The Great Southern Fall Cookbook Roundup

Get ready to open a bunch of browser tabs—here are our favorite fresh cookbooks, along with new recipes galore for appetizers, mains, sweets to share, and one unexpected cocktail

The Way Home: A Celebration of Sea Islands Food and Family with over 100 Recipes, by Kardea Brown

“I’ve watched Kardea Brown’s television show since its inception, and she’s made some fantastic dishes over the years,” says contributing editor Latria Graham. “I look forward to reading about how she weaves in her family’s Gullah traditions with her contemporary cooking style in this long-awaited cookbook.” Brown generously previews her recipes for Sea Island chicken wings, Lowcountry seafood salad, and an easier version of a Southern classic—sheet-pan hummingbird cake.

Masala: Recipes from India, the Land of Spices, by Anita Jaisinghani

From her Houston restaurant, Pondicheri, the Indian chef Anita Jaisinghani turns out the flavors of her childhood with Gulf Coast ingredients. “I am sharing with you stories of creativity and courage, about blending colonial ingredients with ancestral techniques,” she writes in Masala. “After a lifelong love affair with spices, I am here to share the love. And to convince you to add spices to your daily repertoire.” Take her encouragement to heart and try out her coconut crab dip and mango rice pudding.

Tanya Holland’s California Soul: Recipes from a Culinary Journey West, by Tanya Holland

When Alice Walker writes in the foreword, “California Soul is the most beautiful cookbook I’ve ever read,” the rest of us writers can just sit down because she said it best. The lyrical writing tells the story of the Great Migration of Black Southerners to the rest of the country through the lens of chef Tanya Holland’s own family, foodways, and recipes, including these pimento cheese popovers, this whole duck jambalaya, and gingerbread cupcakes with molasses buttercream.

Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes, by Aleksandra Crapanzano

For this utterly delightful compendium of simple French bakes, Crapanzano—a prolific and award-winning food columnist for such publications as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times Magazine—turned to her childhood. She moved at age ten to France, where, as executive editor Amanda Heckert writes, “she began to realize that behind the seemingly effortless je ne sais quoi of style and hospitality there lies a distinctively precise way of doing things.” Take, for instance, the science she explains in the Gallic recipe for their centuries-old predecessor to the Southern pound cake: the quatre-quarts.

Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook, by Illyanna Maisonet

In her powerful and personal new cookbook, Diasporican, the Puerto Rican food writer Illyanna Maisonet pokes holes in common assumptions about the island and shows dishes from Puerto Rico well outside the tourist center of San Juan. “To Puerto Ricans, Puerto Rico represents a constant battle for land and a broad understanding of our identity,” she writes. In her recipe for pineapple upside-down cake, she celebrates the versatility of a common box of cake mix, and in her quesitos, she combines the sweetness of guava with the richness of cream cheese.

Cooking from the Spirit: Easy, Delicious, and Joyful Plant-Based Inspirations, by Tabitha Brown

“My mom is plant-based, and that presents some challenges for me,” says contributing editor Latria Graham. “I’m always looking for new vegan recipes to try out. Tabitha Brown’s colorful dish presentation and creative takes on known dishes (like her carrot bacon) mean that she’s created things I never thought to try. My mom’s always in it for the food, and I’m invested because of Tabitha’s storytelling about her upbringing in Eden, North Carolina.” Here, find one of Brown’s perfectly named recipes, “Who Made the Potato Salad?

The Cookie Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Rose Levy Beranbaum is just about as close to a rock star as bakers get. Her 1988 The Cake Bible was inducted into the International Association of Culinary Professionals Culinary Classics, and her cookbooks have won coveted James Beard Awards three times. Now, in this volume devoted entirely to cookies, she includes tips, tricks, and recipes, including shortbread, chocolate chip cookies, an entire chapter devoted to holiday cookies, and these peanut butter financiers, made rich with browned butter.

