Top Cookbook Picks from James Beard Awards


The 2018 James Beard Media Award winners were announced in late April, and while a handful of nominated cookbook titles were considered to be shoo-ins (Modernist Bread; Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat), the final selections include some eclectic and surprising picks. The mission of the James Beard Foundation is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone, and the winning titles on the 2018 list are certainly reflective of that.

A few highlights:

In the category of American Cooking the winner is The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley (University of Minnesota Press). Sherman, a Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef, dispels outdated notions of Native American fare; no fry bread, dairy products, or sugar here. The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen features healthful plates that embrace venison, duck, blueberries, sage, amaranth, and abundant wildflowers. This volume is a delectable introduction to the modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories.

Deepa’s Secrets: Slow Carb, New Indian Cuisine topped the Health and Special Diets category,  and is perfect for foodies and soul searchers alike as it nourishes both the taste buds and one's heart! The recipes are approachable, beautifully outlined and photographed, and include traditional as well as new school approaches to Indian cuisine. The author, Deepa Thomas, stepped away from her high intensity design company to care for her elderly parents and discovered a passion for cooking. She also wanted to break her husband’s ten year dependence on insulin, resulting in this healthful and delicious guide.

Perhaps it should not be a surprise that Athena Calderone’s debut cookbook, Cook Beautiful, took the honors in the Photography category. The EyeSwoon blogger’s beautiful volume is full of food-styling tips and gorgeous images by former Martha Stewart in-house photographer and frequent contributor Johnny Miller. Calderone’s design sense is not fussy; the focus is on selecting the right serving ware for each dish to maximumize appeal and taste.

No time for a cookbook? Don’t forget that our RBDigital magazine collection has a number of food titles perfect for browsing on the run, from All Recipes to Weight Watchers

Written by Dodie on May 23, 2018