The best new cookbooks of 2021

As the year draws to a close, it's time to do a run-down of some of the best cookbooks produced this year. As ever, we have a particular focus on the books created by the people behind London's great restaurants.


TITLESambal Shiok

Mandy Yin

Mandy Yin's Sambal Shiok has been a big hit since it opened on Holloway Road, offering some of London's best Malaysian cuisine. This is billed as a "soulful tribute to Malaysian cuisine" with over 90 recipes both handed down by Mandy's mother and those developed by her for the restaurant. Learn how to make curry laksa, Penang assam laksa, Malaysian fried chicken, prawn fritters and more - as well as the perfect steamed rice. 

Buy Sambal Shiok

More about the Sambal Shiok restaurant 



Selin Kiazim

Oklava's Selin Kiazim's book concentrates on the elements that "make a plate of food truly come into its own" - acid, texture and contrast. She takes fridge and store cupboard ingredients and combines them in a way that elevates. Once you learn the basics, the recipes are broken down by food: alliums, beans, greens, pulses and grains, brassicas, fruit, nightshades and mushrooms, nuts, poultry and meat, seafood, and roots and tubers.

Buy Three

More about Oklava


Ottolenghi Test KitchenOttolenghi Test Kitchen

Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad

The latest bestseller from Ottolenghi focuses on the team that's behind his test kitchen which creates dishes that appear in his restaurants. This book takes ingredients you'll find around the kitchen and then gives them an Ottolenghi twist. Alongside how to make dishes like the perfect hummus, the book also takes you behind the scenes to the workings of the test kitchen itself. 

Buy Ottolenghi Test Kitchen


Ciudad de Mexico: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Mexico CityCiudad de Mexico: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Mexico City

Edson Diaz-Fuentes

Santo Remedio chef and owner Edson has created a book that is a tour of the cuisine of Mexico City. Inspired by the cooking of his childhood, you'll find recipes for Huevos Motulenos, Tacos de Pescado Estilo Baja, Pambazos and lots more - and he shares his tips for making the perfect Margarita. On top of that, there's a very useful substitution guide if you find yourself missing a few hard to find ingredients. 

Buy Cuidad de Mexico

More about Santo Remedio



Ollie Dabbous

HIDE's Ollie Dabbous' Essential is a collection of 100 everyday recipes of which Dabbous has created his perfect versions. So there's the perfect cauliflower cheese, risotto, tuna steak, roast beef, cheesecake and more. Less a Michelin-starred dining approach and more something that's billed as "balancing, layering and tweaking ingredients to create perfect results".

Buy Essential

More about HIDE


Bread Ahead: The Expert Home BakerBread Ahead: The Expert Home Baker

Matthew Jones

Much-loved London bakery Bread Ahead's latest book is all about transforming you into an expert home baker. There are over 90 recipes in the book, ranging from more simple efforts like a Victoria sponge to more challenging creations like a millefeuille or a babka. You'll also learn how to make jams and marmalade and their famous doughnuts. 

.Buy Bread Ahead: The Expert Home Baker


Max's Picnic BookMax’s Picnic Book

Max Halley, Ben Benton

The madcap Max Halley (of the equally great Max's Sandwich Shop) has created an ode to the humble picnic together with Ben Benton. There are 16 themed menus in the book with all manner of picnic delights as well as "ways in which we can eat outdoors through the eyes of their picnicking heroes, such as Hunter S Thompson, Mary Berry and Snoop Dogg." Yes, we'd like to see a Snoop Dogg picnic. 

Buy Max’s Picnic Book


Baking with FortitudeBaking with Fortitude

Dee Rettali

This book features some of the best recipes for bread, cakes and more from Dee's Bloomsbury bakery Fortitude Bakehouse, much of which uses a sourdough starter as a base. Expect recipes for unique creations like turmeric custard and roast pear brioche buns as well as a ras el hanout and black treacle cake. There's also a strong focus on a no-waste approach throughout. 

Buy Baking with Fortitude


Gelupo GelatoGelupo Gelato

Jacob Kenedy

Gelupo, set up by Bocca di Lupo's Jacob Kenedy, is one of London's great ice cream parlours and this book features some of their best recipes. You'll be able to make all sorts of gelato, including Lime Sherbet, Peach & Blood Orange and Chocolate & Whisky. He'll also take you through how to create an ice cream cake, profiteroles, chocolate sauce and more. 

Buy Gelupo Gelato


Today’s SpecialToday’s Special


Today's Special has picked 20 top chefs from around the world and asked them to introduce us to chefs we should know about from all over the globe - including some of their best recipes. UK chefs that made the cut include The French House's Neil Borthwick (with his famed Paris Brest), Ikoyi's Jeremy Chan (with his plantain and smoked scotch bonnet) and Tomos Parry from Brat (and his whole turbot) alongside many world-class chefs. 

Buy Today’s Special


30 Minute Mowgli30 Minute Mowgli

Nisha Katona

The first London Mowgli has just opened in Fitzrovia but Nisha Katona's restaurant is already a big hit all over the country. This book is aimed at creating Mowgli-style food in just 30 minutes or less, with dishes including Quick Angry Tandoori, Indian Fish Finger Sandwiches and Million Dollar Green Dahl. All you need to do is pair them with a simple side. 

Buy 30 Minute Mowgli

More about Mowgli in London


The Latin American CookbookThe Latin American Cookbook

Virgilio Martinez, Nicholas Gill 

Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez, the man who brought the Lima restaurants to London, is also behind Central - the restaurant at number four on the World's 50 best list at the time of writing. This aims to be the most comprehensive and varied selection of recipes from all across South America with more than 600 recipes inside the impressive tome. 

Buy The Latin American Cookbook


First Put on Your ApronFirst Put on Your Apron

Sally Clarke

Sally Clarke is the chef behind longstanding local favourite Clarke's in South Kensington. This latest book has been created with novice cooks in mind, inspired by her son heading to college. The book covers everything from how to dice an onion, progressing through to simple seasonal recipes like pea and celery risotto, cod and smoked haddock pie or a strawberry pavlova. Nigella is a fan, safe in the knowledge that "any book [Sally] wrote would be one filled with food I wanted to eat". 

Buy First Put on Your Apron



Grace Regan

Spicebox started in Walthamstow; now Grace Egan's plant-based Indian restaurant has both expanded to Leytonstone and she's also written this book filled with plant-based versions of curry house favourites. Recipes in the book include cashew & coconut korma, onion bhaji, tandoori cauli steaks as well as how to make chutneys, drinks and more.

Buy Spicebox


Sugar, I Love YouSugar, I Love You

Ravneet Gill

Ravneet Gill's latest book is all about sugar with recipes for cheesecakes, lots of multi-layered cakes, fritters, doughnuts, mousses and more. The recipes are highly detailed to help you through every step and have little side essays like "What to do when your dinner guest doesn't eat sugar."

Buy Sugar, I Love You


Also see...

Crave - Ed Smith's excellent cookbook that focuses on what you're craving at any time

Monica Galetti at Home - The TV chef and co-owner of Mere restaurant showcases the recipes she cooks at home

Modernist Pizza - Are you REALLY into creating the perfect pizza? Then you can't do without this three-book behemoth (although it'll be tricky to hunt down stock). 

A Cook's Book - Nigel Slaters story of life in the kitchen


Cookbook hits from previous years

The best new cookbooks in 2020
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The best new cookbooks in 2019
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