Summer used to be a cookbook wasteland, with hardly any new releases besides a sprinkling of grilling and ice cream books. But thankfully times have changed, and some of this year’s most exciting cookbooks are coming out this summer, including titles from the celebrated Phoenix pizzaiolo Chris Bianco and baking phenom Stella Parks (aka BraveTart), as well as incredibly useful guides to vegetarian grilling, camping food, fermentation, and more.
School’s out, summer produce is in—all you need is a new cookbook (or two!) to keep you humming in the kitchen all season long. Here are my picks:
Adventures in Starry Kitchen by Nguyen Tran (June 6)
Like your recipes alongside a roaring good story? Same. Starry Kitchen follows Los Angeles couple Nguyen and Thi Tran from a 2008 layoff to an underground restaurant in their studio apartment to pop-ups and critical acclaim. Bonus: the Asian-ish-but-totally-original recipes, like Singaporean Chili Crab Gumbo and Pandan Churros, look insane and insanely delicious.
How to Drink French Fluently by Drew Lazor with Camille Ralph Vidal (June 6)
This just in from the Bureau of Carefree Summertime and Beachy Affairs: a whole volume of cocktails inspired by the popular elderflower liqueur St-Germain. Punch contributor Drew Lazor compiled low-proof cocktails from famed bartenders, including Jim Meehan, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, and Julie Reiner—start with brunch, progress to daytime cocktails, move on the apertifs, and finally nightcaps. Santé!
Wabi-Sabi Welcome by Julie Pointer-Adams (June 13)
Wabi-sabi is a Japanese concept that—very, very loosely—involves accepting imperfections. Here, Kinfolk alum Julie Pointer-Adams applies the idea to entertaining: think international recipes for impromptu gatherings alongside naturally lit, minimalist home decor tips.
Vegetables on Fire by Brooke Lewy (June 27)
Because meat shouldn’t have all the fun. This vegetarian-friendly number offers 60 recipes for vegetable-centric cookout fodder, including grilled beet hummus, grilled squash tacos, and much more. Hit up the market and get the charcoal going, it’s time to get grilling.
The New Camp Cookbook by Linda Ly (July 1)
Just because you’re roughing it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat well. Camp in gourmet style all summer long with this cookbook, written by gardening blogger Linda Ly. Her recipes—including dutch oven pizzas and Korean grilled flank steak—will make you the master of the foil packet in no time.
Basic Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz (July 11)
Fermented foods like kombucha, vinegar, and kimchi are everywhere these days (not to mention good for your guts). But that kombucha-a-day habit gets pricey pretty quick especially considering it’s easy enough to make at home, so get your cultures going with this rerelease from the fermentation master Sandor Katz.
Bianco by Chris Bianco (July 25)
Even if you’re not familiar with Arizona pizza king Chris Bianco, you have almost certainly benefited from his influence. Arguably responsible for launching the Neopolitan pizza craze in the U.S., Bianco has been serving wood-fired pizzas made from local ingredients since the late 80s. Here, in his long-awaited cookbook, Bianco share his pizza-making wisdom (with some pastas, salads, and desserts thrown in for good measure).
Peppers of the Americas by Maricel Presilla (August 1)
Maricel Presilla’s last book, the masterwork Gran Cocina Latina, won the 2013 James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year. In Peppers, Presilla aims her focus at one of the ingredients that makes Latin cuisine what it is: chile. This book is more a reference than a cookbook—although it does contain 40 recipes—and highlights 200 different varietals of chile along with tips and tasting notes.
Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell (August 8)
There’s a lot more to vinegar than you might think, but you shouldn't be intimidated by cooking with the sour stuff. Photographer and cookbook author Michael Harlan Turkell traveled the world researching vinegar traditions, collecting recipes from famed chefs like Daniel Boulud, April Bloomfield, Massimo Bottura, and more along the way.
Hello! My Name Is Tasty by John Gorham and Liz Crain (August 15)
Brunch at home is entirely underrated: there’s no wait, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper, and it’s a great way to use up leftovers. Learn the art of the home brunch from Portland chef John Gorham, whose celebrated restaurants, Tasty ‘n Sons and Tasty ‘n Alder, serve up a fresh take on brunch dishes with global influences. Here, he shows you how to make them all at home, plus other great diner favorites.
BraveTart by Stella Parks (August 15)
If you’re not already a fan of baking detective/Serious Eats food writer Stella Parks, you soon will be. In BraveTart, she puts her considerable talents to work on classic American desserts like chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and carrot cake, and goes way beyond recipes. Expect technique instruction, variations on classic themes, and history lessons along the way.