Food & Drink

A Fresh Harvest of Fall Cookbooks

G&G contributors pick the food books they’re excited to devour this fall

Autumn always brings a new crop of cookbooks, and the South is well represented in this year’s releases. Find a dazzling cocktail book, celebrity cookbooks from Reba McEntire and Snoop Dogg, and some surprising Southern food histories (with recipes!) coming to a bookstore near you.

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Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice: Cocktails from Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks, by Toni Tipton-Martin

When the culinary historian and journalist Toni Tipton-Martin releases a cookbook, I order it, okay? The Jemima Code? On the kitchen shelf. So is her Jubilee. Because few people tell a food or drink story like she does, combining fascinating scholarship with effervescent writing and downright mouthwatering recipes—in this case, for my favorite sort of indulgence: the liquid kind. Black mixologists and tipple torchbearers get their due here, from pre-Prohibition cocktail king Tom Bulloch to “Louis One-Three” proponent T-Pain. I already have big plans for the jerk-spiced Bloody Mary. —Amanda Heckert, executive editor

Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots, by Reba McEntire

For a country superstar who rocks plenty of rhinestones onstage, McEntire keeps it decidedly real back on her ranch in Oklahoma. I like a lifestyle guide that has a sense of humor, and I know I’ll be trying her recipes for comfort-food hits such as cowgirl baked beans, chicken-fried steak, and spicy chow-chow relish. Okay, a few of the eight cocktail recipes, too. —Steve Russell, contributor

Latinísimo: Home Recipes from the Twenty-One Countries of Latin America, by Sandra A. Gutierrez

I’m often asking my students to push the borders on where they consider “the South” to be, so that we can talk more about the Indigenous and Spanish influences on what we have termed “Southern” life, and how their cooking techniques and flavor combinations enhance what we define as “Southern” food. I have started taking that approach to my cooking, constantly heading further south on the continent in order to try new-to-me flavors. I’m especially interested in “home” cooking, and this book seems like an encyclopedia of that. I can’t wait to cook my way through it—my plan is to attempt each recipe at least once. —Latria Graham, contributing editor and visiting scholar at Augusta University

Still We Rise: A Love Letter to the Southern Biscuit with Over 70 Sweet and Savory Recipes, by Erika Council

I admit bias right away as I eagerly recommend Erika Council’s new biscuit cookbook. We’re friends and we make biscuits together at food festivals sometimes. She is the boss, I am the sidekick. Her grandmother, Mildred Council, was opening Dip’s Country Kitchen in the same building as us when we were opening Cat’s Cradle back in the early seventies, so I go back forever with her family. I made her whole milk biscuits for my lunch yesterday. —Bill Smith, chef and contributor

Mississippi Mornings, by Robert St. John

Drawing from family recipes and his childhood in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the chef and restaurateur Robert St. John sets a generous breakfast spread in his forthcoming cookbook that will be available soon on his website. Find staples like shrimp and grits, as well as decadent regional specialties such as Bayou Eggs Benedict. His Hattiesburg diner, the Midtowner, serves buttermilk pancakes and cathead biscuits, and you’ll discover recipes for those classics, too. —CJ Lotz Diego

Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived: The Surprising Story of Apples in the South, by Diane Flynt 

For my eighth birthday, a friend gave me one of the best and most precocious presents I’ve ever received: a tasting box of apples, full of Honeycrisps and Granny Smiths, along with some lesser known heirlooms like Arkansas Blacks, Albemarle Pippins, and a little green variety we soon discovered bounced when thrown off the top of the playground (even a bit bruised, it still tasted delicious). Still one of my most beloved diet staples to this day, apples hold so much Southern history and lore, which Diane Flynt delves into in her new book. Less cookbook and more storybook, Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived tracks the “rise and fall of Southern apples,” simultaneously uncovering a mostly uncharted aspect of the South’s agricultural and culinary tradition. —Caroline Sanders Clements, associate editor

The Simple Art of Rice: Recipes from Around the World for the Heart of Your Table, by JJ Johnson

I don’t think there was a single recipe in this beautiful cookbook that I didn’t want to try out. Plenty of Southern classics such as jambalaya and Lowcountry crab rice are included, but there’s also an array of easy-to-prepare international options and ones I’d never heard of (Nutella-filled rice crepes, anyone?). Most require fairly simple ingredients, so they’re perfect if you’re looking to expand your repertoire of weeknight rice dishes. —Emily Daily, newsletter editor

For the Culture: Phenomenal Black Women & Femmes in Food, by Klancy Miller

This is one of those beautiful books that will spend time on my coffee table (where I can read the interviews while on the couch) and in my kitchen. Composed of reflections on early trailblazers who have passed on as well as interviews and recipes with current tastemakers, the book is a snapshot of the conversations we’re having in the moment. Now if you don’t mind, there’s a Whole Roasted Sweet Potato with Canela Ginger Crumble I wanna make… —Latria Graham

The Ark of Taste: Delicious and Distinctive Foods That Define the United States, by Giselle Kennedy Lord and David S. Shields

Anything with South Carolina culinary historian David Shields’s name on it has my ear, so I can’t wait to pick up The Ark of Taste. It’s a visual catalogue of the country’s food heritage, chock full of stories and history, and peppered with Southern ingredients like Cherokee purple tomatoes and Carolina Gold rice. There are plenty of chef recipes, too—I have my eye on a candy roaster squash and apple dish from Steven Satterfield of Atlanta’s Miller Union. —Lindsey Liles, assistant editor

