When it comes to cooking advice, I turn to those who have experience—most often my parents, both of whom are incredible in the kitchen. However, local chef and restaurateur Tony Ridgway, who has enjoyed a culinary career spanning approximately five decades, offers plenty of this as well. A delicious amalgam of both food and feeling, this impressive 500-page cookbook includes a short memoir, as well as a hearty portion of practical advice, including how to source quality meat and seafood, cooking techniques, equipment recommendations, and instructions for creating the savory and sweet alike. —Jane E. Enos, editor in chief
I’m not a cook, nor do I particularly enjoy the cooking process. I do, however, enjoy flipping through cookbooks and eating good food. Awhile ago, my well-read and well-traveled brother, who is a fabulous and patient cook, pointed out cookbooks authored by Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli-born British chef, restaurateur, and food writer. Ottolenghi specializes in Middle Eastern–inspired flavors and vegetable-centric cooking—which I specialize in consuming.
He promises the recipes in Ottolenghi Simple are all made in 30 minutes or less with 10 or fewer ingredients in a single pot. This intrigues me, as does anyone who lists lemon as a necessary and everyday ingredient in cooking. —Gaylene Salomons, associate editor
From cereal milk ice cream with cornflake crunch to birthday cake truffles to my personal favorite: a sweet and buttery confection known as crack pie (later renamed Milk Bar pie), chef Christina Tosi’s imaginative and joyful dessert recipes are sure to hit you squarely in the sweet tooth. —Kristen Desmond LeFevre, contributing editor
Not only does Carla Lalli Music have the best name in the cooking game, but her recipes are equal parts stick-to-your-ribs guilty pleasures and healthy happy meals—exactly the ratio I strive to achieve in my life. Bonus: Lalli Music’s YouTube tutorials are as delightful as she is. —Mary Murray, executive editor
When I’m feeling nostalgic for my favorite New York City spot, I break out Balthazar’s cookbook and (ask my husband to) whip up brasserie classics such as steak tartare and escargot. The recipes provide an authentic and comprehensive tour of both the restaurant’s menu and this genre of cuisine. —Allison Wolfe Reckson, senior editor
To me, the words “happy” and “cooking” belong together. I’m all about simplicity and joy—both Giada hallmarks—in the kitchen, so I gravitate to this cookbook for healthy dishes like detox soup and cheat-day classics like an outrageous chocolate dessert salami. —Daphne Nikolopoulos, editorial director