We’re food nerds. We love everything about food—the accomplished feeling of preparing something different, the joy of watching others enjoy what we’ve made, and the excitement of learning something new. Of course, we couldn’t do any of that without cookbooks. They help open new doors to otherwise unexplored corners of the culinary universe, and to us, they’re not just books; they’re field guides. This year was a standout one for cookbooks, so we decided to round up some of our favorites. Here are the 7 best cookbooks of 2018:

Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious

Michael Solomonov

Michael Solomonov’s first book, Zahav, an instruction manual to some of the chef’s best dishes at his restaurant of the same name, is considered one of the best books on Israeli cuisine ever released. His follow up, Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious, delivers more of the deliciousness we saw in Zahav, but remains practical and easy-to-follow. You’ll find a multitude of classic Israeli dishes that’ll do well on any dining room table, based on recipes that have been passed down among families for generations. If you want the real deal, this is it. Buy


Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse: Another Cookbook of Sorts

Frederic Morin, David McMillan, and Meredith Erickson

The world went crazy for the first Joe Beef cookbook, and authors Frederic Morin, David McMillan, and Meredith Erickson are back with more in Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse: Another Cookbook of Sorts. Even though the book features 150 new recipes from these brilliant cooks, it’s so much more than just a cookbook. They approached it from a very open and emotional perspective, and it shows on every single page—from recipes, to rants and random ramblings, this book is an excellent read. Buy


The Noma Guide to Fermentation: Including Koji, Kombuchas, Shoyus, Misos, Vinegars, Garums, Lacto-Ferments, and Black Fruits and Vegetables

Rene Redzepi

Rene Redzepi is an absolute genius in the kitchen, proof of which can be found at his legendary restaurant Noma, and his latest book, The Noma Guide to Fermentation, is a bible for anyone interested in fermenting food. The book is incredibly detailed, and goes step by step through all the different times of fermentation methods, how to activate them, what to use them with, etc. Even if you’re only peripherally interested in fermentation, this book is an absolute must-have on your shelf. You’ll learn more about food in these pages than you would watching any food program on Netflix. Buy


Matty Matheson: A Cookbook

Matty Matheson

You guys probably know Matty Matheson through his time as the host of VICELAND’s Dead Set On Life and It’s Suppertime!, but before that, he was (and still is) the executive chef over at Toronto-based Parts & Labour. Matheson didn’t get any of his prestige handed to him; he worked long and hard for it. His cookbook, Matty Matheson: A Cookbook, not only goes through some of his favorite recipes—think everything from seafood chowder, to what he calls “Scumbo”—but also through some of the incredible stories of his life. Part cookbook, part autobiography, Matty Matheson: A Cookbook is exactly what fans have been waiting for. Buy


Bong Appetit: Mastering the Art of Cooking With Weed

Editors of MUNCHIES

The cannabis industry is having a moment the size of which very few people actually anticipated. Countries like Canada are completely legalizing it, while many states in the U.S. now have provisions for legalized cannabis or, at the very least, legal medical cannabis use. Either way, aside from fat bong rips, we’re seeing cannabis-infused foods in ways we never thought possible, either. Bong Appetit, released last month and compiled by the editors over at MUNCHIES, features easy and accessible recipes for everyone from the weekend warriors and midnight tokers, to experienced chefs. More than that, it also discusses the science behind infusing oils, butters, milks, alcohol, etc. with weed and using them in our everyday cooking. Buy


A Burger To Believe In: Recipes and Fundamentals

Chris Kronner and Paolo Lucchesi

The perfect cheeseburger isn’t just a dish; it’s a literal way of life. A Burger to Believe In dissects what goes into creating the perfect burger from start to finish, includes a detailed guide to create the best toppings from scratch, and even offers over 40 side dish recipes, from vegan chopped salad to homemade steak fries. You’ll also find information on what, exactly, separates a good bun from a “just okay” bun, how to make the perfect onion rings, and even how to mix and grind your own burger meet. It’s the new burger bible, baby. Buy


Hardcore Carnivore: Cook Meat Like You Mean It

Jess Pryles 

Boom! It’s a cookbook about meat! What more could you ever ask for? But seriously, in Hardcore Carnivore author and professional chef Jess Pryles explores everything we know and love about protein—chicken, game, lamb, beef, pork, and other game—from the basics of cooking to some more intimate and interesting tricks of the trade. You’ll learn how to cook the perfect steak, make the best BBQ ribs of your life, and how to make a good rub from scratch. From end to burnt end, Pryles covers it all. Buy

xeric-cm-if2-7-22

Xeric watches have always been bold, unique and stylish, but their newest watch is absolutely otherworldly. Xeric teamed up with NASA to create watches for the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. The dial features a star map of the constellations surrounding Trappist-1. The grill references the ISS cupola window to give you the sense of looking out into space. The dome crystal is Hesalite, a material originally developed by NASA in the ’60s. Time is displayed with planetary hour and minute hands and stars on the sweeping seconds hand. It’s like wearing space on your wrist.