There’s nothing quite like the feeling of cracking open a new cookbook and being immediately inspired by the beautiful, colorful photographs and drool-worthy recipes. In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, we thought we’d take this opportunity to highlight some of the amazing (and delicious) cookbooks created by LGBTQ+ cooks.
From ultra-creative high-end cuisine (think: coriander and ginger brined shrimp with seared avocado) and modern Indian comfort food to classic Southern desserts and cheeky ice cream recipes (peach cobbler or fudge-covered salted pretzel balls, anyone?), the recipes within these irresistible cookbooks are as diverse as their authors. Whether you’re hosting a Pride bash or just want to add some new life to your kitchen repertoire, here are some must-have cookbooks from LGBTQ+ cooks.
Lazarus Lynch draws on a rich background for his vibrant, in-your-face food—his father is from the American South while his mother has Guyanese and British heritage; they raised their son in New York and he grew up eating from a virtual melting pot. The food he makes is a glorious representation of all those flavors, and every bite is designed to satisfy. Try his perfect Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich recipe for a taste, and get the book for more instant-favorite dishes from pimento poblano corn cakes to dulce de leche banana pudding, all interwoven with family stories and a great sense of style.Buy Now
On the hunt for a cookbook to elevate your kitchen skills (or maybe inspire the perfect fancy date night meal)? Your search ends here. “Top Chef” season 10 winner Kristen Kish has a knack for mixing ingredients in ways that are surprising and inventive, yet refined. For example, seared avocado paired with coriander and ginger brined shrimp or fried chicken thighs paired with sweet, smokey, and slightly bitter caramelized honey spiked with chiles and lemon. Hailed by David Chang, chef and founder of Momofuku, as “one of the most talented chefs around,” Kristen’s cookbook is sure to inspire hours of creativity in the kitchen.Buy Now
Looking for something a bit more…basic? There’s nothing wrong with that! And Chowhound’s own editor-at-large Joey Skladany has you covered. Out in August, this fabulous new book brings you ‘100+ Everyday Recipes from Nacho Average Nachos to Gossip-Worthy Sunday Pancakes for the Basic Bitch in Your Life.’ If we may say so, it’s also a pure joy to read. Prepare to laugh out loud even as you’re drooling. And yes, you’ll learn how to make your own perfect PSL (aka, Basic Bitch Lifeblood).Buy Now
You’ve probably seen this gorgeous cookbook nestled on the bookshelf of a very stylish friend or might even own it yourself, but did you know that it’s authored by a bad-ass queer chef? Bestselling author and James Beard winner Gabrielle Hamilton opened her restaurant Prune in 1999. Published in 2014, this 250 recipe cookbook serves as an inspired replica of the restaurant’s kitchen binders. Can’t make it down to NYC’s Lower East Side to try Prune in person? Take a stab at making your own Grilled Head-on Shrimp with Anchovy Butter or Tongue and Octopus with Salsa Verde with Mimosa’d Egg or all ten variations of Prune’s famous Bloody Mary.Buy Now
This beautiful book by Nik Sharma landed on countless best lists and was a 2019 James Beard Nominee for Best Cookbook Photography, but it’s so much more than pretty pictures. The recipes showcase both lesser-known Indian dishes and the way Sharma’s cooking has evolved in his new home, marrying American and east Asian flavors and techniques; his curry leaf fried popcorn chicken is but one example. His creamy, coconut-enriched Sweet Potato Bebinca recipe is another. And his Spicy Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies are just plain delicious. Keep your eyes peeled for his next book, “The Flavor Equation,” coming this fall.Buy Now
Preeti Mistry’s restaurant Juhu Beach Club in Oakland, Calif. may have closed its doors, but you can still enjoy the former “Top Chef” contestant and James Beard nominee’s bold take on modern Indian food with this vibrant cookbook. Organized by feeling rather than course or season, with irreverent chapters like Masala Mashups, Farm Fresh, and Authentic? Hell Yeah, “The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook” features street food, comfort classics, and restaurant favorites that blend traditional Indian flavors with American influences in new and delicious ways.Buy Now
“Bowl: Vegetarian Recipes for Ramen, Pho, Bibimbap, Dumplings, and Other One-Dish Meals” by Lukas Volger, $16.47 on Amazon
