Best of the Best 2021

Despite the continued stresses of the worldwide pandemic, there has been no shortage of wonderful new cookbooks this year. And no shortage of best food and drink book lists celebrating the cream of the crop. We have assembled 323 lists from around the world to create our 13th annual Best of the Best.

Each time Ottolenghi has a new cookbook he has snagged the top spot but not so this year. Black Food: Stories, Art, and More than 75 Recipes from Across the African Diaspora by Bryant Terry has the honor of best book of 2021. This year many books which feature food writing made the top spots.

As well as the top 10 books of the year plus six runners up, we have charts showing the votes from the UK/Ireland, Canada and Australia/New Zealand. We also produced specialist charts for Vegetarian & vegan, Drinks, and Food writing/memoirs. Check out all the lists plus look back over the previous 12 years’ lists.

Post a comment


  • Indio32  on  December 30, 2021

    Would love to know what the criteria is for the rankings. I see so many of these “top 10” or whatever that just seem to parrot the same old authors like a closed circle luvvie love fest.
    There seem to be lots of fanastic cookbooks that are authored as one offs or side deals that get forgotten yet are fully deserving of more attention.
    Sorry couldn’t sleep 😉

    • Jane  on  December 30, 2021

      The Best of the Best list is an amalgamation of every best cookbooks list we can find worldwide. That way any “closed circles” get cancelled out and (we believe) the true cream rises to the top. Because of the USA’s size and the dominance of the lists produced there, it could be argued the top 10 would be US-centric. But the top 10 and runners up includes the Australian Hetty McKinnon and the UK born or based authors Yotam Ottolenghi, Claudia Roden, Nigel Slater, Yasmin Khan, Mandy Yin, Anna Jones, and Rachel Roddy. We also list the top picks from UK/Ireland, Canada and Australia/NZ where you may see new-to-you authors. Also maybe take a look at the cookbook store picks I posted last week as that may have some more obscure picks.
      Inevitably the books at the top will be reasonably well known to cookbook fans though I’d dispute the “same old” criticism. Rodney Scott, Joanne Lee Molinaro, Molly Baz, Vallery Lomas, Mandy Yin and Kristina Cho are all first-time authors. Also Jenny consistently highlights more obscure books in her reviews and her own top picks of 2021.

  • averythingcooks  on  December 30, 2021

    Happy to see Mary Berg so high on the Canadian list and I really love Ottolenghi’s new title (both received as Christmas presents ) Shelf Love really speaks to the way I try to cook now….use what’s here (or what I can actually get locally) and make smart substitutions to match my kitchen and our palates.

    Happy New Year to everyone at EYB and let’s hope for a successful (and healthy!) 2022.

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