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What are you reading?


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#61 mrsadm

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 03:31 AM

I guess I must be star-struck by celebrity chefs, lately. Right now I am reading Marco Pierre White's book, The Devil in the Kitchen which is a lot of fun. I became quite interested in the guy after seeing the interview of him on youtube.

Next I'll read Neil Simpson's biography of Gordon Ramsay. Then I have Chocolate and Zucchini waiting for my next airline trip.
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#62 oneidaone

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 01:52 PM

Oh, I apologize! I spelled Jacques wrong! It's a great book!
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#63 coquus

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 10:22 AM

I'll have to keep an eye out for that one.

I just finished Dishwasher by Pete Jordan, I heard about it last week on NPR and found it at the library. It is billed as one mans quest to make his living as a pearl diver while traveling all fifty states. I loved this book, it was a great behind the scenes look at the life of some of those who take care of the mess. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about these suds battlers and general clockwork that is the restaurant. Pete was also publisher of the zine of the same name.

#64 CRoz

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 01:50 PM

I just finished reading Menu from an Orchard Table by Heidi Noble. A very interesting story with recipes about the Heidi and her husband turning an orchard in the Okanagan wine country (in BC, Canada) into a winery and a cooking school highlighting local producers and seasonal ingredients.

#65 baroness

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 02:22 PM

Next I'll read Neil Simpson's biography of Gordon Ramsay

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My library managed to 'give' me this at the same time as Gordon's autobiography - "Roasting in Hell's Kitchen: Temper Tantrums, F Words, and the Pursuit of Perfection".

His book is a much better read, IMO, than Simpson's. And his cookbooks aren't bad, either...

#66 jess mebane

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 03:57 PM

My Bombay Kitchen, by Niloufer Ichaporia King. Just the origins of her Parsi people makes my whole country's existence feel callow and raw about the elbows. Oh, wait, we are callow and.......(American sigh).
I am becoming something of a Indian Grocery lurker, tho; always just one ounce or two of ajwain seeds away from being thwoked on the head by the elderly storekeeper's broom. She scares me.

#67 dharold

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 03:16 AM

White Slave, the Marco Pierre White autobiography. It's not particularly in his voice, as a quick comparison of his restaurant reviews in Waitrose Food Illustrated and the authorial voice in the book will confirm, but the anecdotes are interesting, as much for what they contradict about the legend as for what they confirm.

It was all rather a tumble at the end, over a decade compressed into the last couple of chapters as though nothing of great interest had happened to him since he stopped cooking. There's some juice about other chefs who've offended him (the stuff about Albert Roux is revelatory, about Gordon Ramsay less so); the mildly interesting tale of the sinking of his restaurant Titanic; and a little bit about his much rumoured marital bust-ups.

But nothing in the last 3rd is as well realised or remembered as the first parts of the book, where he was serving apprenticeships and opening Harvey's.

For such a charming man the book is rather charmless. That said, if you have any interest in the story of the man who was clearly the most important British chef of the 20th century then you'll need to read this, and will probably get enough out of it to make it worthwhile.

I'm about half way through Neil Simpson's very "tabloid" Gordon Ramsay biog and I have Ramsay's own "Humble Pie" ready to go after that.
Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

#68 Carrot Top

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 07:47 AM

It was all rather a tumble at the end, over a decade compressed into the last couple of chapters as though nothing of great interest had happened to him since he stopped cooking.

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One has to wonder whether this is how he feels it or whether this is how the editors or publishers shaped it. :wink:

Very nice post for your initial foray into eG, dharold. :smile:

#69 dharold

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 08:03 AM

Thanks!

Interestingly he seems to be having a bit of renaissance. Both in rather undesirable tabloid newspaper coverage and in his cooking (even if the cooking is only on TV, not in the restaurant kitchen). With Hell's Kitchen gearing up, a new, more mainstream cookery book out in the late summer, and some more off-the-wall launches (The White Room, which is going to be on a cruise ship) I'm hoping that a future edition of the book will need 100 more pages, not just 10....

Edited by dharold, 28 June 2007 - 08:03 AM.

Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

#70 Megan Kathleen

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 08:27 AM

I just started Lessons in Service from Charlie Trotter, by Edmund Lawler (Ten Speed Press, 2001). Too early in to say too much, but so far, so good.

Ruhlman's "Chef" series is great. Each of those books made unique and important impressions on me. His "Wooden Boats" is likewise good creative non-fiction; a little heavy on the jargon, but maybe I think that because I'm more comfortable with the food world than I am with that of shipbuilding!

I recently reread The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine by Rudolph Chelminski. When it came out (Gotham, 2005), I read it in less than two days. Bernard Loiseau's is a sad but somehow understandable story. It gave me a whole new perspective on the business and the demands it makes of the people who live it.
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#71 kpzachary

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 10:41 AM

I'm jumping between The Secret Life of Lobsters, (which has been more of a mariine biology read than a food related story, but it's main subject is a food item per se) and Burgandy Stars (which I was lucky enough to have Kitchen Arts and Letters in NYC track down for me because they are the best book store in the whole freakin' world).

#72 racheld

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 11:22 PM

Best Food Writing---three fairly hefty paperbacks from the library. I've finished 03 and 04, and am starting 05. A coupla the bits are from eGullet.

And some of these articles are wonderfully written, especially one about a special Japanese Tea Ceremony, translated as "Evening Talk"---just a serene, ethereal account of a quiet evening spent with friends. The intricate steps are like a sedate dance, with all the participants knowing all the moves, and executing them courteously and with the grace of swans.

Also Memphis Afternoons, a gift from a friend who is a childhood friend of the author.
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#73 Carrot Top

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:36 AM

I happened across Hungry Planet - What The World Eats by Menzel and D'Aluisio (Ten Speed Press of course) at the library and took it out a week or so ago.

This book is a marvel. It is a compendium. It is a encyclopedia. It is a photography book. It is an adventure book. It is full of information about politics and the earth and economics. It is stories. It is people. And lastly it is all built upon the subject of food.

Two hundred and eighty-seven jam packed pages and I am afraid to even start because there will be no end. I will have to keep reading it and referring to it. I am afraid. Very afraid. ( :laugh: )
I am afraid that I will sink into this book and not emerge for a very very long time. And I have children to feed.

I said to myself that I would have to buy the book rather than starting on it seriously and then got ready to dole out forty dollars (the price on the hardcover edition). But when clicking on Amazon it looks like there is now a paperback and it is on sale for (glory be!) sixteen dollars (?). This seems unfair to the authors that I can obtain this so cheaply but anyway, my finger will be clicking to buy the book.

#74 Peter Green

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:53 AM

I'm almost done with Musashi Miyamoto His Life and Writings , by Kenji Tokitsu. It's a relatively new work, and the translation of Musashi's writings is helped by the author being both accomplished in the martial arts, and well-studied in the use of traditional Japanese. Most other works suffer from trying to be exact readings in a modern voice.

It's an interesting parallel to life in the kitchen, with the discipline and concentration upon technique and application. Also with strong parallels to the "pedigrees" we see of chefs - schools vs restaurants. Obviously, this isn't a new conclusion, there are plenty of great Japanese cartoons out there that treat this same subject. But it's nice getting back to the roots of a genre.

One problem I have, however, is from the Dokkodo "The Way To Be Followed Alone":

13. Do not pursue the taste of good food

Ah well, you couldn't expect him to be perfect.

#75 anina marcus

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:13 AM

What food-related books are you currently reading? Do you read more than one at a time?

If it is a cookbook, do you tend to scan it or do you thoroughly read it...

Are you enjoying the book you are reading at the moment? Any comments on it?

I'm reading 'Much Depends on Dinner' by Margaret Visser and am enjoying it though it is a bit of a slower read than some others I've read due to the concentration level required to think through the historic and sociologic references.

Usually I read two or three books at the same time but am running short on titles I have an urge for...
I do tend to scan traditional cookbooks rather than read though I used to gobble up every word.

Tell us what is on your reading table!

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:wink: I rcould not get thru miuch depends on dinner. Way too dense. A lovely book about the history of jewish immigrants and theifood businnes they had is called STUFFED: Adventures of a restaurant family.

