When was the last time you bought a cookbook? We wouldn’t fault you if the answer was “never.” After all, many of them are either dated or overly complicated, and you can find pretty much any recipe you’re looking for on Pinterest—for free.
But there’s a new crop of cookbooks debuting this fall that are guaranteed to change your tune. Penned by lifestyle influencers, young chefs and millennial-favorite media brands, these recipe guides are approachable, modern and—dare we say—downright cool. Plus, they’ll look just as good on your bookshelf as they do in your Instagram feed.
From designer Zac Posen and lifestyle blogger Athena Calderone‘s culinary debuts to compendiums from food publications such as Cherry Bombe and Munchies, click through for ten modern fall cookbooks that deserve a place in your kitchen.
A Beautiful Mess Weekday Weekend
If you follow the lifestyle site EyeSwoon, you're no doubt already aware of founder Athena Calderone's hosting prowess and her uncanny knack for creating tablescapes worthy of a Baroque painting.
Here, she shares tips on how to elevate the visual presentation of your meals—from choosing the right serving platters to how to arrange them on the table—alongside 100 seasonal, dinner party–ready perfect recipes that look as great as they taste.
Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone ($35, available now from Abrams)
Cooking with Zac
You may know fashion designer Zac Posen for his impeccable evening wear, but it turns out he has an equally skilled hand in the kitchen. In this cookbook, he shares recipes he's picked up from family, friends and far-flung travels, organized into seasonal "collections" that mimic the fashion calendar.
While some of the dishes, such as a two-minute mayo and cinnamon-sugar pecans, sound totally achievable, be forewarned that many others—including dashi-glazed lotus root and an over-the-top croquembouche—are, much like Posen's dreamy dresses, not for the every day.
Cooking with Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined by Zac Posen ($35, available now from Rodale Books)
Feed the Resistance
Picking up where the Women's March left off, food writer Julia Turshen's latest solo endeavor (she's known for penning cookbooks for Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow) pairs multicultural recipes with political activism in the form of essays and resources for becoming more involved.
The economical dishes are divided into three practical categories: easy ideas for those too busy resisting to cook; meals that feed a crowd; and baked goods and portable snacks for time spent in the trenches. Simply buying the book is an act of progress: proceeds from its sale go to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Feed the Resistance: Recipes and Ideas for Getting Involved by Julia Turshen ($14.95, available now from Chronicle Books)
Even if you're not familiar with Cherry Bombe, the cult indie magazine dedicated to women and food, you'll want to add this compendium to your kitchen bookshelf—if only for the chic millennial-pink cover.
The publication's co-founders asked more than 100 female chefs, bakers, food stylists and other culinary luminaries for their most meaningful recipes, and the roster of contributors reads like a who's who of the food world. Inside, you'll find Padma Lakshmi's sweet and sour shrimp, Chrissy Teigen's crab rolls with avocado, and Karlie Kloss's update of her grandma's gingersnap cookies—all documented in Instagram-worthy photos.
Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu ($35, available now from Clarkson Potter)
Hot Mess Kitchen
If you're the kind of person who uses your oven for storage and is on a first-name basis with your delivery man, this cookbook is made for you. Authors Gabi Moskowitz (a food blogger and co-producer of Young & Hungry) and Miranda Berman (a TV writer for The Mindy Project) created it for the twenty-something who is just learning to cook, and makes reclaiming your kitchen fun and relatable with cheekily named recipes such as "Quarter-Life Crisis Queso" and "Mercury Is in Retrograde Mango Smoothie."
Each recipe is paired with a personal essay about the authors' own millennial foibles, and divvied up into on-point chapters such as "Broke AF" (budget-friendly meals), "Deliver Us from Delivery" (dishes inspired by your favorite Seamless orders) and "Eating Clean, or Whatever" (healthy eats).
Hot Mess Kitchen: Recipes for Your Delicious Disastrous Life by Gabi Moskowitz and Miranda Berman ($28, available now from Grand Central Publishing)
Grand Central Publishing
Grill My Cheese
In 2013, former investment bankers and roommates Nisha Patel and Nishma Chauhan opened a street-food stall in London dedicated to everyone's favorite American comfort food: grilled cheese. Their gourmet "toasties" (as they're called in the U.K.) were an instant hit, and the duo is finally sharing their recipes for their pop culture–inspired sandwiches such as the Justin Brie-ber (bacon and brie on sourdough) and best-selling Baby Got Mac (pulled pork and mac 'n' cheese).
You'll also find tips for choosing the perfect ingredients and cooking methods to take your own griddled creations to the next level.
Grill My Cheese: The Cookbook by Nisha Patel and Nishma Chauhan
In the food world, Alison Roman's flavor-packed recipes are revered for their simple elegance, and she's bringing 125 new ways to elevate meals at home in her inaugural cookbook.
Although you'll find slightly offbeat ingredients and combinations in dishes such as fennel seed–seasoned pork chops and persimmons topped with blue cheese, the former Milk Bar pastry chef and food editor for Bon Appetit promises—in her wry, approachable voice—that nothing requires too much equipment, ingredients or time to prepare.
Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes by Alison Roman ($30, available now from Clarkson Potter)
Based on the "Chef's Night Out" video series from VICE's titular food site, this tome focuses on what 65 renowned chefs from around the globe—including Anthony Bourdain, Wylie Dufresne and Andrew Zimmern—like to eat late at night after a long shift in the kitchen.
While some of the recipes, such as April Bloomfield's chopped chicken liver on toast, aren't your typical midnight snack, you'll definitely find more traditional indulgences (Christina Tosi's seven-layer dip, Dominique Crenn's grilled cheese) that are infinitely more realistic. You won't want to miss "The Morning After" chapter, filled with hangover-busting breakfast ideas like scrambled eggs and potato chips served right in the bag.
Munchies: Late-Night Meals from the World's Best Chefs by JJ Goode and Helen Hollyman ($30, available now from Ten Speed Press)
Ten Speed Press
I Love Tasty
If you've logged into Facebook anytime in the past year or so, chances are you're familiar with Tasty's mesmerizing, overhead-view viral recipe videos.
Inspired by their highly visual simplicity, food writer Catrine Kelty penned this homage featuring recipes for every meal and food group, broken down into step-by-step photographs. The result is foolproof instructions that don't require a WiFi connection or constantly hitting the "pause" button.
I Love Tasty: The Unofficial Cookbook by Catrine Kelty ($24.99, available now from Harvard Common Press)
Harvard Common Press