Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

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


Carrot Top
 Share

Recommended Posts

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!

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

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!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

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...

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

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

Host Note: Here are eGullet Society friendly links to some of the mentioned books

Provence 1970

Relexions

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

  • Like 1

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Host Note: Here are eGullet Society friendly links to some of the mentioned books

Provence 1970

Relexions

Thank you for posting this! I didn't know about either book and will put them on my Christmas list -- and get them myself if no one cooperates in the Santa department. Richard Olney seems a bit "difficult" as a personality, but his cooking was amazing. French Menu and Simple French Cooking are two of my favorite books and a couple of the best things I've ever tasted in my life have come out of them. He isn't/wasn't nearly as well known as he should have been.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Just finished reading In The Kitchen, by Monica Ali, finalist for the Man Booker Prize. Just grabbed it off the shelf in the library without looking at more than the photo of the kitchen on the front cover. No idea of what it was about except that it was fiction, a kitchen was featured, and it almost won a prestigious British literary prize and was nominated for two American literary prizes.

It features a top British chef working as executive chef in a posh hotel with a restaurant and his very complicated life. Sorry to say, I really didn't like it very much...but I really enjoyed the parts about the hotel kitchen and the cooking. His life left me a bit cold.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

La Cuisine Française. French Cooking for Every Home. Adapted to American Requirements. By François Tanty. Chicago: Baldwin, Ross & Co., 1893.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...