5 Books To Munch on in 2013

From Deli to Appetizing, It Will Be a Delicious Year for Books

Thinkstock

By Helen Rosner

Published January 02, 2013, issue of January 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

While the book publishing industry at large struggles in the digital era, cookbooks have been blessedly exempt from the decline. That is to say, good cookbooks have been doing better than ever, with publishers turning out books whose photographs, storytelling, design and whole-package impressiveness leave us with no desire to set them aside in favor of the internet. The 2013 lineup is particularly strong: For the home cook looking for Yiddishkeit, these five volumes in particular are worth adding to your wish list.

1) Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House that Herring Built
by Mark Russ Federman
Schocken, March 2013

The Lower East Side pretty much wouldn’t be the Lower East Side without Russ & Daughters, the iconic appetizing shop on Houston Street where seemingly all of Manhattan gets their smoked sable, chopped liver, caviar and generously schmeared bagel sandwiches. Current proprietor Mark Russ Federman, a third-generation Russ, tells the story of the shop from its early 20th-century beginnings as J. Russ Cut-Rate Appetizing to its current status as an essential gastronomic destination, with recipes throughout.

2) The New Jewish Table: Modern Seasonal Recipes for Traditional Dishes
by Todd Gray, Ellen Kassoff Gray and David Hagedorn
St. Martin’s, March 2013

Chef Todd Gray, proprietor of the acclaimed Washington, D.C., restaurant Equinox, was inspired by his wife’s Jewish heritage in developing his signature fusion of Eastern European, Middle Eastern, and modern American flavors. Now he brings that eclectic sensibility to the page in this wallop of a cookbook, with 125 sophisticated recipes for all seasons like fig and port wine blintzes, matzo-stuffed cornish game hens, chocolate-hazelnut rugelach and more.

3) The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home
by Nick Zukin and Michael Zusman
Andrews McMeel, August 2013

There’s always been a divide between Jewish home cooking and Jewish restaurant cooking, but this book by Oregon food writers Michael Zusman and Nick Zukin (he’s the “Zuke” in the well-loved Portland deli Kenny & Zuke’s) aims to bring the celery soda, gribenes and health salad home. Part forward-looking cookbook, part celebration of the institution of deli, this hundred-plus-recipe book revels in the entire range of Jewish North American food culture.

4) Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Ten Speed Press, September 2013

Israeli-born chef Yotam Ottolenghi shook up the cookbook world with “Plenty” in 2011 and “Jerusalem” in 2012, both of them vibrant, visually immersive guidebooks to his globally inspired, uniquely focused Middle Eastern palate. Meanwhile, he’s also been shaking up London with his mini-empire of restaurants that serve the same kind of appealing fare. And now, his very first book, published in the U.K. in 2010 and inspired by the food served at those restaurants, will finally be available to U.S. readers.

5) The Plant-Based Family Kitchen
by Mayim Bialik
Da Capo, Fall 2013

It was only a matter of time before the world’s most high-profile kosher vegan turned to cookbook authorship, and so it is that Blossom’s recipes will grace bookstores this year. Co-authored with a nutritionist, the book draws inspiration from recipes Bialik has published on her blog, including family-friendly Jewish classics like water challah and mini potato kugels.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.