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What are you reading?


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#391 gfweb

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

Steingarten's two books. James Beard's autobiography. James Villas's autobiography.

#392 patrickamory

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:00 PM

All the books by John Thorne.

But if we're talking about all books about food that aren't primarily composed of recipes... that's a HUGE category. Were you looking for something more specific?

#393 andiesenji

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:57 PM

There was this old topic (from 2004) Food Related Books

And there was this one: Books That Age Gracefully

And I am sure there was another one - there was a discussion about the book of Julia Child's letters to her friend in one topic but I don't recall the topic title.
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#394 Lisa Shock

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:25 AM

I really enjoyed Shapiro's books. One book that keeps haunting my thoughts lately is The Last Days of Haute Cuisine by Patrick Kuh. Parts of it are written oddly, and it's oddly assembled, but, for someone who dined in some of these places at the end of their glory, it captures the status quo of a previous generation of restaurateurs. Maybe I am just old and nostalgic for places that served the full-on Escoffier menus of the early part of the last century.

#395 Shalmanese

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:50 AM

Becoming a Chef is a great book on the process of cooking in a professional context.
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#396 MaryLA

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:43 AM

Bill Buford's Heat on cooking for Mario Batali

#397 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:23 AM

I can also recommend Karen Hess's "Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection", a scholarly but very readable -- and fascinating -- examination of how slaves brought agricultural knowledge as well as cooking techniques to the New World.

And ditto John Thorne's books. He is one of my heroes.

#398 Crouton

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:38 AM

Even though Bill Buford's Heat centers around Batali in some chapters, it really is an excellent book. It is extremely well written compared to the flat/sterile writing style of most food journalists, Michael Ruhlmen etc.

#399 bonkboo

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:04 AM

I would vote for Michael Ruhlman's on The Making, The Soul and The Reach of a Chef. Tremendous journalism on the craft, for me, that captivated me and taught me while I was beginning to learn to cook.

#400 Jon Tseng

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:49 AM

But if we're talking about all books about food that aren't primarily composed of recipes... that's a HUGE category. Were you looking for something more specific?

Agree it's broad topic - if we're talking all books abt food which aren't recipe books.

The way I'm thinking about it is food about the process of cooking which aren't cookbooks, as opposed to works of culinary biography, history, reportage. I think that's a more fruitful category to explore... If we want good food bios etc the list in endless!

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#401 patrickamory

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:01 AM

I'd also add Fucshia Dunlop - Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper

#402 Twyst

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:35 AM

Blood Bones and Butter!

#403 wanderingtaoist

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:55 AM

I would vote for Michael Ruhlman's on The Making, The Soul and The Reach of a Chef. Tremendous journalism on the craft, for me, that captivated me and taught me while I was beginning to learn to cook.


Seconded. The first part of the Soul of the Chef, about Certified Chef Master Exam, has to be the tensest thing I ever read in books about cooking. You feel the pressure, the stress of the participants. I reread it every now and then for pure enjoyment.

I really enjoyed Joe Bastianich's Restaurant Man recently (in audiobook form, read by the author). It is a nice look behind the scenes of restaurant life, written in pretty Bourdainesque style. Lots of expletives, so YMMV.

#404 Pierogi

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:38 PM

Surprised no one has mentioned Ruth Reichl. I loved both "Tender At The Bone" and "Comfort Me With Apples". I've always found her writing very evocative, going back to when she was editor of the LA Times food section a million years ago. I think she's a spectacular writer.
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#405 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:09 AM

Surprised no one has mentioned Ruth Reichl. I loved both "Tender At The Bone" and "Comfort Me With Apples". I've always found her writing very evocative, going back to when she was editor of the LA Times food section a million years ago. I think she's a spectacular writer.


I LOVED her when she was at the LA Times, but her books got a bit too personal, for me, I really didn't want to know all those things about Colman Andrews...

#406 tsp.

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:23 PM

I'm reading The Saucier's Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe. Bob Spitz.

It's not bad, I found it at a second hand store for next to nothing.

#407 Kerry Beal

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

I'm reading The Saucier's Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe. Bob Spitz.

It's not bad, I found it at a second hand store for next to nothing.


One of my favourites!

#408 tsp.

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

I've also recently read Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey, I was standing at the airport about to go to Hanoi for work and I saw it there with "Hanoi" and a kind of culinary cover, so I quickly bought it to read on the plane without reading the blurb. It wasn't bad, young girl stages at four kitchens across the world including a stint at Dewey Dufresne's wd~50. Wasn't bad.

#409 MelissaH

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:27 AM

I've also recently read Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey, I was standing at the airport about to go to Hanoi for work and I saw it there with "Hanoi" and a kind of culinary cover, so I quickly bought it to read on the plane without reading the blurb. It wasn't bad, young girl stages at four kitchens across the world including a stint at Dewey Dufresne's wd~50. Wasn't bad.


