With colourful imagery and step-by-step guides on creating delicious dishes, cookbooks are found in almost kitchen around the world. From focusing in on individual ingredients to entire cuisines or lifestyles, cookbooks are as varied as they are practical and an essential staple for anyone who cooks.

What is a Cookbook?

Cookbooks are a non-fiction genre that is centred around food and cooking. Cookbooks are a collection of step-by-step recipes which include ingredients lists, the preparation and cooking method, and usually photography of the finished recipe. Chef and food blogger memoirs are also grouped under the cookbook genre.


Categories in Cookbooks

Cookbooks typically focus on a single theme such as type of ingredients, cuisine, type of food (i.e BBQ or pasta), meal type (i.e. dessert), or cooking techniques.

  • Ingredient focused – The cookbook categories its recipes around one or more “hero” ingredients.
  • Cuisine – Focuses on a single cuisine from a country or culture.
  • Category of food – categories by one or more type of food such as pasta, seafood and baking.
  • Meal – Categorised by one or more meals such as breakfast, dinner or dessert.
  • Technique – The cookbook focuses on cooking techniques and its recipes are organised by each technique.
  • Lifestyle – The cookbook focuses on a single lifestyle or diet such as vegetarian and paleo, or meals for weight loss and meals for busy parents.
  • Restaurant – Recipes from famous restaurants
  • Chef – Cookbook by a celebrity chef with their popular recipes.


The Best Cookbooks

  • Veg by Jamie Oliver
  • Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle
  • Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
  • The Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook by Jeffrey Eisner
  • The Edible Garden Cookbook & Growing Guide by Paul West
  • The Whole Fish Cookbook by Josh Niland
  • Asian Green: Everyday plant-based recipes inspired by the East by Ching-He Huang
  • Let’s Eat France by Heidi Cullinan
  • The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer
  • Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by Bryant Terry
  • In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan



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