16 Must-Have Cookbooks by Black Authors for Your Collection

If you’re looking to add some fantastic cookbooks to your collection, these 16 books by Black authors are a must. They celebrate the rich flavors and deep history of Black cuisine. Each book brings something special to the table, from Southern comforts to Caribbean zests and everything in between. They’re not just recipe collections but stories and celebrations of culture, history, and innovation in the kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just getting started, these books are sure to inspire and add some exciting new dishes to your repertoire.

My America: Recipes from A Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi

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This cookbook showcases Kwame Onwuachi’s journey, blending his Nigerian and Creole roots with American culinary influences. With creative recipes, it emphasizes his signature fusion style. The stories accompanying the recipes are heartfelt, shedding light on Onwuachi’s diverse heritage. It’s perfect for anyone seeking fresh, bold flavors with a personal touch.

The New Low Country Cooking: 125 Recipes for Coastal Southern Cooking with Continental Style by Marvin Woods

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Marvin Woods brings the flavors of the Lowcountry to life, infusing his recipes with European flair. His 125 recipes offer a delightful twist on traditional Southern cuisine, making them both familiar and adventurous. Each dish carries the distinct taste of the American South with refined continental elegance. It’s a must-have for those wanting to explore Southern cuisine beyond the classics.

Watermelon and Red Birds: A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations by Nicole A. Taylor

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Nicole A. Taylor pays tribute to Juneteenth with this colorful and joyful collection. Her recipes reflect the diversity of Black celebrations, blending nostalgic dishes with contemporary flair. From sweet drinks to soulful mains, each page evokes a festive spirit. Ideal for anyone seeking to honor Black culture through food.

Grace the Table: Stories and Recipes from My Southern Revival by Alexander Smalls

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Alexander Smalls weaves captivating stories with a soulful collection of recipes in this memoir-like cookbook. His dishes celebrate the revival of Southern flavors with a global twist. Each recipe offers a taste of Smalls’ journey as a chef, reflecting his experiences from the South to Africa. It’s a wonderful choice for those interested in flavorful Southern cuisine with a personal backstory.

High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey From Africa To America by Jessica B. Harris

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Jessica B. Harris takes readers on a journey through African American culinary history. Her book explores how African traditions have influenced American cooking, from slavery to the present day. With detailed research and mouthwatering recipes, she tells the story of resilience and cultural preservation. This book is ideal for understanding the roots of Black cuisine in America.

African American Foodways: Explorations of History and Culture edited by Anne L. Bower

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This anthology dives deep into the historical and cultural significance of African American food traditions. It includes essays, research, and recipes that highlight the evolution of these culinary practices. By uncovering hidden histories, the book provides a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Scholars and food enthusiasts alike will find it an enriching read.

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty

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Michael W. Twitty uses personal anecdotes and historical research to trace African American culinary history. His journey through the Old South connects genealogy with food traditions. Twitty’s evocative storytelling makes the book both a memoir and a historical guide. For those curious about the African influence on Southern cuisine, this is a must-read.

My Ackee Tree: A Chef’s Memoir of Finding Home in the Kitchen by Suzanne Barr

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In this memoir-cookbook hybrid, Suzanne Barr shares how food helped her find a sense of belonging. Recipes are interspersed with stories that connect Barr’s Jamaican roots to her culinary journey. Her unique fusion recipes bridge the gap between tradition and innovation. This book is perfect for anyone seeking a heartfelt, inspiring food journey.

The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food by Marcus Samuelsson

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Marcus Samuelsson highlights the creativity and diversity of Black chefs in this collaborative cookbook. He features recipes that celebrate the contributions of Black cuisine to American culture. Each dish is paired with the story of a chef, offering insights into their influences. It’s a vibrant tribute to the evolution and impact of Black food.

The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin

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Toni Tipton-Martin uncovers a wealth of recipes that have been overshadowed for years. She compiles cookbooks and documents spanning two centuries, revealing Black culinary innovation. Her meticulous research gives voice to cooks who shaped America’s food history. This book is a treasure trove for anyone interested in the rich legacy of Black cooking.

Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul by Lazarus Lynch

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Lazarus Lynch fuses Caribbean flavors with Southern soul food to create dishes that burst with flavor. His cookbook encourages experimentation and celebrates the joy of cooking. Each recipe is infused with Lynch’s vibrant personality, making the book feel like a conversation. It’s perfect for anyone seeking bold flavors and a soulful approach to cooking.

Game-Day Eats: 100 Recipes for Homegating Like a Pro by Eddie Jackson

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Eddie Jackson provides a playbook of crowd-pleasing recipes for sports enthusiasts. His dishes are designed to bring the energy of stadiums to home kitchens. From snacks to mains, he offers inventive twists on traditional tailgate fare. Whether you’re hosting a party or just want tasty finger food, this book has you covered.

Black Girl Baking: Wholesome Recipes Inspired by a Soulful Upbringing by Jerrelle Guy

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Jerrelle Guy combines soulful comfort food with a healthy, modern twist in her baking cookbook. Her recipes focus on whole ingredients without sacrificing taste or nostalgia. With beautiful photography and a personal touch, Guy makes baking accessible and rewarding. It’s a fantastic pick for those seeking wholesome baked goods with soul.

The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis

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Edna Lewis offers a window into rural Southern cooking, drawing from her Virginia upbringing. Her recipes celebrate seasonal, locally sourced ingredients in simple yet flavorful ways. The book is filled with vivid descriptions of farm life and the rhythms of country living. For lovers of rustic, farm-to-table cuisine, it’s a timeless classic.

Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin

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Toni Tipton-Martin presents a curated selection of recipes spanning 200 years of Black cooking. The book explores the diversity and depth of African American cuisine, from refined dishes to comforting favorites. Each recipe is contextualized with historical background, making it an enlightening read. This cookbook embodies the resilience and creativity of Black cooks across generations.

Carla Hall’s Soul Food by Carla Hall

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Carla Hall puts a modern spin on soul food in her vibrant cookbook. She reinvents beloved dishes while keeping their comforting, familiar essence intact. The recipes balance healthy ingredients with rich flavors, appealing to a wide range of tastes. If you’re craving updated classics with a personal touch, this book is an excellent addition to your shelf.

This article originally appeared on RetailShout

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