4 New Books From Restaurant Chefs — for Home Cooks

Bringing simpler versions of Michelin- and James Beard-level recipes into your everyday rotation.

ImageTom Hill (left) and Clare Lattin, who share recipes from their London restaurant Ducksoup in a new cookbook.

Clare Lattin and Tom Hill, of the rustic London restaurant Ducksoup, drew on the menu's most home-compatible recipes for their new book. Lattin, the restaurant’s co-owner, and Hill, its executive chef, set you up to make “quick things,” or dishes that “will give you the pleasure of cooking without your becoming a slave to the kitchen.” Judging by the exquisite photographs of grilled whole quail and creamy risotto stained black with squid ink, you’ll hardly believe the claim. But it’s true: For every aspirational dish featuring exotic ingredients (wild boar ragù), there is a welcoming, minimalist plate of, say, halved figs paired rustically with scoops of labneh, or roasted pears layered with Gorgonzola and speck. $35, available April 11 from Chronicle Books.

Credit...Henry Hargreaves

Jack’s Wife Freda, the pair of crowded yet cozy cafes in downtown New York that first opened five years ago, offers Jewish comfort food inspired by a real-life grandma. (Freda’s face is illustrated on the sign out front.) And so it comes as little surprise that the husband-and-wife owners, Maya and Dean Jankelowitz, have an arsenal of recipes suited to home cooks. The restaurant’s rose water waffles, it turns out, originate simply with a traditional batter — with rose water mixed in. Its avocado and kale shake contains these two ingredients — and banana and almond milk, too. And nearly every recipe fits neatly on a single page. The approachable, vibrant dishes transport a little of the neighborhood joints’ sunny brunch vibes directly to your home. $30, Blue Rider Press.


His book is called “On Vegetables,” but just a few pages in, chef Jeremy Fox shares a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich with three kinds of cheese, béchamel sauce and mayonnaise. He is not a vegetarian or overly precious about vegetables, but he did earn a Michelin star while at the helm of a vegetarian restaurant (Ubuntu, which was attached to a yoga studio in Napa). From the farmers to the fava beans, Fox shares the makings of L.A.’s Rustic Canyon, where he is executive chef. His focus is wholesome, even calming, food. Some plates look and sound like they might be ambitious to make at home, like fennel confit with kumquats and chiles; but most are as pleasingly simple to create as they are simply pleasing to the eye (slices of baby kiwi arranged artfully alongside dollops of burrata). There are no avocado toasts or smoothie bowls either; instead, bananas are paired thoughtfully with curry cashews, jam is made with riesling and focaccia from scratch, and earnest insight into Fox’s inventive culinary ethos is given. $50, available April 17 from Phaidon.

Credit...Paige Green

Despite being a James Beard Award-winning chef and co-founder of San Francisco’s beloved Tartine Bakery, Elisabeth Prueitt is remarkably relatable: She has a gluten sensitivity, is a working mom and heavily endorses kitchen hacks that spare extra dirty dishes and unnecessary steps. Prueitt also champions old-school cooking and baking methods, and blends them with popular, contemporary healthy-cooking ingredients like alternative flours — almond, tapioca, brown rice — and kefir. True to its name, “Tartine All Day” covers all the kinds of things you’d want to eat in a day. But it particularly shines for gluten-free home cooks, with diet-friendly versions of shortbread and ginger cookies, and even fried chicken — calling for a coating of chickpea flour, cooked to golden-brown perfection. $40, available April 4 from Ten Speed Press.