In the past decade, droves of urbanites have relocated to the Hudson Valley. Among them, high-profile chefs, food stylists and writers, recipe developers, and gourmand influencers have found a home in the mountains and valleys of the region, closer to the farms and fields whose bounty made much of their work possible (or interesting, anyway). The spate of pandemic-era home cooking seems have greased the wheels (pans?) for these culinary figures, and the past year has seen an abundance of new cookbook releases. So the time seemed right to do a round-up of cookbooks by Hudson Valley authors.
These eight cookbooks dive into sustainability, growing your own vegetables, consuming thoughtfully, and overall an immense love for good food and good company. They range from mastering the art of a proper dinner party to recreating recipes from the best barbecue restaurants across the county.
To the Last Bite
Opening with beautiful photographs of author Alex DeBoschneck’s home garden, To The Last Bite is a thoughtful take on sustainable cooking that has its fingers in the dirt and its heart in the home kitchen. DeBoschnek demonstrates a focus on sustainability with chapters on growing and composting vegetables, as well as how to use leftover food for future meals. While it is not exclusively a vegan or vegetarian cookbook, To the Last Bite proposes eating less meat and more vegetables. Now based in the Catskills, DeBoschnek gained internet fame making unlikely meals with unusual equipment on the “Chef Out Of Water” video series for Tasty, a subsidiary of BuzzFeed. She was classically trained in Manhattan at the International Culinary Center.
Please Wait to Be Tasted
Lil Deb’s Oasis,
Written by the founders of the restaurant Lil’ Deb’s Oasis in Hudson, this vibrant cookbook features many of the tropical comfort food recipes visitors of their restaurant have come to love. Just like the location in Hudson the book has a bold, colorful feeling, diving head-first into vacation vibes and tropical flavor profiles. The neon pages contain more than 70 recipes; practical kitchen tips on techniques, tools, and pantry staples; and musings on wine, music, sex, style, love, friendship, and fashion.
A Year at Catbird Cottage
A Year at Catbird Cottage, influenced by Hammer’s love for cooking for family and friends, captures the warm feeling of eating with your loved ones. Along with her personal recipes, Hammer includes advice for foraging and harvesting wild ingredients from the forests of the Hudson Valley. Since many of her ingredients are locally sourced, the 100 recipes are organized by season. The book has been a long time coming for Hammer, basing many of the contents from Catbird Cottage, a farm-to-table Airbnb she runs with her husband where guests can rent a room in her house and enjoy gourmet food made by Hammer.
In March 2021, New York Times bestselling cookbook author Julia Tershen put out her latest edition, Simply Julia, another valuable staple for kitchens everywhere. Showcasing more than 110 recipes, featuring mostly comfort meals as well as Turshen’s general cooking advice, this practical guide to the kitchen has something for all levels of home chef. Comprised of 10 chapters, the book covers quick recipes for weeknights, salad dressings and sauces, and vegan and vegetarian recipes, along with other simple delicious meals.
Colu Cooks: Easy Fancy Food
With recipes inspired by her time spent traveling in the Napa and Sonoma valleys, Europe, Nova Scotia, as well her own Italian-American childhood and her life now in the Hudson Valley, Colu Henry’s book features plenty of pasta. (No surprise here, her last book was called Back Pocket Pasta). With 100 recipes aimed to be achievable in 45 minutes, this book is a dream come true for people wanting to elevate their cooking while maintaining busy schedules. To the book, Henry brings more than 15 years’ experience in the food world as a recipe developer, writer, and regular contributor to the New York Times and Food & Wine, with a well-honed sense of what flies in home kitchens.
For the Table
Organized by season, this book by former senior food editor for Epicurious and Bon Appétit Anna Stockwell focuses on all the essentials hosting a successful dinner party. From crowd-pleasing recipes to advice on how to give a toast your guests won’t soon forget—this book has it all. It also features the more nitty gritty details such as handling dietary restrictions, guest lists, and strategies for food prep. Readers of this book will learn the true art of hosting a dinner party.
Chef-owner of the popular Newburgh barbecue restaurant Handsome Devil, Ed Randolph, takes readers along on his cross-country journey to find The Best Barbecue. Randolph was also a champion on the Food Network’s popular show “Chopped” and has won many local awards for his barbecue. Along with including amazing recipes from different regions’ takes on barbecue, Smoked features Randolph’s interviews with pitmasters all across the country.
1984 (revised 2021), $23
With the 2021, fourth-edition release of her 1984 classic, Nava Atlas has created a version of Vegetariana that is entirely vegan. Featuring large hand-illustrated pencil drawings on every page, plus quotes, stories, and hearty helpings of personality throughout, this kitchen staple contains 170 recipes. Its personal but distinctive artistic feel draws readers in for more than just recipes.