Best of the best cookbooks 2018

It’s hard to believe, but this is the tenth year that Jane has sifted through hundreds of ‘best cookbook’ lists from all over the world to determine which book is the #1 book of the year. And it’s also difficult to believe, but the same author has had the top book six out of the ten years we’ve been putting this list together – Yotam Ottolenghi, whose Ottolenghi Simple annihilated the competition. No one seems to be able to top Ottolenghi if he decides to publish a book – not even Dorie Greenspan (Everyday Dorie, #4) or Ina Garten (Cook Like a Pro,#9).

cookbook collage

This year’s surprise finish goes to The Noma Guide to Fermentation by René Redzepi & David Zilber (#2). Who would have guessed that a specialty book filled with pickles, vinegars, kombucha, vinegars and garums would be so popular? (Speaking of garum, if you are interested in learning even more about this ancient condiment, I recommend reading Mark Kurlansky’s Salt: A World History, which explores the history of all things salty, including preseved items like garum.)

Other notable finishers on the 2018 list are Season, Big Flavors, Beautiful Food by Nik Sharma (#3), Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers by Julia Turshen (#6), How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry (#7), and Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook (#8). The next ten books could have easily been in the top 10 in other years, but the competition this year was tremendous. That list includes Rose’s Baking Basics by Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson, and Joe Beef – Surviving the Apocalypse by David McMillan, Frédéric Morin & Meredith Erickson.

In addition to the overall lists, Jane has assembled lists for the UK & Ireland, Canada, and Australia & New Zealand, plus specialty lists for drinks/cocktails, memoirs/general food writing, and vegan/vegetarian. For the UK, the top book was How to Eat a Peach by Diana Henry, followed by Ottolenghi Simple and Asma’s Indian Kitchen by Asma Khan.

Canada’s top book was Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse by David McMillan, Frédéric Morin & Meredith Erickson with Set For the Holidays With Anna Olson coming in second. There was a 4-way tie for third place in Canada!

Turning to Australia and New Zealand, top honors went to The Noma Guide to Fermentation, followed again by Ottolenghi Simple. Lateral Cooking by Niki Segnit and Eat at the Bar by Matt McConnell tied for third place.

The top cocktail books were Apéritif by Rebekah Peppler and  Cocktail Codex by Alex Day, David Kaplan & Nick Fauchald. There was a tie for first place in the vegan/vegetarian category between Chloe Flavor by Chloe Coscarelli and Superiority Burger Cookbook by Brooks Headley. Top honors for memoirs/food writing went to Let’s Eat France by François-Régis Gaudry.

See the complete lists, plus find out where the underlying data came from, on our Best Cookbooks of 2018 page

Also our beloved bookstores have shared their best picks and those can be found in our Best cookbooks by the experts 2018  post.

Post a comment


  • mlanthie  on  December 22, 2018

    Where is the link for the best book for the different countries? I only see links to the books.

  • Jane  on  December 22, 2018

    mlanthie – the link is at the end of the second to last paragraph – Best Cookbooks of 2018 page.

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!