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Seriously Simple: My picks for 2021 holiday books for cooks

Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

Of all the books that pass by my desk each year, I try to set aside those that I think my readers will love for themselves and all cooks and food lovers. These are my picks this year. You can find all of these titles on Amazon.

‘Lush Life: Food and Drinks from the Garden’

By Valerie Rice, Prospect Park Books

This is the book to gift your friend who loves to cook, garden and entertain. The photos are exquisite and inspiring. Author Valerie Rice, who lives in California, celebrates all that is bright and fresh that is the definition of California cuisine. She features creative dishes, gardening suggestions, and tempting cocktail recipes. This book is the sleeper of the season.

‘Gastro Obscura: A Food Lovers Adventure’

By Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras, Workman Publishing Company


This could be the catch-all gift for any food lover and cook this season. Filled with global stories and facts on food and places, this book is a wonder of culinary truths and trivia. Did you ever wonder where Bovril, a beefy liquid, came from? How about all those Indian curry restaurants in Britain? Did you know that there is something called Courtship Foods from Austria, North Africa and Poland? And there are lots of American fun food facts This could be the book to get for those Trivial Pursuit or “Jeopardy!” fans. It is a kaleidoscope of culinary wonders.

‘Jew-ish: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch’

By Jake Cohen, Mariner Books

For those lovers of Jewish cooking, “Jew-ish” will have them racing to the kitchen to try their hand at Zaatar Roasted Eggplant with Tahini, Pickle Juice Braised Cabbage, or Crispy Chicken Thighs with Tzimmes. Jake Cohen is a master of sharing his stories and his love for this classic cuisine. His strength is in delivering clear and concise recipe instruction as well as changing it up for today.


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