Our Favorite LGBTQ Cookbooks to Gift This Season

by Ryan Leeds

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday December 20, 2020

Our Favorite LGBTQ Cookbooks to Gift This Season
  (Source:Getty Images)

History will probably show that this was the year we spent most of our time in the kitchen. Between prohibited and limited indoor dining options and unpredictable weather for outdoor meals, many of us were forced to our stoves for sustenance. For those who could barely tell a whisk from a spatula, it was probably like being trapped in a never-ending episode of "Worst Cooks in America." Others with top-notch techniques, self-made ideas, and culinary prowess felt challenged and rewarded. For the rest who fell somewhere between these two profiles, step-by-step recipes served as the map for our lunches and dinners.

Whatever the skill level, EDGE Media Network has compiled a list of recent cookbooks by LGBTQ chefs, food writers and celebrities. These holiday gift ideas are a sure way to satisfy the savvy palates of friends, family, colleagues and lovers.

One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber

A little over 10 years ago, English-born Kimber was a debt collector at Yorkshire Bank who had inexplicably been denied entry from his local culinary school. After winning the inaugural season of "The Great British Bake Off," he bid farewell to his day job, said hello to stardom and authored several books.

Kimnber's latest, "One Tin Bakes," is loaded with delicious creations that can all be made in a 9x13" baking pan. Sheet cakes, matcha rolls, turtle brownies, cheesecake, s'mores and a twist on rice crispy treats are all contained in this delectable confection collection.

There's No Taste Like Home by John Patridge

Partridge, easily recognizable to British audiences, has appeared in the long-running soap opera "EastEnders." He's played multiple roles in the West End production of "Cats" and starred as Rum-Tum Tugger in last year's infamous movie adaptation.

This heartfelt cookbook explores his path to addiction recovery and the inspiration he gleaned from his mother, who passed away from Alzheimer's disease. The winner of the British television series, "Celebrity MasterChef" has put together an array of food for every meal, including traditional British fare like scotch eggs, shepherd's pie, coronation chicken, and sticky toffee cake.

Uncommonly Good: Stories of Food, Life, and the Birth of Good Commons by Tesha Buss and Matthew Wexler

It took an inkling, a reunion, a dream and a copious amount of credit card charges to make Good Commons, a boutique retreat center and private vacation home, a reality. Yet Broadway dancer Buss (who, like Partridge, appeared in the New York production of "Cats") and fellow performer-turned-culinary expert Wexler created a haven of comfort when they founded this retreat in pastoral Vermont.

There are plenty of personal anecdotes, memories, and satisfying recipes in this compact paperback by Buss, an LGBTQ ally, and her queer bestie. The book has already garnered the attention and praise of celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One by Anita Lo

Maybe next year will be the one where you find your soulmate. If it isn't, Lo — who's Greenwich Village outpost Annisa claimed a Michelin star for nine years running — can be your guide for single-life cooking.

If you do find yourself in a couple, these recipes can easily be doubled. Lo's reputation is so well known that the Obama administration invited her to cook a state dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyua, making her the first female guest to achieve such an honor. There are plenty of Chinese dishes here, but Lo also expands her palette for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.

Tasty Pride: 75 Recipes and Stories from the Queer Food Community by Jesse Szewczyk

BuzzFeed's food website Tasty came together earlier this year to recognize the contribution of our community with varied recipes from the likes of Antoni Porowski, Julia Turshen, Ted Allen, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (who will be releasing his own book with friend Julie Tanous in March 2021.)

Upon the book's release, publisher Random House donated $50,000 to GLAAD and have since donated all royalties to the advocacy group. Cooking for a cause never felt so rewarding.

Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques: A Cookbook by Kristen Krish

"Top Chef" winner Kristen Kish will soon be appearing on the new television series, Fast Foodies.

After several autobiographical pages in her cookbook, Kish delves into an abundance of techniques and terms, followed by savory snacks, appetizers, seafood, homemade pasta and elegant showstoppers.

A Gay Guy's Guide to Life Love Food: Outrageously delicious recipes (plus stories and dating advice) from a food-obsessed gay by Khanh Ong

Indonesian-born, Vietnamese raised Ong is a big hit in Australia, where he appeared on seasons 10 and 12 of "MasterChef." His colorful book is as large as his personality and he teaches us how to whip up childhood favorites, dishes to impress, everyday bites, and even includes a chapter on foods to eat after a break-up.

This title is currently available on kindle, with the print edition launching in the U.S. beginning June 2021.

Ryan Leeds is a freelance theater journalist who lives in Manhattan. He is the Chief Theater Critic for Manhattan Digest and a frequent contributor to Dramatics Magazine. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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