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19 Caribbean Cookbooks You Need in Your Kitchen

Dive into the soul of the Caribbean — one delectable plate at a time — with these 19 essential cookbooks, authored by those who carry the islands' vibrant essence in their veins from the threads of the African and Black diaspora.

an illustration of a Jamaican dutch oven with local Caribbean ingredients like plantains, scotch bonnet peppers, red onions, chili peppers, and coconuts surrounding the pot. Also coming out of the pot are Caribbean cookbooks by local authors, who are sharing and preserving their culinary heritages


Cookbooks transcend simple recipe collections; they act as portals to cultural heritage, bridging the past, present, and future. At the heart of this exchange lies the inherent human need to preserve, and cookbooks stand as testaments to this enduring practice, offering global audiences a taste of diverse food cultures that could otherwise fade away from reduced use of oral tradition.

Our curated selection focuses on cookbooks authored by those who know the Caribbean not just in map coordinates, but in their very souls, carrying the wisdom of grandparents' kitchens and bustling street markets in their veins. We want to showcase voices that resonate with the vibrant essence of the islands; voices that capture the spirit of a culinary heritage sculpted by migration, resilience, and an unwavering zest for life.

This list beckons you on a culinary adventure, guiding you from sun-drenched breakfasts overflowing with tropical fruits to sunset feasts brimming with succulent meats and seafood. With each turn of the page, you'll discover a symphony of flavors, a celebration of community, and the undeniable bond between food and family that threads through the Caribbean diaspora.

Our editors research all our cookbook recommendations and order them by publication date, as we have no favorites! However, we may earn an affiliate commission when you use a link to purchase a cookbook, which will go towards our research and projects.

Last updated: Dec 29th 2023


Cookbook cover of Code Noir: Afro-Caribbean Stories and Recipes by Lelani Lewis

Code Noir: Afro-Caribbean Stories and Recipes by Lelani Lewis

Perfect for… examining the history and stories behind the diverse landscape of Afro-Caribbean culinary heritage

Lelani Lewis is a culinary activist, chef, and food stylist who grew up in London, UK with a Grenadian father and an Irish mother. This cookbook follows the launch of her digital food platform, Code Noir, which uses food experiences and educational tools to spotlight how the worldwide exchange of goods has influenced current-day dishes within the Caribbean, and how its complex history can be utilized for cultural innovation.

The cookbook’s title is an ode to the seventeenth-century decree in which King Louis XIV dictated how enslaved Africans in the French colonies were to be treated. The mix of traditional and contemporary recipes celebrates the rich culinary tapestry of the Caribbean, while honoring their heritage borne from centuries of oppression and hardship.


cookbook cover of East Winds: Recipes, History and Tales from the Hidden Caribbean by Riaz Phillips

East Winds: Recipes, History and Tales from the Hidden Caribbean by Riaz Phillips

Perfect for… experiencing the flavors the lesser-known side of the Caribbean has to offer

Riaz Phillips is a photographer, videographer, and cookbook author born and raised in London, UK. With every book he releases, Phillips has sought to remedy the void of media surrounding the Afro-Caribbean cuisine he grew up with, and does so by preserving traditional staples and introducing exciting contemporary recipes born from the diaspora.

East Winds – the sequel to Phillips’ award-winning cookbook, West Winds – delves into the vibrant and eclectic cuisines that characterize the eastern reaches of the Caribbean. Highlighting a region that has remained largely unseen by modern media until now, Phillips intertwines each recipe with history, personal stories, and narratives. Each spotlights the influences of indentured Indian and Chinese immigrants, Indigenous tribes, and African heritage from Trinidadian, Guyanese, Surinamese, and Grenadian cultures and beyond.

Other books by Riaz Phillips:


cookbook cover of Caribbean Paleo: 75 Wholesome Dishes Celebrating Tropical Cuisine and Culture by Althea Brown

Caribbean Paleo: 75 Wholesome Dishes Celebrating Tropical Cuisine and Culture by Althea Brown

Perfect for… discovering paleo-forward dishes that spotlight tropical cuisines

Hailing from Guyana, a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean, Althea Brown is the founder of the food blog Metemgee, a certified Whole30 coach, and a pioneer of Caribbean cooking with a paleo twist. All her work aims to create accessible and traditionally modern Caribbean and Guyanese dishes.

