The Mediterranean Dish - Suzy Karadsheh

Around the World in 10 Cookbooks

Need some Santa help? If the answer is yes, this culinary-inspired guide is for you. Your favorite wanderer can journey to faraway places from his or her own kitchen. The foodie on your list will get a new culinary experience without ever leaving home. More than just a collection of recipes, these books become a travel guide of sorts — a glimpse of the culture, the history, and the scenery of the destination. They are the gift of vicarious travel through food.

Simply Japanese

Maori Murota grew up on Japanese food. For the past 20 years, she has worked in France as a caterer. Simply Japanese is her journey to the heart of Japanese cuisine today. Gorgeous photos, step-by-step instructions for traditional recipes and her own original dishes inspired by her travels make the perfect choice for anyone who hungers for Japan or wants to “cook Japanese” at home. (Harper Collins, $43.50)

Go-To Dinners - Ina Garten

Ina Garten is always in a festive mood and you will be too when you open up her “Go-To Dinners” cookbook.

Go-To Dinners

This year, Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contessa) celebrates 20 years on the Food Network and her 13th cookbook. This book feels like a dear friend that shows up at your door with her favorite Boston Cream pie. She has earned a place as the most trusted and beloved home cook in kitchens across North America. Who better to include in a collection of the best around-the-world cookbooks? Cooking night after night during the pandemic was the impetus for this collection of comforting recipes with lots of prep- make- and freeze-ahead options so cooking dinner becomes a breeze. (Clarkson Potter, $47)

The Wok: Recipes and Techniques

J. Kenji López-Alt is well known to foodies as the host of the TV show Kenji’s Cooking and author of the best-seller, The Food Lab. This book — all 672 pages — is for anyone who loves Asian cuisine and wants to take a deep dive into cooking with a wok. A definitive be-all, end-all guide to what to look for when buying a wok, to the science behind the process and tricks to cook — whether it’s to stir-fry, deep fry, steam, simmer or braise. Wok away. (Penguin Random House, $66)

The Mediterranean Dish

One of the first Mediterranean food blogs, now followed by millions of fans, is the inspiration for Suzy Karadsheh’s debut cookbook (pictured at top). Foodies who love vibrant, healthy meals will discover 120 recipes celebrating bold flavors from Southern Europe to North Africaand the Middle East. For Karadsheh, eating the Mediterranean way is “to eat with the seasons, use mostly whole foods and, above all, share.” Culturally inspired dishes from around the region feature easy-to-find ingredients for recipes that have been tested to perfection. It’s a book that will inspire you to eat well at every meal. (Clarkson Potter, $42.50)


“Colombiana” by Mariana Velásquez blends traditional recipes from the South American nation with contemporary flavors and techniques.


Returning from a trip to Colombia, I set about to find the quintessential Colombian cookbook, eager to cook similar dishes to those I had enjoyed in Bogota. Mariana Velásquez’s rediscovery of the recipes and rituals from the soul of Colombia was the perfect answer. One hundred recipes that meld traditional with contemporary while summing up the diversity and cultural mix of the country and its cuisine. “More is more,” she says. “Colombians feed their guests well.” You will discover this rich culture through her gastronomic excursion and vibrant photography. (Harper Collins, $42.50)


Modern Jewish Comfort Food

For Shannon Sarna, whether it’s chicken soup, kugel or kreplach, Jewish food means comforting food. In her latest book, the author of Modern Jewish Baker and editor of the popular Jewish food blog, The Nosher, showcases recipes and the adaptations that have shaped Jewish cuisine around the world. She shares traditional dishes and heartwarming variations in a user-friendly format that is perfect for novice cooks. A delicious exploration of the history of this diverse cuisine. (Penguin Random House, $40)

Mi Cocina - Rick Martinez

“Mi Cocina” is author Rick Martinez’s ode to Mexico’s culinary greatness.

Mi Cocina

This NY Times and LA Times best-seller is a personal love letter to the beauty and bounty of Mexico. It is the story of Rick Martinez — who he is, what he learned and ate on his culinary journey that began in Mexico City and continued through 32 states over 20,000 delicious miles. He traveled seeking out the flavours he loved — fatty, spicy, and sweet. Of the countless dishes he tried, he selected 100 of his favorites for this book. And then, he set about creating his own interpretation of each, which he describes as “a highly personalized love letter to that dish.” He lives in a beach town in Mexico and teaches weekly cooking classes for the Food Network Kitchen. (Penguin Random House, $47)


With a trip to Puerto Rico on the horizon, Illyanna Maisonet’s cookbook was an inspiring opportunity to learn about the culture and get a provocative look at the island’s food traditions. In addition to the 90 deeply personal recipes passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter, the award-winning writer documents her experience as a Puerto Rican living in the diaspora of California and her ambition to celebrate and document the food of her people. Her stories, the generational recipes, and the stunning photography make for a complete and memorable package. (Penguin Random House, $47)

Chetna’s Easy

This book is dubbed as baking with a twist of spice. Born in Jabalpur, an ancient city in central India, Chetna Makan moved to the United Kingdom and in 2014 was a semifinalist of The Great British Bake Off. Since then, her fan base has grown to over 213,000 YouTube followers and 199,000 on Instagram. This new baking collection highlights sweet and savory recipes with an interesting use of spice such as sticky toffee pudding with cardamom, star anise in tarte Tatin, black-tahini-and-cream-cheese cookies, and Indian-influenced recipes for bread, rolls, and pies. These are recipes destined to become family favorites to enjoy for years to come. (Penguin Random House, $32.99)

Budmo - Voloshyna

Interest in Ukrainian culture has never been greater, making “Budmo” a conscientious choice for a holiday gift.


With all eyes on Ukraine, this cookbook celebrates the rich culture of the country’s cuisine, with traditional Eastern European dishes. Anna Voloshyna, a Ukrainian-born, California-based chef, blogger, and culinary instructor has gone one step further, infusing the time-honored recipes with a contemporary approach for today’s home kitchen. Known for her successful pop-up dinners, workshops, bright flavors and vibrant ingredients, she says her favorite cold-weather comfort dish is buckwheat soup with wild mushrooms. Budmo means “cheers” in Ukrainian. This is not just a guide to cooking but a way to memorialize the cuisine and hold onto her heritage — a blessing in this time. (Penguin Random House, $53.95)