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What food-related books are you reading? (2004 - 2015)

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I'd love to learn more about the process for earning three stars, any suggestions for additional reading?

The following book has always been a standout for me. If you haven't already read it, do so! :wink:

The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine by Rudolph Chelminski


Edited by I8U8 (log)

Regards,

Peter

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I'd love to learn more about the process for earning three stars, any suggestions for additional reading?

The following book has always been a standout for me. If you haven't already read it, do so! :wink:

The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine by Rudolph Chelminski

Peter,

Thank you! I will definitely look for it. Much appreciated.

~Pam

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I'm between "The Devil in the Kitchen" by Marco Pierre White and Herve This' "Molecular Gastronomy." I enjoy them both!

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I'd love to learn more about the process for earning three stars, any suggestions for additional reading?

The following book has always been a standout for me. If you haven't already read it, do so! :wink:

The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine by Rudolph Chelminski

I second this book. A heartbreaking must-read. Marco Pierre White's biography "Devil in the Kitchen" should help you as well. Another book I would recommend is "The Seasoning of a Chef - My Journey from Diner to Ducasse" by Doug Psaltis, where he gives us some insight into Alain Ducasse's world as well as other high end kitchens (March, Bouley, French Laundry)

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Lightweight in comparison to a lot of those mentioned : The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber.

It suits me as it is the story of her life growing up near Syracuse, NY, in a family with an American mother and a Lebanese father. Father loves to cook, and to talk about food and life in Lebanon, they even live in Lebanon for a while. The story of stealing away her first boyfriend to teach him how to cook is just one of the glimpses into immigrant life. There are recipes that fit in well with the stories. Culture with food.....a great fit.

As an aside, the author tells about going with the family to the King David's Restaurant near Syracuse University and feasting on their food. King David's has just opened a branch here in Rochester.....so now we have tasty Greek and Middle Eastern food.

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Just finished The United States of Arugula by David Kamp which is sweeping chronicle of the evolution of food and cuisine in the U.S. over the last fifty years. It is also a great lead in for Michael Ruhlman's Reach of a Chef which I am now into. M.R.'s writing style is so smooth, it feels like a comfortable pair of shoes.

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I finished The Devil in the Kitchen over the weekend. Highly entertaining, especially the stories about his fall-out with Gordon Ramsey, who seems like a total wanker.

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What a treasure trove this thread is! Just when I thought I was running out of good food writing to sink my teeth into.

While it's a cookbook, not a narrative, I'm currently poring over Grant Achatz's Alinea cookbook. It's beautiful!

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Bottomfeeder, from Montreal's own Taras Grescoe.

This one's important.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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catching up on tons of food mags and will be posting giveaways later in the winter. this takes maybe 1.5 hours to read and not much food - unless you count the cat eating the Stuckey's pecan log and barfing - BUT if you grew up with brothers or are a mother of multiple sons read Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka. Jon is a kids/ya writer and it is freakin laugh out loud funny about growing up the second oldest of 6 boys. let us just say fire, improvised mortars, model airplanes and Catholic school are involved.


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I'm reading the new edition of Rowan Jacobsen's "A Geography of Oysters" and have been inspired enough to buy two dozen oysters and open them myself. The first couple were tricky, and I didn't think I'd manage, but then I got the knack. I was inordinately proud of myself, and the oysters were delicious.

I struggled through "Bottomfeeder" - I know that it's important. I tend to look at what seafood is more sustainable, and eat that as much as I can.

I love the Alinea book, and the website is cool. I also have Thomas Keller's Sous Vide, and saw him on CBS This Morning telling Harry Smith something like "it's really best left to professionals" and had to chuckle a bit. Grant Achatz not only gives wonderful, precise AND poetic instruction, but also the website. There are also some more approachable techniques in Eric Ripert's new "On the Line."


"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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I am in the last 1/4 of Phoebe Damrosch's book Service Included. It is a very good book and gives an insight into Thomas Keller's restaurant Per Se. I have also read Jeff Henderson's "Cooked, The Fourth Star, Most of Michael Ruhlman's books as well as most of Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Pages Books. I am really into books that are like Biographies or stories of Chefs and the food business.


Raymond V Houdayer, CCC

Executive Chef

Bel Acres Golf & Country Club

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Canada

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I am reading the entire 1968 Time Life FOODS OF THE WORLD series

in no particular order over no particular time frame

wow the "world" has changed just a tad :smile:

so far I am really having fun reading these!

my father bought and read them when they first came out!!!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I greatly enjoyed Julia Child's "My Life in France" and Jacques Pepin's "the Apprentice". I recently finished "Living in a Foreign Language": A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy by Michael Tucker and enjoyed it and recommend it just about as much. This was followed by "Mediterranean Summer": A Season on France's Cote d'Azur and Italy's Costa Bella by David Shalleck with Erol Munuz. He was the chef aboard a luxury sailing yacht in the Med with very strict owners, a good food and travel read. Currently I am halfway through "A Vineyard in Tuscany": A Wine Lover's Dream by Ferenc Mate and only dream I could be so lucky!

