Much like the Canadian food scene itself, Canadian cookbooks have garnered a reputation on the world stage for its diverse, innovative, and all around delicious approach to professional and home cooking. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there is a Canadian cookbook to quench your culinary thirst.
From plant-based baking to the science of cocktail-making, to quintessential Canadian dishes explained from a historical standpoint and a deep-dive into the heart of the Prairies, here are our favourite Canadian cookbooks that were released throughout 2023.
'Baking Wisdom' by Anna Olson
Year after year, chef Anna Olson’s cookbooks take up residence on lists like these, and this holiday season is no exception.
As we’ve all come to expect from the renowned pastry chef and television host, Baking Wisdom offers a guide to the art and science of baking that is as delightful as it is comprehensive.
'Sabai' by Pailin Chongchitnant
The bestselling author behind Hot Thai Kitchen, Pailin Chongchitnant is finally back with a new cookbook to help us all stay comfy and cozy through the holidays and beyond. Her newest release, Sabai: 100 Simple Thai Recipes for Any Day of the Week, features a beautiful balance of traditional and innovative dishes that are easy to follow.
Whether you’re new to the wonderful world of Thai cooking or you’re a seasoned Sabai veteran, this cookbook is definitely a keeper.
'Where We Ate' (Gabby Peyton)
It’s not exactly a cookbook, but we love a good food story, and Where We Ate by restaurant critic Gabby Peyton is chock-full with some of the best. Organized chronologically from pre-Confederation to the present day, this book aims to answer the age-old question: “What is Canadian cuisine?”
California rolls, beef tartare, foie gras poutine, bánh mì; you name it, this book is Peyton’s proverbial love letter to 150 Canadian restaurants and the people that bring/brought them to life. (Alright, you'll find a few fun food and drink recipes peppered throughout too.)
'In Mary's Kitchen' by Mary Berg
She may not have the legendary status of an Anna Olson just yet, but Pickering-born baker Mary Berg is sure on her way.
Completing her bestselling cookbook trifecta, In Mary’s Kitchen follows in the footsteps of its predecessors with a fun and diverse spectrum of recipes that focus on easily-sourced ingredients and straightforward techniques. Dishes like chicken noodle roast chicken and spiced apple cheesecake are just a couple tasty examples of what to expect from this cookbook.
'Plantcakes' by Lyndsay Sung
Plant-based baking continued its forward progression in 2023, and this fall, Lyndsay Sung released her aesthetically captivating book Plantcakes: Fancy + Everyday Vegan Cakes for Everyone.
The follow-up to her 2018 release Coco Cake Land takes things one step further and features recipes for cakes of all shapes and sizes. From blueberry sour cream streusel cake to banana chocolate chip cupcakes and even a pumpkin pie cake, there's no shortage of playful creations to bring to life!
'Crip Up the Kitchen' by Jules Sherred
It can be pretty easy to take our privileges for granted, but once you hear Jules Sherred talk about how ableist a kitchen can be, you’ll wonder why it took so long for a cookbook like this to come out.
Crip Up the Kitchen offers a thorough collection of recipes that will make the kitchen more inviting, accessible and enjoyable to the disabled and/or neurodivergent cooks in your life.
'Prairie' by Dan Clapson and Twyla Campbell
While these two Prairie-based food writers may be relative newcomers to the Canadian cookbook scene, neither Twyla Campbell nor Dan Clapson is a rookie when it comes to Canadian cuisine. And when it comes to the food, farmers, and purveyors of the Prairies, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pair with more knowledge or heart.
From Saskatchewan succotash salad or roasted cheese curds with honey pepper sauce (a must-try recipe) to haskap and carmalized onion jam and pickle-brined pork tenderloin, the bestselling cookbook Prairie: Seasonal, Farm-Fresh Recipes Celebrating the Canadian Prairies has readers seeing "prairie cooking" through a whole new lens.
'For the Love of Cocktails' by Evelyn Chick
We couldn’t create a Canadian cookbook list and not include one with cocktails! For the Love of Cocktails is acclaimed bartender and cocktail consultant Evelyn Chick’s captivating exploration of the craft of mixology.
Venturing from classic cocktails to creative new concoctions, this book offers unique insights into the science and artistry behind crafting the perfect cocktail. If you’ve seen some of Chick’s chic (couldn’t help it) bar designs over the years, it won’t surprise you to learn that For the Love of Cocktails is also visually stunning.
'Good Catch' by Valentine Thomas
For those of us who love to feast on fresh seafood as frequently as possible, Good Catch by world-renowned Montreal-born spearfisherwoman Valentine Thomas is a must-have.
Not only does her cookbook have a slew of stellar recipes inspired by Thomas’ favourite fishing destinations, but the dishes are all developed with a sincere focus on sustainability, which shines through in each introduction.
'My Thali' by Joe Thottungal
Chef and owner of Ottawa’s acclaimed Coconut Lagoon Joe Thottungal and award-winning food writer Anne DesBrisay teamed up this year to release My Thali: A Simple Indian Kitchen.
The cookbook guides readers through a rich assortment of fragrant recipes that showcase the essence of Indian home-style cooking. Each of the book’s 85 recipes are designed so they can be enjoyed on their own or joined together, making it a great go-to for almost any occasion.