Kugels and Collards: Stories of Food, Family, and Tradition in Jewish South Carolina, by Rachel Gordin Barnett, Lyssa Kligman Harvey

Jewish history runs deep in the South, and the authors of this new cookbook thought of a genius way to share and celebrate that legacy—by engaging our taste buds. They invite readers to pull up a chair around Jewish family tables, go behind the counter at long-running businesses throughout the region, and try such classic recipes as stuffed cabbage and modern spins like grits and lox casserole. —CJ Lotz Diego, senior editor

The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope, by José Andrés, World Central Kitchen, and Sam Chapple-Sokol

Compilation cookbooks aren’t typically my thing, but the work of José Andrés and his team is too important to ignore. The fact that these recipes are inspired by the places World Central Kitchen has served—and that the book’s proceeds will continue to fund the organization’s mission—is worth investing in. —Kinsey Gidick, contributor

Veg-table: Recipes, Techniques, and Plant Science for Big-Flavored, Vegetable-Focused Meals, by Nik Sharma

Nik Sharma’s Veg-table is not a Southern book, but what self-respecting Southerner doesn’t like vegetables? The book officially drops in October; I have preordered my copy. Nik’s first book, Season, was brilliant. He has a way with flavors, texture, and color that I am a huge fan of. I can’t wait to see what’s in the newest release. —Vishwesh Bhatt, chef and contributor

Corn Dance: Inspired First American Cuisine, by Loretta Barrett Oden, with Beth Dooley 

Native American foodways don’t get the attention they deserve, and I’m betting Corn Dance: Inspired First American Cuisine from Loretta Barrett Oden, out in October, will help change that. Oden, a citizen of Potawatomi Nation and an Emmy-award winning chef and food historian, draws on her childhood in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and her experience at her Santa Fe restaurant, Corn Dance Café, to tell stories of ingredients and share nuggets of wisdom (like when to add a bundle of pine needles to your braise, or what to do with sumac). And I can’t wait to get the recipe for Oden’s Three Sisters salad, centered around corn, beans, and squash. —Lindsey Liles

Seed to Plate, Soil to Sky: Modern Plant-Based Recipes Using Native American Ingredients, by Lois Ellen Frank

I realize that my way of cooking is composed of many culinary legacies. Now that I’m getting older, I’m starting to untangle each one, pulling it apart and holding it up to the light. This book explores eight plants: beans, squash, chile, tomato, potato, vanilla, and cacao, and their impacts on our world. A lot of the recipes use household staples I grew up with in ways I am not accustomed to, but I’m interested in trying Frank’s Kabocha Squash Salad. —Latria Graham

Fish Butchery: Mastering the Catch, Cut and Craft, by Josh Niland

I’m embarrassed to admit that even though I live in coastal Charleston, I’m not super skilled in fish prep. Shrimp, no problem. But in his new and very instructional cookbook, the James Beard Award-winning author Josh Niland breaks down the break-down of all manner of aquatic yumminess, and shares recipes too: fish bacon and hot-smoked fish pie, you have my attention. —CJ Lotz Diego

Danni’s Juke Joint Comfort Food Cookbook: Modern-Day Recipes, Ole Skool Flavas, by Danni Rose

The self-taught cook and TV personality Danni Rose shares funny stories and memories from her dad’s juke joint in Birmingham, Alabama, Haywood’s Place. She shares recipes too—cocktails meant for red Solo cups, fish fry sandwiches, and a Sunday pot roast perfect for sopping up all the fun of the night before (with a little kick of cognac in the gravy). —CJ Lotz Diego

My Everyday Lagos: Nigerian Cooking at Home and in the Diaspora, by Yewande Komolafe

A lot of the cookbooks on my shelf (and on this recommendation list) are tomes meant to try to cover entire swaths of a continent. I like those, but sometimes they can get a bit overwhelming. Sometimes I like to look at a smaller swath of land—a city, rather than an entire region or continent. Komolafe’s book is hyper-local to Lagos, and I can’t wait to see how she prepares her groundnut stew. —Latria Graham

Snoop Dogg Presents Goon with the Spoon, by Snoop Dogg and Earl “E-40” Stevens

We’re all adults here, so I’ll say it—Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, and Willie Nelson’s 4/20 campaign to sell lighters was marketing genius. But why include Snoop Dogg, a famously West Coast rapper on a list of Southern book releases? Snoop earned his print publishing cred back in 2018 with his hilarious, voice-y, tasty smash-hit cookbook, From Crook to Cook. And this year, he’s sharing the mic with E-40, a fellow rapper who owns a Filipino food company and has lived in Louisiana. Snoop’s family roots run deep in Mississippi, and Southern recipes in the new book include collards, grits with crispy fish, gumbo, a spiced crab boil, and Frito pie. —CJ Lotz Diego

Simply West African: Easy, Joyful Recipes for Every Kitchen, by Pierre Thiam

The book opens with a series of sauces, and one of my favorite things to do is make a couple new sauces and try them out on dishes I already make, incorporating some new tastes into my life. My mom, a pescatarian, has already requested the Seafood Okra Soupou Kanja. Thiam is using staples like greens, yams, black-eyed peas, and okra in interesting ways, and I’m looking forward to trying some of the one-pot dishes so I can add them to my time-restricted repertoire. —Latria Graham