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Blog > Understanding Publishing – Posted on Aug 03, 2020

25 Cookbook Publishers Who Can Serve Up Your Recipes

Beyond perfecting recipes, writing a cookbook requires a lot of visual and design work that passionate cooks don’t always enjoy. If you’re not very excited about the nitty-gritty of book production, you’re probably considering the traditional cookbook publishing route. A big question that comes with that is: Which cookbook publishers should you submit to?

To make the search for the right publisher a piece of cake for you, we’ve curated 25 trustworthy companies who can help make your book idea a reality. No matter what your specialty, there’s a publisher on this list for you. Let’s dig in!

Note: Most nonfiction submissions call for book proposals, not completed manuscripts.

The “Big 5” of culinary publishing

There isn’t really a “Big 5” of cookbook publishers that dominate the market. But if you guessed that the top culinary book producers are largely similar to the well-known “Big 5”, you’re not far off. (The good news, though, is not all of the culinary giants require agented submissions!)

The following five companies aren’t definitively the most prestigious cookbook publishers, but they do produce a lot of bestsellers.

1. Penguin Random House

Cookbook Publishers | Books by Random House
Penguin Random House works with some of the biggest influencers in the food space.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? Yes. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: chef, restaurant and comprehensive cookbooks, culinary memoirs

It’s no surprise that the list begins with Penguin Random House: its subsidiary groups Crown Publishing and Knopf Doubleday have some of the market’s most prominent imprints for cookbooks.

While its list covers pretty much every culinary topic under the sun, Penguin Random House tends to prefer authors with well-established names. That’s said, you don’t have to be famous to send them a submission — just get a really good agent before you go ahead!

2. Quarto Publishing Group

Cookbook Publishers | Quarto Publishing
Treat yourself to a gourmet meal with the help of Quarto's backlist.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: single-subject and comprehensive cookbooks that discuss mindful eating habits

With the two imprints Fair Wind Press and Voyageur Press, Quarto Publishing Group has a strong culinary front that dives deep into specific subjects like “vintage and venison.” Beyond that, its catalog also includes collections of simple healthy and mindful recipes, like low-sugar meals and brain-boosting foods. This diverse range of books makes Quarto a formidable culinary publisher. The wonderful news is that you can submit your proposal without having to go through an agent.

3. HarperCollins

Cookbook Publishers | HarperCollins Cookbooks
Haile Thomas (left), narrowly avoiding the 'women laughing alone with salad' meme.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? Yes. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: single-subject, comprehensive and chef cookbooks, culinary memoirs

Another one of the traditional “Big 5,” HarperCollins has a strong catalog of chic cookbooks from well-known authors, usually restaurant owners or food bloggers. Its editors seem to lean towards titles focused on a single subject — whether it be Japanese cuisine or bread-making. As with all submissions to big cookbook publishers, a strong media presence will give you an edge.

4. Workman Publishing

Cookbook Publishers | Workman Publishing Titles
"Fine" dining doesn't have to be at a fancy restaurant — you can eat well at home too!

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: single-subject cookbooks, culinary memoirs that are experimental or environmentally conscious

Workman Publishing has an eclectic range of imprints. Artisan Books is open to all kinds of cookbooks, although it focuses on creating remarkable visual experiences for readers. Storey Publishing focuses on living in harmony with the environment, so cooks who create recipes with ingredients from their own backyards, or who find eco-friendly ways to enjoy food, should look into this imprint. Then there’s The Experiment, which as the name suggests, looks for culinary authors who challenge existing modes of food production.

You can also submit to Workman Publishing without an agent! Just follow the imprint’s guidelines and nail your book proposal, and you might be the next author trailblazing a whole new way of relishing food.

5. Hachette

Cookbook Publishers | Books by Hachette
Reverse your diabetes (left) then backslide with a carb overload (right).

👩‍💼 Agent needed? Yes. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: single-subject and comprehensive cookbooks

With imprints such as Kyle Books and Hodder & Stoughton, Hachette is one of the biggest cookbook publishers globally. Kyle Books focus on health-conscious titles, while Hodder & Stoughton indulges in the sweetness of baking books and the exciting experiences of popular cuisines across continents.

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20 more cookbook publishers to consider

While the big names are very appealing, you’ll have a much more difficult time getting the green light from them. And so it’s worthwhile to look at some smaller presses that can still deliver outstanding results — here are 20 of them for you to choose from!

6. Chronicle Books

Cookbook Publishers | Bread Books by Chronicle
Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread (left) is a must-have for every modern baker.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: single-subject and comprehensive cookbooks featuring creative and experimental recipes

Chronicle specializes in nonfiction books, and its food and drinks section boasts a range of diverse titles. There’s the drinks section, where you can write extensively on cocktails and old wines, and there’s the cookery section, which features all sorts of cuisines and diets. The designs and recipes of these books tend to be youthful and adventurous — this is a culinary publisher on the lookout for innovative concepts and voices to amplify.