Edited by anina marcus, 26 July 2007 - 09:14 AM.


#76 Carrot Top

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:32 AM

One problem I have, however, is from the Dokkodo "The Way To Be Followed Alone":

13. Do not pursue the taste of good food

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True, true. It is better when the taste of good food pursues you.

:smile:


:wink: I rcould not get thru miuch depends on dinner.  Way too dense.  A lovely book about the history of jewish immigrants and theifood businnes they had is called STUFFED:  Adventures of a restaurant family.

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I never got through it either, anina marcus. :sad: Finally gave it to a new home.

"Stuffed", huh? :biggrin: Suddenly I'm hungry. :laugh:

#77 Jensen

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:40 PM

I finished up Barbara Kingsolver's new book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, early this morning. It's a natural sequel to Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, chronicling a year of living as a "locavore" on a small farm in southwest Virginia.

The book was co-authored by Ms. Kingsolver's husband, Stephen Hopp, and her eldest daughter, Camille Kingsolver. Hopp provides short essays on the science and the politics of foodways, while the daughter's contribution consists of reminiscences and recipes.

I really enjoyed it but, if you're a Monsanto fan, you might want to give it a pass. :raz:

#78 Terrasanct

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 01:09 PM

I read that recently, too. Good book.

I'm currently reading Heat by Bill Buford, which seems appropriate since it's been around or over 100 most of the past two weeks. I'm also looking at/have piled up to read next: FoodBook by James Trager, Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, and Baking with Julia. I have Baking from my Home to Yours, also by Dorie Greenspan, on order. After I read the thread here about it, I had to get it.

And I have to finish reading Harry Potter before someone gives away the ending, too. Not much food in the latest book, unfortunately.

#79 Kent D

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:06 PM

It's summer, and since my daughter's always do the summer reading program down at the library, I get to check out real books for a few weeks. So I always hit the "new books" shelf, and for some inexplicable reason always end up with food-related books. Right now I'm flipping through:

HOW I LEARNED TO COOK: CULINARY EDUCATIONS FROM THE WORLD'S GREATEST CHEFS by WITHERSPOON, KIMBERLY (A lot of quick-read chapters of almost everyone who's anyone in food.)


The improvisational cook
by Schneider, Sally. (Wouldn't you know -- someone stole the name of MY cookbook before I had a chance to write it. All about taking a simple recipe or concept and making into something else and not being tied to structured recipes. It's really how I live my life in the kitchen, even with shelves full of cookbooks.)


Wrestling with gravy : a life, with food /
by Reynolds, Jonathan. (An autobiography of a NYT food writer. I always like food biographies, just picked this one up for the title and cover.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”
-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.
>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

#80 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:26 PM

two right now

Garlic and Sapphires Reichl (I found it on our volunteer table at work for a $1 good score!!! really quick pretty good read)

The Soul of A New Cuisine Samuelsson (gift from my sister and a very lovely coffee table book!)

Edited by hummingbirdkiss, 26 July 2007 - 03:27 PM.


#81 The Naughti Literati

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:47 PM

I was in the bookstore last week and came across a new book called Eating India - had to have it. The writing is BEAUTIFUL and I dare you to get past the introduction without wanting to pick up the phone and order something from your favorite restaurant.

I have many of the books mentioned upthread and read many at the same time! Next on my list is The Nasty Bits.

#82 prasantrin

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 04:05 PM

I was reading The Dim Sum Book by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, which I got from the library, but some a**hole cut out huge sections of the book. I'm so annoyed, but also disgusted. Who the hell does things like that? :angry:

#83 dockhl

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 07:25 PM

Just finished Soul of a Chef, reading Reach of a Chef, and attempting to find a copy of Making of a Chef.

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multiwagon~
Did you ever find this? Here it is at Amazon.com for as little as $4.70, used with $3.99 s/h.

I just ordered A RETURN TO COOKING, Ripert and Ruhlman. Anybody familiar with it?

Just finished HAPPY IN THE KITCHEN. Loved it.