Secrets of a Tastemaker, by Chris Rose and Kit Wohl

“As Popeyes celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, the family honors Al Copeland’s legacy with Secrets of a Tastemaker, a recipe-filled book inspired by Copeland’s larger-than-life personality,” writes Caroline Sanders Clements. Recipes from the book include: the Popeyes founder’s other fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, a Cajun delicacy called Duckanoff, and Copeland’s favorite cheesecake.

The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Comfort Food from America’s Favorite Rural Bakery, by Brian Noyes

Perhaps you remember that decadent caramel cake from a past cover of Garden & Gun. That recipe’s creator, Brian Noyes of Virginia’s Red Truck Bakery, is back with a generous cookbook of more sweet and savory comfort foods, including gooey cinnamon rolls, a rustic fruit galette, and his family’s century-old recipe for birthday cake.

Northern Soul: Southern-Inspired Home Cooking from a Northern Kitchen, by Justin Sutherland

“It was the combined cultures of my family that gave me my first glimpse into the vast possibilities that foods brought to the world,” writes Justin Sutherland in his flavorful new cookbook. He runs the Handsome Hog, a pork-focused Southern restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his new cookbook draws largely on his Southern roots, including this recipe for bourbon mussels.

I Am from Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef, by Vishwesh Bhatt

“When you’re an immigrant, you get asked, Where are you from? I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else, and this place made me who I am,” says the Mississippi chef Vishwesh Bhatt in a recent issue of Garden & Gun. “I’m a Southern chef, and this is my home.” From his new cookbook, he offers a preview of recipes: collard green slaw; shrimp and corn fricassee; and sweet potato, ham, and cheddar biscuits.

The Fearrington House Cookbook (Reissue), by Jenny Fitch

The Fearrington House Cookbook resonates in a decidedly of-the-moment way,” writes chef Vivian Howard in her ode to a 1987 North Carolina classic that was recently reissued. In addition to the tips on flower arranging, honoring the changing seasons, and making herb vinaigrette, Howard loves the recipes, including this chocolate soufflé.

Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ’Em, by Neal Bodenheimer and Emily Timberlake

“I’m in serious need of a shake-up when it comes to my drink-mixing routine, and I’m not sure there’s a better source of inspiration than Neal Bodenheimer,” says Dave Mezz, deputy editor. “A New Orleans native and the founder of the James Beard Award–winning Cure among other fine drinking establishments, Bodenheimer is a leading authority on the city’s cocktail culture, past and present. The hundred-plus recipes in Cure cover the classics to be sure, but they’re just the starting point for all kinds of intriguing riffs.” In addition to the apple-brandy-inflected Union Jack Rose featured in the current issue of G&G, find Cure’s recipe for the Elle Rio, a cocktail reminiscent of an Old Fashioned with a starring spirit that just might surprise you.

Super Soul Food with Cousin Rosie: 100+ Modern Twists on Comfort Food Classics, by Rosie Mayes

After the recipe developer Rosie Mayes’s first cookbook, I Heart Soul Food, came out in 2020, her online audience exploded to include more than half a million YouTube subscribers—perhaps in part because of the pandemic or just the general need for comfort these days. “Rosie is a woman who makes you feel like you can truly just be who you are, no questions asked,” writes Danielle Kartes in the foreword to Mayes’s follow-up cookbook, Super Soul Food. “She has a light touch in her cooking and an old soul.” Cozy up with her savory spin on monkey bread, a warming bowl of white beans and sausage, or what she calls the “Best Damn Chicken and Dumplings.”

Turkey and the Wolf: Flavor Trippin’ in New Orleans, by Mason Hereford

Technically this joyful cookbook was a spring release, but a shipping container accident delayed its launch. No matter, we’ll keep applauding it into the fall because it’s here now, full of New Orleans fun, and a manifesto for making every bite flavor-filled, as chef Mason Hereford showcases in his ultimate tomato sandwich recipe.