7. Gibbs Smith Publisher

Cookbook Publishers | Gibbs Smith Titles
The Virgin Vegan is unlikely to indulge in French Comfort Food (which is like, 60% butter).

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive and single-subject cookbooks

Gibbs Smith has every kind of recipe book you can think of, from easy vegan meals to French comfort food. They’ve seen just about everything, which may mean that you have to present them with a very new and compelling concept — but that also widens the possibilities for you. Best of all, Gibbs Smith accepts unsolicited submissions.

8. Agate Publishing

Cookbook Publishers | Agate Publishing Books
Agate Publishing invites readers to experiment with new ingredients (and top-down photography).

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive and single-subject cookbooks, culinary memoirs

Agate Publishing acquired Surrey Books in 2006, and the company has continued to nourish the imprint’s specialty in recipe books since then. Surrey Books focus on producing cookbooks with outstanding visuals about Midwestern American cuisine. Recent Surrey titles include ingredient-specific books — if you’re passionate about a certain component used in cooking, you’re looking at a very suitable publisher.

9. Bloomsbury

Cookbooks by Bloomsbury
**Niche British Baking reference** Bloomsbury executives always finalize Paul's book deals with a Hollywood handshake.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? Yes. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: chef, restaurant and comprehensive cookbooks about a specific cuisine

Bloomsbury may be well-known for its publication of the Harry Potter series, but that’s not the only thing it’s good at. It’s one of the most prolific cookbook publishers, featuring hundreds of titles and a wide variety of cuisines from across the world. If you’re working on recipes from a specific region, you should strongly consider Bloomsbury. However, you will need to have an agent — and since Bloomsbury also has a reputation for publishing celebrity cooks, the competition is fierce.

Note: Bloomsbury is much more dominant in the British market than the American one.

10. Cider Mill Press

Cookbook Publishers | The Home Bartender Recipe Book
During the lockdown, didn't we all become home bartenders?

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: drink and beverage books, comprehensive cookbooks

As the name suggests, this culinary publisher has a leaning toward spirits and fine wines, along with elegant dishes that pair well with them. If you’ve been collecting cocktail recipes, or just have a lot of knowledge about a particular alcoholic beverage, Cider Mill Press is the publisher to go for.

11. Hardie Grant Publishing

Cookbook Publishers | Hardie Grant Minimalist Books
Hardie Grant: wasteful, fussy, fancy cooks need not apply.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: drink and beverage books, comprehensive cookbooks focused on minimalist living

Australia-based Hardie Grant Publishing is a lifestyle publication with a distinct minimalist leaning. From the book cover designs to the themes of the texts, Hardie Grant’s books are all about elegant and practical simplicity. Its culinary titles are no different. In the spirit of its commitment to simple living, its culinary collection is full of recipes that incorporate foraged and home-grown ingredients.

12. Whitecap Publishing

Chef at Home Cookbook by Michael Smith
Turn your home into a three-star restaurant.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive and chef cookbooks

Whitecap is a big name in Canadian culinary publishing and it produces all kinds of titles on a wide variety of cuisines and diets. From recipes to teach kids how to cook, to books for more skilled home chefs, Whitecap has just about everything covered. Unfortunately, unsolicited submissions are not welcomed.

13. Phaidon Press

Cookbook Publishers | Phaidon Books
Phaidon promises that Greek veggies have more to eat than just figs drizzled in olive oil. (right)

👩‍💼 Agent needed? Yes. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive and restaurant cookbooks, culinary memoirs featuring regional cuisines

Phaidon Press is another one for authors who like minimalist designs. Recent titles brought out by this cookbook publisher are all adorned with simple yet eye-catching covers, while the recipes on the inside tend to dive into specific cuisines and diets. The company also features a range of titles written by chefs and restaurants that help restaurateurs build their brand.

14. Hatherleigh Press

Cookbook Publishers | Hatherleigh Press
Liquid Raw: Great name for a metal band.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive and single-subject cookbooks

Looking to publish a healthy and comforting recipe collection that will hold a place on the shelves of enthusiastic home cooks? Then Hatherleigh Press is a good place to submit to — it has a track record of producing staple cookbooks that offer overviews of a particular cuisine or ingredient. These recipe books are classic in their style and timeless in their recipes.

15. Hippocrene Books

The Ghana Cookbook
Spice up your meals with Hippocrene's international recipes.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? Yes. Send your proposal here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive cookbooks, culinary memoirs featuring international cuisines

On its quest to promote cultural diversity, Hippocrene produces titles that can take you from grandma’s recipes to new flavors from across the world. Its catalog features traditional recipes from Estonia, Ghana, India — and its editors are always looking for more from international authors. Beyond recipes, they’re also looking for authors who are willing to share the memories and experiences associated with their cuisines.