#84 TarteTatin

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 07:39 PM

La Bonne Table by Bemelman.
Great stories-- about the old days of the food service industry...
(Not only is he a good food/service writer, but he did the children books and drawings of "Madeline").

Also found Michel Guerard, Cuisine Minceur at a flea market. Old fashioned, not well written (due to translation?), but interesting.
Philly Francophiles

#85 The Naughti Literati

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 08:36 PM

Just finished Soul of a Chef, reading Reach of a Chef, and attempting to find a copy of Making of a Chef.

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multiwagon~
Did you ever find this? Here it is at Amazon.com for as little as $4.70, used with $3.99 s/h.

I just ordered A RETURN TO COOKING, Ripert and Ruhlman. Anybody familiar with it?

Just finished HAPPY IN THE KITCHEN. Loved it.

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I have A Return to Cooking! It's such a beautiful book, you will love it.

#86 dockhl

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:50 PM

Good. It seemed like something that should go alongside The French Laundry, Bouchon and Happy in the Kitchen

Also just got David Rosengarten's It's All American Food, which is funny, wonderful compilation of lots of American immigrant variations on recipes. Fascinating.

#87 The Naughti Literati

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 09:16 PM

My Bombay Kitchen, by Niloufer Ichaporia King.  Just the origins of her Parsi people makes my whole country's existence feel callow and raw about the elbows. Oh, wait, we are callow and.......(American sigh).
I am becoming something of a Indian Grocery lurker, tho; always just one ounce or two of ajwain seeds away from being thwoked on the head by the elderly storekeeper's broom.  She scares me.

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Hahah...are you familiar with the fiction of Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance, Family Matters)? He and Thrity Umrigar (Bombay Time, The Skin Between Us) are two of my favorite writers and their stories are always about Parsi families in Bombay. One of the characters in one of Mistry's novels is always fiending for his wife's chicken dhansak, which she makes on Sundays. You'd probably enjoy Eating India, which I posted about the other day, as well.

Today I started Fork It Over by Alan Richman and a friend lent me Orwell's Down and Out In Paris and London, which I will start this weekend - I read so many books at the same time!

Edited by The Naughti Literati, 02 August 2007 - 09:28 PM.


#88 mikeycook

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 08:12 AM

Also found Michel Guerard, Cuisine Minceur at a flea market. Old fashioned, not well written (due to translation?), but interesting.

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Agree that Cuisine Minceur is not the best written book. Hard to believe looking at it, over 30 years later, that it was so influential (the quintessential cookbook on Nouvelle Cuisine philosophy) and that Guerard was such an important figure in French cooking.

Just bought Bouchon for myself. Avoided it for a long time due to size, but found it at a good price, unopened, and couldn't resist.

Edited by mikeycook, 03 August 2007 - 08:13 AM.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."
~ Fernand Point

#89 Carrot Top

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 08:49 AM

Right now I'm reading "New Sudden Fiction" - an anthology (2007) of short short stories (2500 words).

Two stories so far have had food oriented subject lines, though in an indirect way.

Yann Martel's "We Ate the Children Last" tells of what happens when pig's stomachs have been successfully able to be implanted into humans as replacement parts . . . first due to medical reasons then afterwards because the people that received them preferred to eat trash rather than fresh food so it was quite a cost-effective thing to do.


Frederick Adolph Paola's "The Wine Doctor" is about a traditional doctor practicing medicine in Fascist Italy of the 1930's and his relationship with the man who is known locally as the wine doctor who practices the prescription of various sorts of wines (based on their composition down to the soil, the weather, the grape etc.) to ailing people in the same town.

Both stories are fantastic. In both senses of the word. :smile:

#90 srhcb

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 03:04 PM

My Sister sent me Jim Harrison's The Raw & the Cooked, which I can't beleive I hadn't read yet! :huh:

She and I have a tradition of leaving "markers" in books we send each other. I use little Post-It flags and she folds the corner down on pages to mark passages of interest. We don't specify exactly which part of the page we mean to note, leaving that up to each other's detective powers. :hmmm:

SB (Sent his Sister, in exchange, Jung Chang's The Wild Swans, which she's considering using as her fall Book Club selection.)