Best cookbooks for dads by personality

Combine dad's passion for cooking with one of his other interests, whether that's history, sci fi, working out or watching sports.

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6 min read
Josh Miller

It's time to celebrate dad this month. He deserves it. If he loves to cook, why not show him some love this Father's Day with a cookbook that resonates with some of his other interests and passions? Maybe he's a novice angler or maybe he's a Star Wars junkie. Whatever he's into in his limited spare time, we have some creative ideas to hone in on and blend together his hobbies and interests.

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Best Cookbook for the sci-fi dad

The Star Wars Cookbook: BB-Ate: Awaken to the Force of Breakfast and Brunch by Lara Starr

Is your dad's favorite event of the year Comic-Con? Does he spend weeks or months perfecting his Rebel Legion costume? Perhaps you can make his dream come to reality on a slightly more daily basis by gifting him the "Star Wars Cookbook." Comprised of Star Wars-inspired, intergalactic breakfast recipes, such as Luke Skywaffles, Maz Kanata Frittata and Han Soloatmeal, these dishes are sure to bring your dad that much needed "force" each and every morning.

Best Cookbook for the gym rat dad


The Bodybuilding Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes To Build Muscle, Burn Fat And Save Time by Jason Farley

For the dad who is tallying his bench press weight increments in the basement or can't quite shake his CrossFit filthy 50 obsession, give him the key to achieving his dream bod with The Bodybuilding Cookbook. This book features 100 recipes designed to bulk and build muscles and shed fat to reveal Dad's best and fittest body. Protein-packed recipes include meals such as Brawny Beef Fajitas, Muscle Mackerel with Spicy Couscous and Training Tilapia in Thai Sauce, all of which will fuel and energize Dad for his next MetCon challenge.

Best Cookbook for the fishing and hunting dad


The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler by Steven Rinella

For the dad who lives and breathes being on the water in solitude, a fishing rod in his palms, waiting for his next great catch. Or the dad who craves hunting for game in the forest or mountains, The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook may fit the bill for designing and cooking recipes that include his famous catches and prizes. This is a definitive guide that illustrates how to butcher, prepare and cook fish and game, from one of America's most respected hunters and anglers. Recipes include venison bolognese; dove (or quail) jalapeno poppers with bacon-scallion cream cheese; and spicy scallop and citrus poke, giving Dad some delicious inspiration from his proud field sport.  

Best Cookbook for the grill master dad


Michael Symon's Playing with Fire: BBQ and More from the Grill, Smoker and Fireplace by Michael Symon and Douglas Trattner

Maybe you have a dad who loves manning the BBQ. Or maybe he's into his coveted Big Green Egg or learning how to smoke meat with wood chips. Whatever his grill passion mode, he needs a go-to guide for his hobby. Celebrity chef Michael Symon has taken his original love -- BBQ -- and put together 72 recipes, after sampling smoked meat from across the country in preparation for the opening of his famous restaurant, Mabel's. Dad can now master finger-licking recipes such as Mabel's pork ribs, brisket melts and chicken thighs grilled with blackberry BBQ sauce. A perfect companion guide for summer cooking, Dad can get even more excited to turn up the heat and sear delectable meat.  

Best Cookbook for the sports fanatic dad


The Hungry Fan's Game Day Cookbook: 165 Recipes for Eating, Drinking & Watching Sports by Daina Falk

If your dad is glued to the TV during hockey, football, tennis, baseball, or curling season, then he needs a sports cookbook to keep his recipes fresh and inspiring for all of that hosting he does in front of the big screen with his pals. Historic and famous sports agent David Falk's daughter Daina Falk combines her love and passion for sports and cooking to create a book of recipes dedicated to crowd-pleasing, game day foods. Dad can now make shepherd's pie quesadilla bites, coconut-crusted shrimp with sweet and sour sauce and March Madness Atlanta-inspired BBQ pork. Get ready to have your Dad host all of the game-day events. Now the only thing you need to figure out is... who's on clean-up duty!?  

Best Cookbook for the golfing dad


The Caddy's Cookbook: Remembering Favorite Recipes from the Caddy House to the Clubhouse of Augusta National Golf Club by Tripp Bowden

Does your dad wake up at the crack of dawn every Saturday to hit the links at the local muni or country club? Or is he saving up for that Florida condo with golf course views? Even if he's not hitting those birdies, he may still love the old lure of clubhouse cuisine, especially from Augusta National Golf Club. The author, former Augusta caddy Tripp Bowden, collects and shares his favorite recipes and behind-the-scenes tidbits. Recipes and personal stories include Chef Clark's roasted leg of lamb with a side of job security; Freddie Bennett's butter beans and Ike's Pond deep-fried bream. If your dad is mesmerized by golf tradition, anecdotes and food, this is a hole-in-one gift. Fore! 

Best Cookbook for the mixologist dad


Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan and Nick Fauchald

If your dad is constantly working on his "shaken not stirred" routine, he may appreciate a cookbook dedicated to the art and craftsmanship of cocktails. New York City's intimate East Village cocktail institution, Death & Co, is at the forefront of the contemporary craft cocktail movement. And now Dad can have their much-sought-after recipes in his own bar, complete with philosophy, techniques and essays featuring nightly regulars who fill the dark bar each evening. Your dad will learn how to master Death & Co's signature drinks, such as the Oaxaca Old Fashioned and Strange Brew, plus make-your-own large block ice cubes, fancy garnishes and more.

Best Cookbook for the architect or builder dad


An Architect's Cookbook: A Culinary Journey Through Design by Glen Coben

Perhaps your dad loves to build, design, construct and has a passion for high-end restaurants. If so, he may enjoy this tome which explores legendary restaurant designer and architect Glen Coben's work. Restaurant design projects include accompanying recipes, such as Del Posto's spaghetti with Dungeness crab and jalapeños; Delmonico's baked Alaska; Carbone's Classic Negroni; and Empellón's guacamole with pistachios. This cookbook is perfect for the Dad who wants to learn about the soul, vision and inspiration for how these world famous restaurants were created and built (and how to cook some of their fine food).  

Best Cookbook for the history buff dad


The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating and Entertaining in Hamilton's World by Laura Kumin

Tired of your dad singing along to Hamilton on repeat in the shower or his yearly involvement in the Revolutionary War reenactment? Give him what every American history buff would love, The Hamilton Cookbook. In this book, Dad will be transported back in time to the table of this American hero. Now he can enjoy Hamilton's favorite foods and learn how to prepare historic dishes, such as West Indian pepper pot soup, fried sausage and apples and chocolate puffs. The Hamiltons also loved their wine, so maybe pick up a bottle or two for authentic reenactment purposes. 

Best Cookbook for the green thumb dad


Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds and Stems into Delicious Meals by Lindsay-Jean Hard

Maybe your dad is pruning the fruit trees he planted or crafting a raised-garden bed full of lush herbs and vegetables with his own hands. This dad loves to be outside in his yard, growing his own magic garden. So he needs a cookbook that can tap into his love for gardening and foraging his own food. Cooking with Scraps is the perfect companion guide for the sustainable cook and harvester. With 85 recipes chock-full of ingenious ways to use food scraps, peels and other edible bits, Dad will be busy turning unused food into treasures. Think inventive, nutritious and delectable recipes such as beet greens and eggplant pizza; cheese tortellini with sausage and broccoli stems; and ginger-garlic miso soup with turnip greens. Dad will feel energized, proud and healthy reusing his hand-grown garden to feed his family.  

This post was written by Marisa Olsen. 

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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