Searching for vegetarian versions of your favorite one-bowl meals like pho and bibimbap? Look no further. Volger explores the one-bowl meal craze with this collection of delectable vegetarian recipes. You’ll find plenty of recipes for Asian comfort food faves like simple miso ramen and vegetarian pho with caramelized spring onions, peas, and baby bok choy, alongside inventive dishes like edamame gyoza with mint. Perfect for busy home cooks on a budget, Volger’s recipes can be made with minimal time and expense.Buy Now
If you’re looking for fun and delicious ways to stretch your food budget, “Cooking on a Bootstrap” is for you. Anti-poverty and food activist Jack Monroe has created a collection of 118 deliciously easy and affordable recipes. Inside the pages you’ll find step by step instructions for comfort food faves like Fluffy Berry Pancakes and Self-Love Stew, plus plenty of other gems made from common pantry items—all served up with her signature wit and money-saving tips. Craving more? Check out her debut collection of budget friendly eats, “A Girl Named Jack.”Buy Now
In “Cooking in Heels,” Ceyenne Doroshow shares over 40 recipes for Southern-style favorites with a Caribbean twist. Inspired by her life experience as a black trans woman, Doroshow isn’t afraid to use a little (OK, usually a lot) of spice in her cooking. Expect to find a collection of family themed, mouthwatering recipes that are high on flavor (but still easy to make) like Papa Franks’ Ting Ting Fiery Red Snapper, Shameka and Kayla’s Seafood Pot of Gold, and her signature recipe for Paella. Her secret to an amazing paella? “The cook,” she says.Buy Now
“Big Gay Ice Cream: Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats: Going All the Way with Ice Cream” by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint, $21.01 on Amazon
If you’ve ever spent an afternoon wandering around New York’s East Village, you’ve probably found yourself at Big Gay Ice Cream enjoying one of their signature creations (and have the Instagram shot to prove it). Now you can learn how to make your own saucy frozen treats at home—including everyone’s favorite, the Salty Pimp (vanilla and dulce de leche ice cream coated in crunchy, salty dark chocolate). With simple recipes ranging in skill level from “freshman” to “senior year,” this is the perfect book for anyone who’s ever dreamed of making their own ice cream.
Related Reading: How the Women of Coolhaus Built an Ice Cream Empire
“Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers” by Julia Turshen, $20.11 on Amazon
If you struggle with what seems like a never-ending pile up of leftovers, this cookbook by queer food activist Julia Turshen is for you. A collection of over 125 easy recipes, “Now & Again” promises to change the way we think about leftovers with mouthwatering “It’s me again” dishes like Grilled Beef and Zucchini Meatballs with Tahini Dressing, Whole Wheat Berry Shortcakes, and Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese. Chock full of budget friendly food and meal prep tips, Turshen’s go-to cookbook is one you’re sure to reach for again and again.Buy Now
A former “Great British Bake Off” contestant, Tandoh’s cookbook is full of approachable, inspiring recipes and gorgeous photos. Organized by ingredient, “Flavour” helps you follow your cravings, or whatever you have in the fridge, to a recipe. Tandoh encourages us to look at the best ways to cook each ingredient; when it’s in season, and which flavors pair well with it. The result is a collection of thoughtfully put together recipes for things like Hot and Sour Lentil Soup, Ghanaian Groundnut Chicken Stew, and Glazed Blueberry Fritter Doughnuts. If you like this collection, make sure to check out Tandoh’s other cookbook “Crumb: A Baking Book.”Buy Now
For those of us who’ve always yearned to make the perfect peach cobbler or cornbread pudding, this book is sure to be a good time. Acclaimed pastry chef Ben Mims shares recipes for classic Southern desserts—all made with a fresh, modern twist. Think: Dixie classics like Lemon Layer Cake and Peanut Butter Pie, paired with southern takes on international treats like Indonesian-inspired Cinnamon-Chocolate Spekkuk. Mim’s Hummingbird Cake (a heady concoction that involves bananas and pineapple baked into a spiced yellow cake bathed in a rich cream cheese icing) is sure to be a hit at your next Pride party or family gathering.Buy Now
We’ve covered a lot of food, but we can’t forget drinks, and Shannon Mustipher brings a totally delightful tiki twist to your cocktail hour (or afternoon). Her book is broken down into helpful sections from Foundational Cocktails to Communal Drinks—but even if you’re sipping solo this socially distant summer, you’ll find a whole chapter on “Frozen and Blended” drinks to keep you cool. Or flip straight to the “Fiery, Savory, and Bitter” sips when you’re up for something deliciously different. And raise your glass to the LGBTQ+ community.Buy Now
Related Video: Shannon Shares Her Top 5 Bartending Tools
Original story by Simone Paget in 2019; updated by Chowhound editors with additional selections.