The Piglet

Meet Our 16 Favorite Cookbooks of 2018 (& Tell Us Yours)

The Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks is crying "wee-wee-wee" into its 10th year.

December  3, 2018

Have we reached a Golden Age of cookbooks in 2018? We certainly think so. Which is why we're thrilled to welcome another rousing rendition of the Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks, now celebrating its 10th birthday (my, don't they grow up fast?)!

Kicking off in March 2019, the nearly month-long, bracket-style tournament will go down in four rounds. 16 incredible cookbooks go head-to-head in the first round, and will be reviewed against one another by an illustrious cast of judges. Over the three weeks that follow, the strongest books advance through the rounds until one winner comes out on top. Along the way, all manner of surprises, upsets, triumphs, and oops!es in the mix will keep you hanging out on the edge of your seat!

In addition to the drama, the Piglet is all about getting acquainted with some of the year's best cookbooks. And boy, do we have a line-up for you! In fact, we were too excited to keep our picks to ourselves that we had to share them with you, here and now.

But—before you scroll down—there's more we'd like to share! We're bringing back Piglet Community Picks, the tournament's more laid-back, just as festive cousin: you tell us your favorite cookbooks from 2018 that didn't make it into this year's Piglet, we share the 10 nominees you loved best, and then you'll have the chance to pick one to review at home. We'll select a handful of these reviews and run them on the site once a week, from January up until the Piglet tournament in starts March. (We hope that helps you cope with the anticipation for the tournament—we know we'll definitely need it.) So here's what comes next:

  • After checking out our picks for this year's Piglet, go to this Google form to nominate books you'd like to see in the distinguished Community Picks list. Yep, you can nominate more than one book; but nope, you can't write in the same book more than once.

  • If you're dying to write about the cookbook you nominate, tell us so. More details are on the Google Form—just give us a shout (i.e., tell us on the form) if you’d like to test the book and write a review.

We’ll announce the line-up of Community Picks books later this month, along with a call for reviewers. The deadline to nominate is December 14, 2018, so hop to it right here!

Shop the Story

Now that the housekeeping's taken care of, without further ado, here are (in no particular order)...

This Year's Piglet Books

Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food by Nik Sharma

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I have a habit of buying cookbooks only to let them sit forgotten on my shelf but I've made numerous recipes from this one”
— Courtney R.

Rose's Baking Basics: 100 Essential Recipes, with More Than 600 Step-by-Step Photos by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One by Anita Lo

At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking by Nigella Lawson

Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel by Alon Shaya

All About Cake by Christina Tosi

Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day by Alexander Smalls, JJ Johnson & Veronica Chambers

Superiority Burger Cookbook: The Vegetarian Hamburger Is Now Delicious by Brooks Headley

Soul: A Chef's Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes by Todd Richards

Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South by Von Diaz

Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories by Naz Deravian

How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories, and Places by Diana Henry

Mastering Pizza: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pizza, Focaccia, and Calzone by Marc Vetri

The Flavor Matrix: The Art and Science of Pairing Common Ingredients to Create Extraordinary Dishes by James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst

The Noma Guide to Fermentation(Foundations of Flavor) by René Redzepi and David Zilber

I Am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad

We're so excited about this year's Piglet books! Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments—but better yet, write them in as contenders for Piglet Community Picks!



txchick57 December 7, 2018
winner of the contest will be: Season (Sharma). The same type of book wins over and over. I have 9 of the 16 books (not that one, could not be less interested)
Karen G. December 4, 2018
I Am a Filipino: And This Is What We Eat is not the correct name of the book according to the cover in the photo. Maybe an edit is in order?<br />
Author Comment
Brinda A. December 4, 2018
Thank you so much, Karen—it's been updated.
Rose L. December 3, 2018
Thrilled to have my new book "Rose's Baking Basics" on the list and toward the top no less! thank you dear Food52 and all those who voted!
cookinginvictoria December 3, 2018
Yay for the return of community picks!
Courtney R. December 3, 2018
I've been loving Gaby Dalkin's cookbook that shares the same name as her blog - What's Gaby Cooking. There's a photograph for EVERY recipe and it's beautifully shot. I have a habit of buying cookbooks only to let them sit forgotten on my shelf but I've made numerous recipes from this one
Nicole W. December 3, 2018
I was thinking about this one for community pics! I agree, it was one of my favs from this year. The taco skillet bake is an all time favorite!
Author Comment
Brinda A. December 5, 2018
So great to hear, both! I hope you've added it as a Community Picks contender!