HC

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I am reading the entire 1968 Time Life FOODS OF THE WORLD series

in no particular order over no particular time frame 

wow the "world" has changed just a tad  :smile:

so far I am really having fun reading these!

my father bought and read them when they first came out!!!

They are indeed an incredibly interesting read today, over 40 years since the series was published.

My Mother and Father were members of the Time-Life book club in 1968. They bought just about every series of books Time-Life sold-including "This Fabulous Century" and "The Old West."

I doubt my Mother bought "Foods of the World" for anything more than the color photos. She certainly never cooked out of the books.

I'm now the proud keeper of our collection, and I regularly cook from the original recipes.

It's really enlightening when you consider today how innovative the recipes were back then. The book on Chinese cooking includes references and recipes using exotic (for the 60's American household) ingredients like salted black beans, lemongrass and Chinese black vinegar.

You have in your hands one of the best series of books on food, cooking and dining. Enjoy.

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I just finished Beard's "Delights and Prejudices." I've read it many times, and each time I always find something new and interesting. Beard had an amazing talent for writing and for making the simplest foods sound delicious.

As a fellow native Oregonian, my favorite chapters are the ones where Mr. Beard shares his memories of growing up in Portland and the summers the family spent at the Oregon Coast.

This morning on my commute I started reading "Hometown Appetites, The Story of Clementine Paddleford." The book is subtitled "The Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate."

I plan on following the book about Ms. Paddleford with the story of Duncan Hines.

Now making a total reversal from the stories of three icons of the American Culinary scene in the last century, I'm just getting started reading "On the Line" by Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernadin.

If you're interested in what it takes to run one of the top restaurants in America, "On the Line" is fascinating-down to diagrams of how the kitchen is laid out and details on how the fish go from the sea to the table.

Reading about Clementine Paddleford and Eric Ripert at the same time is quite an adventure.

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what a great juxtaposition, david ross.

finishing up Cornbread Nation 4 and Second Helpings of Roast Chicken by Simon Hopkinson. i especially revel in books like these that allow me to dip in and out of them, sampling various essays at whim.


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Reading Righteous Porkchop by Nicolette Hahn Niman. All about the fight against industrialized meat farming. Also, a memoir about how the author ended up marrying the owner of Niman Ranch while fighting the good fight against the agribusiness industry.

Definitely worthwhile, I'm enjoying it quite a bit.

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Surprising to me, the novel IndependentPeople, by Halldor Laxness, contains some unforgettable passages about food. I am surprised because the novel concerns a hand to mouth crofting family in the interior of Iceland in the early 1900s whose diet consisted largely of coffee, rye bread, porridge, and salt catfish.

In one vivid and memorable chapter, the young wife of the main character obsesses about the absence of meat in her diet to such a pitch that, when her husband is away, she kills(graphically)a lamb, butchers it and gorges herself with much of the entrails.

"It is at least certain that never since the days of Gudmundur the Rich and the old chieftains has any delicacy called forth such in effably wholehearted joy in the body and soul of the eater as that which was produced in this woman by the fat-salty tang of sueted gullet, the lucious meaty heart of the young animal, the tender, delicately fibered flesh of the kidneys with their peculiar flavor, and the thick slices of liver sausage dripping with fat from the pot. She drank the gravy along with it, thick and wholesome. She ate and ate as if she would never be sated. This was the first happy day of her married life."

Later there is a brief scene where two children see and smell, for the first time in their lives, duck fried in butter. I could smell it right along with them.

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Just bought The River Cottage Meat Book, and I'd be gratified to have time to look at it, but my wife is more interested in Obama's dog.

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Just bought The River Cottage Meat Book, and I'd be gratified to have time to look at it, but my wife is more interested in Obama's dog.

not to eat i hope...though River Cottage could show you how to...

sorry. i've just been reading the newest Blount which is about words.


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I'm about a third of the way through Michael Pollan's "A Place of My Own" - not about food, but very interesting and well-written.


"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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the Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill. A mystery, but with great descriptions of baguettes in Vientiane (Christopher Moore recommended this, and it's a very good read).

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going thru a big stack of 10 year old French food magazines, looking for some ideas for something different, to serve for a dinner with friends next week...

Great stuff!!

Bud

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