Explore San Francisco

A Taste of Place: Travel to the Bay Area via These 6 Hot New Cookbooks

The region’s top chefs, bakers and pizza-makers release must-haves that take readers from dinner to dessert.

Pick up one of these six new releases from the biggest food talents from Napa Valley to downtown San Francisco to find out what the world-famous Bay Area food scene is all about.


"Sweet Alchemy: Dessert Magic"

(©Chronicle Books)

From Yigit Pura, winner of “Top Chef: Just Desserts” comes this instructive guide to creating the complex pastries that draw sweet-toothed fans from around the world to his Tout Sweet Patisserie in San Francisco’s Union Square. The book’s ingredient-driven layout and educational formulas deconstruct multilayered desserts into their straightforward ingredients. 


"The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food"

(©Ten Speed Press)

Originally opened in 1995, Vietnamese restaurant The Slanted Door has enjoyed 10 years in San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building—and it’s still busy every night. On the heels of receiving a 2014 James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant, chef Charles Phan released this cookbook as a love letter to his world-class eatery.


"A New Napa Cuisine"

(©Ten Speed Press)

The food Christopher Kostow serves as head chef of Napa Valley’s Restaurant at Meadowood is inextricable from the land that’s home to the three-Michelin-star restaurant, which was just awarded a 2014 James Beard Award. To wit, each of this cookbook’s 100 recipes tells a story of place, divulging how Napa’s artisans, growers, history, topography, nooks and secrets have shaped Kostow and his work.


"Pizza Bible: The World’s Favorite Pizza Styles, from Neapolitan, Deep-Dish, Wood-Fired, Sicilian, Calzones and Focaccia to New York, New Haven, Detroit, and more!"

(©Ten Speed Press)

Tony Gemignani has eight restaurants, a 20-year career making pizza and a pizza-cooking school in San Francisco. Oh, and he also holds the Guinness World Record for pizza spinning. If you wanted to learn how to make outstanding pizza, his book outlining delicious options in nine regional pizza styles is the obvious place to start.


"Two Cookbooks, Two Countries & the Beautiful Food Along the Way"

(©Random House)

Part love-story, life-story and food-story, this narrative cookbook from husband and wife Jean-Pierre and Denise Moulle captures the couple’s sense of la belle vie. Expect old-world recipes from the couple’s native France alongside dishes pulled from the Californian cuisine they helped define when Denise began importing French wine to the region, and Jean-Pierre was executive chef at Chez Panisse.  


"Coi: Stories & Recipes"

(©Phaidon Press)

Diverging from the traditional layout—ingredient lists and step-by-step instructions—the first cookbook by Daniel Patterson comprises narratives about dishes, methods and ingredients sourced from California soil. Patterson, who received a James Beard Award in 2014, has been telling a compelling story at his two-Michelin-star restaurant, Coi, since 2006.