16. Page Street Publishing

Cookbook Publishers | Page Street
Page Street Publishing: on the front line of the war on gluten.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: diet-specific books, especially vegan, paleo, and gluten-free ones

Page Street Publishing focuses on creating a range of recipes for cooks at varying levels of expertise. The company has a strong collection of books that cater to diverse dietary needs and habits. On top of that, Page Street actively seeks to bring value to its readers by helping them lead healthier and better lives.

17. Lake Isle Books

Cookbook Publishers | Lake Isle Books Titles
Convenience doesn't have to come in a package, as Lake Isle will show you.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? Yes.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive and chef cookbooks, culinary memoirs with an experimental twist

A self-proclaimed trailblazer in the culinary publishing world, Lake Isle publishes books that introduce new styles and techniques to its readers. This often means that its editors look for authors who are well-trained and experienced in the cooking world — probably also why it only accepts agented submissions (as you might have noticed, there is no submission public guidelines authors can access).

18. Tuttle Publishing

Cookbook Publishers | The Food of Indonesia
Note to self: Add 'brass duck bowl' to Christmas wish list.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive cookbooks on Asian cuisines

Tuttle aims to strengthen knowledge of Asian cultures, and a big part of that is promoting their diverse and colorful cuisines. Its published titles include recipe books that provide overviews of national cuisines, as well as subject-specific titles — for instance, those focused on the art of sushi-making.

19. Square One Publishers 

Eat Smart, Eat Raw Cookbook by Kate Wood
Cookbooks don't need to have any actual cooking in them.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive cookbooks aimed at beginner and intermediate home cooks

To balance out some of the niche cookbook publishers, here’s Square One — a prolific publisher that welcomes all sorts of titles. From environmentally-friendly cooking to books that empower those transitioning to healthier eating habits, this company covers every gastronomic topic you can think of. One theme that unites all these titles is that they’re catered to home cooks.

20. Schiffer Publishing

Schiffer Mrs Kitching's Smith Island Cookbook
Schiffer's recipe books will make you homesick for places you've never been.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: family cookbooks, culinary memoirs

Schiffer Publishing has a long-standing tradition of publishing books for families. Ultra-comforting recipes and dishes that can be whipped up by home cooks make up a big chunk of its catalog. If you want to produce recipes that can be shared at family gatherings for generations to come, Schiffer might just be what you’re looking for.

21. Stone Pier Press

Cookbook Publishers | Book by Stone Pier Press
Protect the environment by making the right food choice with Stone Pier Press.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive and single-subject cookbooks relating to sustainability

Advertising itself as an “environmental media organization with a food focus,” Stone Pier Press is not your ordinary publication. Working to promote sustainable changes to our way of life, the press focuses on finding authors who get to the roots of the problem — for instance, with books about planting and harvesting your own ingredients.

22. Sterling Publishing

Cookbook Publishers | Sterling Titles
"Let's get the readers' mouths watering with a glassy-eyed picture of a dead fish." (right)

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: single-subject cookbooks with an experimental twist

Another option for the adventurous cook is Sterling Publishing. Its published titles are always savvy about the latest culinary trends and unafraid to try out new ingredients — not to mention new ways to assemble those ingredients. Whether you’re talking about cocktails or ketogenic meals, if your recipes approach the topic with fresh eyes, it’ll likely fit right into Sterling’s catalog.

23. Pelican Publishing Company

Cookbook Publishers | The Whole Enchilada Book
It was a bold choice to not put a photo of an enchilada recipe on the cover.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive and family cookbooks

Pelican Publishing Company has been around since the 1920s, and it has published a wide range of recipes in that time. The company releases an average of 30 titles a year, so its editors are always looking for new authors who want to share their recipes, either with the world or with the local community.

24. Great American Publishers

Cookbook Publishers | Great American Publishers
A perfect stocking-stuffer for the Ron Swanson in your life.

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: souvenir and family cookbooks, culinary memoirs

Great American Publishers produces little else other than cookbooks. This independent publisher has a burgeoning collection of titles on cuisines from across all fifty American states. The editors tend to anthologize recipes by different authors: send them your recipe for a chance to be included in one of their collections. H

 

owever, if you want to publish a whole recipe book, you can also send them a cover letter, along with a sample of your manuscript (it’s an exception to the rule for not requiring a book proposal).

25. Acadian House Publishing

Cookbook Publishers | Gumbo Recipes
Classic!

👩‍💼 Agent needed? No. View guidelines here.

🍴 Best for: comprehensive and family cookbooks about Louisiana cuisine

This is an oldie but a goodie — Acadian House Publishing started bringing out regional titles in 1979, and it's continued with this mission to celebrate Louisiana’s culture ever since. This is a niche market, but if you happen to be writing about this vibrant state, there’s probably no better place to go!