Feast Your Eyes, Fill Your Stomachs with 2018’s Food Finds

The best food writing and cookbooks from 2018

We’ve combed through the professionals’ lists, looked back at our blogs and asked staff for the best culinary works of 2018. Reserve your favorites today.


  • Model/actress/Twitter personality Chrissy Teigen’s second cookbook, Cravings: Hungry for More, features her signature sense of humor and creative recipes for carb lovers, from jalapeño parmesan-crusted grilled cheese to low-carb friendly garlicky cauliflower rice. 
  • Powerhouse chefs Nigella Lawson and the “Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten both released new cookbooks in 2018. Lawson’s At My Table and Garten’s Cook Like A Pro both are for the home cook with simple recipes and easy-to-follow instructions.
  • Did you know more Americans waste more than 40 percent of food annually? This holiday season, repurpose your leftovers with help from Julia Turshen’s Now & Again. Read more about food waste with our Gale Virtual Reference Library resource and these books
  • Every April, the culinary world recognizes the best in food writing at with the James Beard Awards (JBA). General Cooking winner Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat is a lesson on how to cook rather than to follow a recipe. Baking and Dessert winner Bravetart includes supermarket reproductions like Pop Tarts and simple-but so delicious-traditional cookie, cake and pie recipes. For a list of more JBA winners, tap here.
  • Book-themed cocktails? Yes, please. You’ll find recipes like “One Flew Over the Cosmos Nest” (vodka, cranberry and triple sec) and “The Island of Dr. Merlot” (red wine, pineapple, orange, and lime juices) in Are You There, God? It's Me, Margarita, the sequel to Tim Federle’s Tequila Mockingbird

Biographies, memoirs and history

  • Dave Eggers’ The Monk of Mokha is the true story of Yemini-American Mokhtar Alkhanshali’s struggle to introduce Yemeni coffee to the United States amid a civil war.
  • Southern. Chef. Political Activist. Read more about the extraordinary life of Edna Lewis in the biography Edna Lewis: At The Table With An American Original
  • In Deborah Blum’s The Poison Squad, chemist Harvey Washington Wiley and his brave team of food testers lead the way for early 20th century food safety regulations.   
  • Learn where the natural foods trend got its “roots” from in Jonathan Kauffman’s Hippie Food


  • Lillian Li’s Number One Chinese Restaurant explores Chinese-American culture amid the backdrop of a Chinese restaurant (unsurprisingly). 
  • Fans of Kristen Hannah, Kate Morton and wine will enjoy Ann Mah’s The Lost Vintage, where a woman discovers a family secret in their Burgundy vineyard. 

Family programs

Aspiring young chefs and their families will be interested in these fun foodie programs! Families can make cookies after storytime, or join us for a special Sensory Saturday at Davidson Library. Teens can challenge each other with a gingerbread house-decorating contest or a cooking challenge. Just in time for Santa, children ages 5 to 11 can decorate their own gingerbread house at South County Regional Library. After all the holiday sugar, learn more about healthy-eating habits with our hands-on Read a Book, Learn to Cook series starting Jan. 3, 2019 at multiple Library locations. 

To keep these cookbooks and deliciously good writing all in one place, we’ve created a book list for you here.

May your holidays be filled with love, peace and, of course, food.