such as Meyer lemons, corn chips, and macadamia nuts. So very interesting.”



Jayne Cohen picks BALABOOSTA by Einat Admony

Balaboosta 200Cohen’s latest book is Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and Improvisations (John Wiley and Sons, 2008). She is a contributing editor and food blogger at Jewish Woman Magazine. “If I could suggest a cookbook,” says Cohen, “it would be Einat Admony’s Balaboosta (Artisan). Einat is a passionate cook with a full-throttle palate. Even a simple quinoa salad is exciting. Although she’s a chef, she’s clearly a home cook, preparing meals for family and friends here. Very accessible. It’s also a great read, and brings you back to the fun in cooking.”


Yvette Garfield picks WEELICIOUS LUNCHES by Catherine McCord

Weelicious 200Garfield is the author and publisher of the Handstand Kids cookbook kit series, the latest of which is the Handstand Kids Baking Around the World Cookbook Kit: 1. She offered three favorites. The first, Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals by Catherine McCord (William Morrow Cookbooks), she calls a “lunch bible for moms!” Of the second, Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), she says, “Love, love, love this book. The author has a fun tone.” For the third, she broke my rule of not picking her own book, because she contributed to this one, but she says, “I really love it,” so I’m including it here: The World’s Best Asian Noodle Recipes: 125 Great Recipes from Top Chefs by Ian Kittichai (Race Point Publishing).

What are YOU making for dinner tonight?

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Cover image: http://www.splendidtable.org/story/michael-pollan-cooking-for-yourself-is-the-real-independence