In 75 simple and vibrant recipes, Brown spotlights dishes from her childhood in Guyana alongside her favorites from Jamaica, Trinidad, and across the Caribbean – all free from gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. Simple substitutions like noodles and rice are made for squash, cassava, and cauliflower rice, resulting in traditional tropical dishes that never compromise in flavor.


cookbook cover of Chef Tee's Caribbean Kitchen: Vibrant recipes that bring the joy of island cooking to your home by Chef Tee

Chef Tee's Caribbean Kitchen: Vibrant Recipes That Bring the Joy of Island Cooking to Your Home by Chef Tee

Perfect for… cooking up restaurant-quality traditional and contemporary Caribbean dishes

Owner of the post-pandemic-favorite Paradise Cove in South London, UK, Chef Tee is a restauranteur and book author with a simple and classic motto: "One love." This cookbook is not just a collection of recipes; it’s a glimpse into Chef Tee’s roots, his restaurant journey of trial and error, and a story of where his love for food has taken him. 

Chef Tee’s cookbook is an excellent snapshot of Caribbean cuisine, from hot sauces, spice rubs, and fragrant marinades, to sunshine-filled salads, wood grills, and slowly simmered braises. With stunning visuals and easy-to-follow instructions, there’s no better way to bring the joy of island cooking into your home kitchen.


cookbook cover of The Pepperpot Diaries: Stories From My Caribbean Table by Andi Oliver

The Pepperpot Diaries: Stories From My Caribbean Table by Andi Oliver

Perfect for… enjoying a vibrant fusion of traditional and contemporary flavors borne from the melting pot of cultures in the Caribbean

There isn’t a lot Andi Oliver hasn’t done, from an early singing career in the band Rip Rig + Panic to hosting and judging a variety of UK food shows like Food Glorious Food, Neneh and Andi Dish it Up, and the Great British Menu, and even opening her own pop-up kitchen called Sugarshack in London, UK.

The Pepperpot Diaries is Andi Oliver’s long-awaited first cookbook. Showcasing the bold flavors of traditional and contemporary Caribbean cuisines, this book captures the melting pot of cultural influences, history, and heritage that has shaped the culinary identities of today. Through her travels in Antigua, Oliver also shares her deeply personal journey of reconnecting with the food she grew up eating, and each page brings a new flavor and story to your table.


cookbook cover of The Dominican Kitchen: Homestyle Recipes That Celebrate the Flavors, Traditions, and Culture of the Dominican Republic by Vanessa Mota

The Dominican Kitchen: Homestyle Recipes That Celebrate the Flavors, Traditions, and Culture of the Dominican Republic by Vanessa Mota

Perfect for… delving into the diverse culinary history of the second-largest Caribbean country, the Dominican Republic

Vanessa Mota is an award-winning photographer, author of the bilingual food blog My Dominican Kitchen, and a member of the 2021 fall class of Cafe Media’s Remarkable Voices. She was born in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic, and started her blog as a form of recipe preservation to store her family favorites in a digital archive and share the flavors of la comida criolla with the world. 

The Dominican Republic’s culinary history is rich with influences from the Taíno, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and China. From arepitas to empaguetadas and morir soñando, Vanessa Mota’s homestyle recipes celebrate the diversity of the nation’s cuisine and provide an accessible overview bursting with bright images and helpful insights into Dominican staples. 


cookbook cover of Dominica Gourmet: A Unique Spin on Traditional Dominican Cuisine by Mayma Raphael

Dominica Gourmet: A Unique Spin on Traditional Dominican Cuisine by Mayma Raphael

