Cookbook Countdown: Sliding into Home Plate | Wyatt’s World

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, readers have mere days to game up. Help them prepare with these works by professional chefs, who make their living running restaurants. Here, they share stories of their eateries along with some of their best recipes.

  • State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook by Stuart Brioza & others (Ten Speed: Crown).
    Anyone with dreams of an ambitious cocktail hour, full of food that wows and delights, should consider this book their training guide. Not for the faint of heart, it’s recipes (e.g., sweet corn and Mt. Tam cheese pancakes or black butter-balsamic figs with basil and fontina fondue) call for a celebration.
  • Moto: The Cookbook by Homaro Cantu (Little, Brown).
    For home cooks who want the cutting edge, Cantu leads the way. His innovations in cooking are astounding and illustrate the modern food movement with its blend of science, staging, and taste. This is a book to pore over and think through.
  • Baco: Vivid Recipes from the Heart of Los Angeles by Josef Centeno & Betty Hallock (Chronicle).
    Flavorful, bright, and driven by taste, the recipes in this collection read like a spectacular trip to the farmers market (kohlrabi with crème fraîche, mint, lemon, and yuzukosho seasoning and strawberry-elderflower fool). More accessible than some restaurant cookbooks, it should please a range of cooks, from those who feel tentative to those ready for Top Chef.
  • Myers+Chang at Home: Recipes from the Beloved Boston Eatery by Joanne Chang & Karen Akunowicz (Houghton Harcourt).
    Anyone who has traveled through Boston with food in mind has thought about going to Myers+Chang. Now home chefs can make noodles and dumplings and more, all jam-packed with flavor, as this cookbook offers both motivation and guidance and is pitched to everyday cooks.
  • The Moosewood Restaurant Table: 250 Brand-New Recipes from the Natural Foods Restaurant That Revolutionized Eating in America by the Moosewood Collective (Griffin: St. Martin’s).
    Thanksgiving can be a challenge for those who go meatless. Without specific planning, the meal may easily devolve into side dishes. Moosewood has been providing inspiration for decades, and here supplies doable recipes for vegetarians—try the autumn potpie or the kale and walnut risotto.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at

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