Cook the Book

The 5 Best Portland Cookbooks for Quarantine Cooking

Bonus: they’re all available in digital form.

By Eat Beat Team April 8, 2020

French onion soup from Naomi Pomeroy's Taste & Technique

Six Seasons

Ava Gene’s co-owner Joshua McFadden and recipe star Martha Holmberg divine three seasons out of summer and teach us to reimagine the humble vegetable. Veggie collections and seasonal tomes are increasingly generic or pedantic. McFadden looks beyond the usual staples and crutches, heaping fresh spring peas over toast and plopping a “salad” of chopped walnuts and raisins over soup. It’s raw food without a hint of dogma. (Read our full review.)

Taste & Technique

Naomi Pomeroy, the James Beard Award–winning queen of Beast, channels Julia Child with a gutsy edge. The first thing you’ll notice about Naomi Pomeroy’s maiden opus is that it is not a restaurant cookbook. Instead: 380 pages of gorgeous, rustic food pornography; genuinely delicious recipes, from baked Camembert with Armagnac prunes and mushrooms to smoky tomato velouté with Parmesan straws; and quick dips into classic technique, like whisking egg whites for a soufflé and clarifying stock for consommé. (Read our full review.)

Olympia Provisions

Master salumist Elias Cairo teams with coauthor Meredith Erickson to chronicle his own misadventures in jocular, self-effacing detail. They vividly catalog the greatest hits from OP’s restaurant menus. And, most important, they get deep into charcuterie. Thorough in its processes, comprehensive in its grasp of the subject, and beguiling as a piece of travel literature, it brings strange worlds to life, both in words and photographs. And critically, it’s one of the most digestible charcuterie books written for the English language—a tall order for a craft that’s more science than cooking. (Read our full review.)

Pok Pok

Chef Andy Ricker loves Thai food with every molecule of his being, and he wants us to share the joy. As we journey through his stomping grounds, Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Ricker lays down the definitive Thai cooking manual, with backstories to make your heart laugh and photos to make your stomach rumble, plus detailed recipes that provide an edible road map to the addictive funk and fire of his restaurants. (Read our full review.)

Flour Water Salt Yeast

Ken Forkish shares his fermentation excitement and exacting formulas for rustic boules, levains, and Neapolitan-style pizzas honed at his celebrated Ken’s Artisan Bakery. Obsessively detailed, full of bread porn and strong storytelling, Forkish’s tome took home James Beard gold (best baking and dessert book, 2013), for good reason. (Read our full review.)

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