Perfect for… those seeking a homestyle taste of Dominica's cuisine

Mayma Raphael was born and raised in the scenic village of Thibaud, Dominica, and migrated to Toronto, Canada, with her family at a young age. In 2020, Mayma Raphael found herself reconnecting with her Dominican roots during the pandemic, seeking solace in the familiar flavors of her childhood. Armed with generational recipes she could only recite verbally, Raphael took her home cooking skills to the internet and began documenting these food histories through her blog Dominica Gourmet

Within the pages of Dominica Gourmet, you'll discover a curated collection of recipes that capture the essence of Dominican cooking. Laden with staples from traditional broth, affectionately known as "braff," to callaloo soup and chaudeau, this book is a culinary invitation to experience the heart and soul of Dominica, and even features some elevated modern takes on Raphael’s favorites. 


cookbook cover of Motherland: A Jamaican Cookbook by Melissa Thompson

Motherland: A Jamaican Cookbook by Melissa Thompson

Perfect for… charting 500 years of influence on the vibrant cuisine of Jamaica

Melissa Thompson was born in Dorset, UK, to a Jamaican father and a Maltese mother. As an acclaimed UK food writer, she is an ambassador for Weber, a columnist for BBC Good Food magazine, and has written articles and recipes for The Guardian, Vittles, and Waitrose Magazine. She also won the Guild of Food Writers’ Food Writing Award in 2021.

Thompson’s food has always been an eclectic celebration of cuisines worldwide. The recipes in Motherland include classic Jamaican favorites such as Jerk Pork, Braised Oxtail, and Peanut Punch, as well as original dishes and modern interpretations created with Jamaica’s abundant natural larder. Supplemented with in-depth research into the evolution of Jamaica’s food, Melissa Thompson has crafted the ultimate overview of Jamaican cuisine.


cookbook cover of Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet

Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet

Perfect for… indulging in a comprehensive and engaging overview of Puerto Rican culinary traditions

Both an award-winning writer and the first Puerto Rican food columnist in the United States, Illyanna Maisonet has a Francisco Chronicle column, Cocina Boricua, alongside features in Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food & Wine, Food52, and Los Angeles Times, to name a few. Her first and only cookbook, Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook, won the 2023 James Beard Emerging Voice Award

Illyanna Maisonet has spent her whole food writing career painstakingly documenting the recipes of her island's unique culinary heritage. Her visually stunning compendium traces the island's bold flavors to the diverse cultures that shaped it, from Taino, Spanish, African, and even American influences. Through captivating travel and food photography, Diasporican showcases food as a link to family, history, conflict, and migration, featuring both traditional staples and modern interpretations throughout.


cookbook cover of West Winds: Recipes, History and Tales From Jamaica by Riaz Phillips

West Winds: Recipes, History and Tales From Jamaica by Riaz Phillips

Perfect for… tasting the vibrant flavors Riaz Phillips brings from his home in Jamaica

West Winds is the prequel to Riaz Philips’ 2023 cookbook, East Winds, and sets the tone for his recipe collections that all aim to demystify new and unknown ingredients for home cooks from around the globe. 

Winner of the Fortnum & Mason Best Cookbook Award 2023, The Guardian Best Food Books 2022, and Jane Grigson Trust Award 2022, West Winds blazes the trail for Jamaican food to shine within any cookbook collection. If its accolades weren’t enough, this book is also a culinary cornucopia brimming with recipes to satisfy every palate and dietary preference, from vegan recipes to street food and Philips’ home-cooked favorites.

Other books by Riaz Phillips: 


cookbook cover of Yawd: Modern Afro-Caribbean Recipes by Adrian Forte

Yawd: Modern Afro-Caribbean Recipes by Adrian Forte

Perfect for… grasping a mouth-watering overview of Afro-Caribbean cuisine

Adrian Forte is a Jamaican-Canadian celebrity chef and author, known most as a semi-finalist on Food Network Canada's Top Chef Canada, a judge on Chef in Your Ear, and a contestant on Chopped Canada. Forte shares over 100 recipes in his first-ever cookbook, from traditional essentials to new riffs on Caribbean classics, all utilizing eye-catching photography and simple steps.

Yawd breaks down the key ingredients of Afro-Caribbean dishes and celebrates the African ancestral ingredients that create the bedrock for this exciting, sunshine-filled cuisine. With multi-use recipes for essentials such as Jerk Dry Rub and Marinade or Pickled Scotch Bonnets, this certainly isn’t one to miss on your cookbook shelf.


cookbook cover of Bak Fritay: Haitian Street Foods by Natacha Gomez

Bak Fritay: Haitian Street Foods by Natacha Gomez

Perfect for… relishing in the thrilling street food that has shaped Haiti’s modern culinary identity

Natacha Gomez is the Haitian entrepreneur behind INVESTA HAITI, a chef, and an environmental activist with a passion for promoting the rich cuisine of her heritage. Her culinary identity ranges from the indigenous people of the Caribbean, the Taíno, to The New Haitian Gastronomy, which focuses on revisiting traditional dishes with a modern twist and promoting local and organic products.

Following a rising interest in gastronomy tourism, Natacha Gomez takes her readers on a culinary journey through the streets and regions of Haiti. At the core of all her work, she believes that promoting street food is integral to preserving a food culture, as it is the ideal way to experience the flavors and uniqueness of a cuisine at the source. With photography taken in her garden in Cap-Haïtien, it doesn’t get more local than this!


cookbook cover of I BELIZE YOU CAN COOKBOOK: Fifty shades of great Belizean food recipes by Dr. Gregory Arana

I BELIZE YOU CAN COOKBOOK: Fifty shades of great Belizean food recipes by Dr. Gregory Arana

Perfect for… shining a light on the local culinary wonders found in Belize

Dr. Gregory Arana, fondly known as Dr. Greg, is a Belizean-American physician and author. Born in the small town of Punta Gorda, Belize, Dr. Greg writes simply to bring joy to his readers, and extends that joy into the home kitchen with his first ever cookbook, I Belize You Can Cookbook.

This cookbook is the ideal introduction to one of the least populated countries in the world, and is bursting at the spine with recipes of comfort food, street food, and everything in between. From enchiladas to tamales, conch ceviche, tacos pibil, and even caye lobster burrito, this book is truly a goldmine of culinary treasures.


cookbook cover of Taste Of Aruba by The Aruba Tourism Authority

Taste Of Aruba by The Aruba Tourism Authority

Perfect for… catching a glimpse into Aruban cuisine that seamlessly blends diverse culinary influences

Positioned in the heart of the Southern Caribbean azure sea, there is a small sunkissed island called Aruba. With roughly 107,000 occupants, over 90 unique nationalities, and only a boat trip away from many American countries like Venezuela, Mexico, and the United States, it is no surprise that this Caribbean gem is popular with tourists planning anything from weddings to beach parties.

Despite their small size, Aruba's culinary traditions are as diverse and vibrant as its people. This free ebook provides a fascinating introduction to Aruban cuisine, featuring traditional recipes and insights into the island's foodways. The Cala recipe is a prime example of its African roots and closely resembles the West African Akara.


cookbook cover of For Such a Time as This: Flavors and Recipes from My Honduras by Sarah Kohnle and Heidy Lanza Baca

For Such a Time as This: Flavors and Recipes from My Honduras by Sarah Kohnle and Heidy Lanza Baca

Perfect for… delighting in home-cooked pleasures passed down through a Honduras family

Heidy Lanza Baca grew up in a peaceful village miles away from the bustling Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, where she would spend vacation time cooking with her maternal grandparents. The American journalist Sarah Bunce Kohnle met Baca on a visit to Honduras and immediately became infatuated with the cuisine she had introduced her to.

For Such a Time as This is a celebration of heritage, culture, and memories carried through bites of food. For Baca, the book also honors her commitment to preserving the food her grandparents taught her, bringing the food of Central America’s second-largest country to a global audience.


cookbook cover of Original Flava: Caribbean Recipes from Home by Craig McAnuff and Shaun McAnuff

Original Flava: Caribbean Recipes from Home by Craig McAnuff and Shaun McAnuff

Perfect for… dipping your toes into Jamaican food with a UK twist

Craig and Shaun McAnuff, two brothers from London, UK, launched the Original Flava brand in 2016 to share videos of them cooking simple Caribbean recipes they grew up eating in their Jamaican family. Having garnered a cult following, they have since been featured on the BBC, Buzzfeed, and Reprezent Radio, to name a few.

Following the brothers’ simple formula of E.A.T., they ensure all their recipes are Easy, Accessible, and Tasty. Giving the reader platefuls that taste like grandma's food, in Original Flava, you’ll find recipes for classics like ackee 'n' saltfish and curry goat, and Caribbean favorites from home like garlic butter lobster and Trini doubles.

Other books by Author Name: 


cookbook cover of Ainsley's Caribbean Kitchen: Delicious, Feelgood Home Cooking From the Sunshine Islands by Ainsley Harriott

Ainsley's Caribbean Kitchen: Delicious, Feelgood Home Cooking From the Sunshine Islands by Ainsley Harriott

Perfect for… experiencing both traditional and contemporary Caribbean dishes from the celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott

A culinary icon, Ainsley Harriott has captivated audiences with his vibrant personality and culinary expertise for over three decades. With over 20 television shows to his name, he has become a household name and a beloved figure in the UK and is most known for his presenter role on the television show Ready Steady Cook.

Harriott returns to his roots and rediscovers the delights of his heritage through more than 80 carefully selected recipes. This feel-good book features everything from snacks like crab and chili cornbread muffins to grilled chicken roti wraps and cocktails like the Lazy Man’s Long Island iced tea. This book has it all, whether you’re after Caribbean classics or contemporary interpretations.

Other books by Ainsley Harriott: 


cookbook cover of Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago, 3rd edition: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago by Ramin Ganeshram

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago, 3rd edition: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago by Ramin Ganeshram

Perfect for… delving deep into the culinary and cultural history of Trinidad and Tobago

Ramin Ganeshram was born in New York City to a Trinidadian father and an Iranian mother, and is an American journalist, chef, intersectional food history writer, and researcher. Since 2018, Ganeshram has been the executive director of Westport Museum for History & Culture, and has won multiple journalism awards, including seven Society of Professional Journalists awards and an International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award

Taking inspiration from memories of her father and her own experiences on the islands, Ramin Ganeshram intersperses recipes with culture and travel notes. All recipes and notes work in harmony to highlight the influences of African, Indian, Chinese, Syrian, and British cultures, and to introduce readers to the unique blend of cuisines found in Trinidad and Tobago.

Other books by Ramin Ganeshram: 


cookbook cover of My Modern Caribbean Kitchen: 70 Fresh Takes on Island Favorites by Julius Jackson

My Modern Caribbean Kitchen: 70 Fresh Takes on Island Favorites by Julius Jackson

Perfect for… trying out modern interpretations of the Caribbean’s rich culinary traditions

Julius “The Chef” Jackson is a professional chef, professional boxer, author, and a 2008 U.S. Virgin Islands Olympian. He has worked as a featured chef at the Fat Turtle restaurant, won the “King of the Wing” cooking competition in 2012, and hosted his own pop-up dining experience called “The Chef's Cooking Lab” in 2016. He has been featured in the Cooking Channel’s Beach Bites with Katie Lee and was invited to be a judge at the 2017-2019 A Taste of St. Croix competition. 

In this exciting recipe collection, “The Chef” draws from West Indian, Cajun, African, and traditional Caribbean cuisine – and ultimately his childhood in St. Thomas – to take readers through his current Caribbean favorites, applying his culinary fair to bring the perfect blend of traditional cuisine, unexpected twists, and unforgettable flavor.


This article is by Jikoni Recipe Archive, a non-profit with a mission to treasure and preserve the flavors of African and Black cuisines.

We want to represent as many diverse voices as possible from the Caribbean countries within the African diaspora, but because we have chosen to represent English textbooks and foods that stem from the African diaspora, this list will constantly evolve with new editions and new perspectives.

If you think a cookbook needs to be on a future list, let us know at and sign up to our newsletter to get more cookbook recommendations!


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