I read that book. Probably the most interesting thing I learned from it was very close to the beginning of the book: Wherever she went to culinary school didn't pay close attention to details, as she apparently graduated without ever being taught how to properly hold a knife!
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#410 IowaDee

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:39 AM

I enjoyed Dearie by Bob Spitz. New insight into Julia Child.

#411 tsp.

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:14 PM


I've also recently read Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey, I was standing at the airport about to go to Hanoi for work and I saw it there with "Hanoi" and a kind of culinary cover, so I quickly bought it to read on the plane without reading the blurb. It wasn't bad, young girl stages at four kitchens across the world including a stint at Dewey Dufresne's wd~50. Wasn't bad.


I read that book. Probably the most interesting thing I learned from it was very close to the beginning of the book: Wherever she went to culinary school didn't pay close attention to details, as she apparently graduated without ever being taught how to properly hold a knife!


There was always at least one person in love with her in each kitchen too. And we get it, you drink scotch.

#412 Raamo

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:58 AM

I recently "read" MC@H, but it's more a cook book then a book...

Thanks to jumping on the MC bandwagan I picked up On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen for my nook and figure it'll take me a while to read all ~1236 pages.

Not exactly a new book, but so far it's excellent and I've learned a few things and I'm only in the milk chapter.

#413 Darienne

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:41 PM

I'm 1/3 of the way through Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss, Signal/McClelland & Stewart,/Random House, 2013, ISBN: 978-0-7710-5708-3 and I'm finding it fascinating.  I just finished reading the section on sugar and now am on to fat. 

 

We don't eat a lot of processed food and never have.  And we are both WWII babies so grew up before these foods existed.   Kraft Dinner is the first processed food I can remember from my childhood. 

 

It's very packed with facts and figures and I just keep on saying...'Gosh, I didn't know that'.  That is, when I'm not saying.  'OMG, I didn't know that' in a very discouraged or outraged tone.  Not an encouraging book so far...


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#414 Special K

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 07:41 AM

I just finished "To Eat," by Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd, in one sitting. Cried like a baby after the last chapter. Eck finished the book, which he and Winterrowd were working on when Winterrowd died. He uses "we" throughout. Wonderful, wonderful book. I do hope Eck continues to write.



#415 Special K

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 02:12 PM

I recently read Luke Barr's Provence 1970, about MFK Fisher, Simca Beck, James Beard, Paul and Julia Child and Richard Olney all being in Provence at the same time in what was a pivotal year for each of them. It's an OK book; about what you'd expect from MFK's great nephew - hagiographies of one and all - with the exception of Olney, who comes across as a cantankerous know-it-all and a grumpy loner.
 
BUT! that book led me to Olney's Reflexions, which was wonderful. After reading this uncompleted memoir, which was published posthumously, I don't think he was curmudgeonly at all. In fact, he seems to have been extraordinarily sensitive, and he comes across to me as a dear, sweet, shy, hardworking, extraordinarily talented man. He constantly found himself going out of his way to do people huge favors, and he usually got punished for his generosity. He was very, very close to his large extended family and had many dear friends (and the love comes across even when he's griping about how some of them treat him). Yes, he makes some catty observations about people, but what's forgotten, I think, is that this book is mostly excerpts of diary entries and letters to his brothers, the only two places he could "let his hair down," so if he comes across as bitchy, it's the kind of bitchiness you only find in these kinds of very personal writings. I'm sure he knew of his reputation and I'm guessing that's why he put this book together, in self-defense, knowing he was nearing the end of his days.
 
The only complaint I have is that he often introduces people (and it seems like there are thousands of people!) early in the book and thereafter refers to them by first name only, so sometimes it's kind of hard to figure out who he's talking about (which Jimmy was that again?) but I think that probably would have been corrected had he been able to do the final editing himself.  
 
The last chapter, written by his brother after R.O.'s death, had me in tears, just as with the Eck/Winterrowd book above.
 
And oh! the descriptions of the meals and the wines! Now I'm planning to devour everything he ever wrote. I'm already deep into Simple French Food.
 
But next up is Ann Mah's Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris. No tears with this one, I hope!
 
K

 

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Provence 1970

Relexions



#416 ltimmis80

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 02:33 PM

I'm currently reading The flavour thesaurus by Niki Segnit. It's a great resource for finding inspiration and discovering new flavour combinations.

 

 

Host Note: eGullet Society friendly link to the book


Edited by heidih, 02 December 2013 - 04:11 PM.


#417 patrickamory

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 03:49 PM

Huge co-sign on Richard Olney "Reflexions." An odd book by an odd man, but endlessly fascinating about food and wine.

 

The story of him excavating his wine cellar out of Provençal rock, all by himself!



#418 IowaDee

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:54 PM

Just started Anything that moves- Renegade chefs, fearless eaters and the making of a new American food culture.  Author is Dana Goodyear.

So far,I'm really enjoying it.

 

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#419 Porthos

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:58 PM

A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain. So far a good read. I watched the series on Food Network back when.

 

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#420 Anna N

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 06:36 PM

Reading samples of John Thorne on my kindle. I am sure I will eventually spring for one or more of his books.
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