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The 2016 Piglet

Tournament of Cookbooks

The Piglet—inspired by The Morning News' Tournament of Books—is where the 16 most notable cookbooks of the year face off. Watch the action, and weigh in on the results, over the course of 3 weeks.

Year-banner-2016

The Cookbooks

A Bird in the Hand

A Bird in the Hand

by Diana Henry

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A Girl and Her Greens

A Girl and Her Greens

by April Bloomfield and J.J. Goode

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Eat Mexico

Eat Mexico

by Lesley Téllez

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Gjelina

Gjelina

by Travis Lett

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Made in India

Made in India

by Meera Sodha

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Mamushka

Mamushka

by Olia Hercules

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Modern Jewish Cooking

Modern Jewish Cooking

by Leah Koenig

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My Kitchen Year

My Kitchen Year

by Ruth Reichl

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Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel

Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel

by Heidi Swanson

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Senegal

Senegal

by Pierre Thiam and Jennifer Sit

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Seven Spoons

Seven Spoons

by Tara O'Brady

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The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

by J. Kenji López-Alt

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The Food of Oman

The Food of Oman

by Felicia Campbell

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The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook

The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook

by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and Julia Turshen

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The Violet Bakery Cookbook

The Violet Bakery Cookbook

by Claire Ptak

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Zahav

Zahav

by Michael Solomonov

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The Judges

Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman

Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman

Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman write, cook, and eat in Berkeley, California. Michael's books include Telegraph Avenue and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Ayelet is the author of the novel Love & Treasure and of The New York Times bestseller, Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace. 

Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo

Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo

Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo are the co-founders of the site Of a Kind, which sells the pieces and tells the stories of emerging fashion and home designers. Friends for almost 15 years, they are all about discovery—sign up for their newsletter for proof—and are always on the lookout for healthy-ish recipes that will keep them from ordering in at the end of a long day.

John Birdsall

John Birdsall

John Birdsall writes about food and places and lives in Oakland, California, with his husband. He is a winner of the James Beard Award for food and culture writing, and curates crumbling stacks of the faded cookbooks he's acquired.

Lauren Collins

Lauren Collins

Lauren Collins is a staff writer for The New Yorker. She lives in Paris, where she can often be found searching "how many grams in a pound." Her first book, about learning French, comes out in September. 

Sara Kate Gillingham

Sara Kate Gillingham

Sara Kate Gillingham is a James Beard Award-winning food writer and cookbook author. She is the founder of TheKitchn.com and also has written food stories and recipes for publications like Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Saveur, House Beautiful, O, The Oprah Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. She is also a ceramicist and a mother. 

Phyllis Grant

Phyllis Grant

Phyllis Grant spent her twenties in New York City dancing at Juilliard and cooking at Bouley and Nobu, and her thirties having children, teaching yoga, and guiding women through childbirth. These days, she can be found in Berkeley, writing, developing recipes, and photographing, or online at Food52, Sunset Magazine, Oprah, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Real Simple. Her writing has been featured in several anthologies including Best Food Writing 2015. She is getting oh so close to releasing her first cookbook out into the world.

Brooks Headley

Brooks Headley

Brooks Headley is the owner of Superiority Burger, a 6-seat vegetarian restaurant in the East Village with dubious hours of operation. His first cookbook and last year's Piglet winner, Fancy Desserts, was published in 2014, and in 2013, he received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef for work with his team at Del Posto in Manhattan. He writes a quarterly column in Bon Appétit and is currently working on The Superiority Burger Cookbook, which has a fall 2017 release date.

Julie Klam

Julie Klam

After interning for Late Night with David Letterman, Julie Klam went on to write for such publications as O, The Oprah Magazine, Rolling Stone, Harper's Bazaar, and The New York Times, and for the VH1 television show Pop-Up Video, where she earned an Emmy nomination. The author of four (almost five) books, Julie lives in New York City.

Jessica Koslow

Jessica Koslow

In 2011, Jessica opened Sqirl, which is the only non-dinner spot on LA Weekly's and LA Magazine's "Top 20 restaurants in Los Angeles." The recipient of this year's Eater National Award for Best Neighborhood restaurant, Sqirl is also championed on Jonathan Gold's "101 Essential LA Restaurants" list since its inception. Jessica was named Eater's LA Chef of the Year, is the recipe writer for Vogue.com, and has two books coming out with Abrams. The first, Everything I Want to Eat, is slated for fall of 2016. 

Yotam Ottolenghi

Yotam Ottolenghi

Yotam Ottolenghi is a food writer and chef-patron of the NOPI and Ottolenghi restaurants and delis in London. He writes a weekly column in The Guardian’s weekend magazine and has written five bestselling cookbooks. His most recent book: Nopi: The Cookbook, co-authored with Ramael Scully, was published in September 2015. Yotam has made two "Mediterranean Feasts" series for More 4, along with a BB4 documentary, "Jerusalem on a Plate."

Chris Schonberger

Chris Schonberger

Chris Schonberger is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of First We Feast, a James Beard Award–winning website devoted to exploring the intersection of food and pop culture. Formerly, he served as Associate Editor of Time Out New York's Food & Drink section, and he has written for Bon Appétit, Lucky Peach, and more. If he ever appeared on BBC Two's Mastermind (a dream of any dual citizen), his specialist subjects would be nachos and food references in rap music.

Ari Shapiro

Ari Shapiro

In 2015, Ari Shapiro joined Kelly McEvers, Audie Cornish, and Robert Siegel as a weekday co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine. Ari has reported from above the Arctic Circle and aboard Air Force One. He's covered wars in Iraq, Ukraine, and Israel, and he has filed stories from five continents. (Sorry, Australia.) 

Sadie Stein

Sadie Stein

Sadie Stein is a writer and editor, and a contributing editor for The Paris Review. A longtime armchair cookbook reader and enthusiastic cook, she is also the member of a cookbook club along with Ruth Curry, Emily Gould, and Lukas Volger. She lives in New York with her husband. 

Michael Twitty

Michael Twitty

Michael W. Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian who interprets the experiences of enslaved African Americans through food and its preparation. He created Afroculinaria.com, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy, and was honored by First We Feast as one of twenty greatest food bloggers of all time. He's appeared on Bizarre Foods America, NPR, TED Talks, and Harper Collins will release his first major book in 2016: The Cooking Gene, which traces his ancestry through food from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.