The GOOD Gift Guide: Cookbooks for Non-Foodies

Our picks for this year’s best cookbooks for people who couldn’t care less about food

The best new cookbooks this fall aren't just for cooks, they aren't even necessarily intended for those interested in food. Some may be suited for design freaks, others for the tech or travel-obsessed. Here's our roundup of food-inspired books to give to all the people in your life, not just the foodies.

For the Portland/Portlandia Fan

Chef Renee Erickson's cookbook A Boat, a Whale, and a Walrus: Menus and Stories (Sasquatch Books) is as much a crafty tribute to the beekeepers and butchers of the Pacific Northwest as it is a collection of robust recipes for dishes like pickled turnips or lacinato kale gratin.

For the Travel-Obsessed

With Mexico: The Cookbook (Phaidon), you don't have to travel to Mexico to taste Margarita Carrillo Arronte’s cerdo y nopales con chiles (pork with cactus paddles in chili sauce) or an authentic torta de jamón y queso (ham and cheese sandwich). You can at least daydream about those dishes while flipping through this voluminous Luis Barragán-inspired pink tome, divided by region.

For the Photographer or Farmer at Heart

Organic: Farmers and Chefs of the Hudson Valley (powerHouse Books) is a gorgeous tome (no doubt intended for your coffee table) that has no recipes, just stunning full-page photographs by Francesco Mastalia of the new rock stars: farmers. It includes first-person accounts of their lives in the Hudson Valley, New York—ground zero for the U.S. farm-to-table movement.

For the Graphic Novel Geek

Who doesn't need a step-by-step illustration of how to make vegetable- and cheese-filled ravioli or pizza Margherita from scratch? Adriano Rampazzo’s Chop, Sizzle, Wow: The Silver Spoon Comic Cookbook (Phaidon), based on the classic Silver Spoon cookbook, has no ingredient lists, no paragraph-long instructions, and no drool-worthy food porn. Instead it’s just illustrations of little bottles of olive oil or hands punching dough. (Pow!)

For the Philosopher/Aesthete/Italofile

Massimo Bottura’s Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef (Phaidon) is not a red sauce/white sauce kind of book. It’s more of an exhibition catalogue or an aestheticized philosophical treatise than a cookbook, in fact. In addition to photographs of dishes from Bottura’s much-lauded modernist restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, you’ll find meandering texts and images that have inspired the chef to create highly deconstructed dishes like Memory of a Mortadella Sandwich or La Dame et son Chevalier (The Crunchy Part of the Lasagna). Recipes are included almost as an afterthought in the last few pages of the book, but they’re aspirational at best.

For Your Drunk Uncle

Named for the East Village bar credited with igniting the modern (or throwback) craft cocktail movement, Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald, and Alex Day (Ten Speed Press) may inspire your family members to up their game via small-batch liquors with homemade bitters and to lay off the rum and coke. Think of it as a subtle hint to enjoy quality over quantity. Plus, there’s an entire chapter devoted to ice.

For the Television Junkie

Perhaps it goes without saying that In the Kitchen with Kris: A Kollection of Kardashian-Jenner Family Favorites (Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing) is a total guilty pleasure. Because “if I’m cooking an Italian meal, I will grab my red Hermès china to go with the red sauce (Fusilli with Tomato Basil Sauce).”

via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Streetsblog Denver / Flickr

Seventeen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg made a dramatic speech Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In her address, she called for a public and private sector divestment from fossil fuel companies

"Immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don't want these things done by 2050, or 2030 or even 2021 — we want this done now," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mocked the teenager on Thursday during a press briefing in Davos.

Keep Reading
The Planet

Even though marathon running is on the decline, half a million people signed up to participate in the 2020 London Marathon. It seems wild that someone would voluntarily sign up to run 26.2 miles, but those half a million people might actually be on to something. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running a marathon can help reverse signs of aging.

Researchers at Barts and University College London looked at 138 first-time marathon runners between the ages of 21 and 69. "We wanted to look at novice athletes. We didn't include people who said they ran for more than two hours a week," Dr. Charlotte Manisty, the study's senior author and cardiologist at University College London, said per CNN.

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading