Top 6 Foodie Novels
Kathleen Flinn writes passionately about her experience as a student at Le Cordon Blue in
The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry. If you've ever dreamed of attending culinary school, you will relish this story of a woman following her lifelong dream.
Ruth Reichl is a reknowned food writer. Although most recently she hailed as Editor in Chief of the now defunct Gourmet Magazine, she gained serious foodie fame during her time as the New York Times food critic. Garlic and Sapphires is about her time in that post--it details everything from the disguises she wore to avoid recognition, to nights spent awake in bed, panicking that she'd written about rosemary in a dish that had none. Reichl is one of my main inspirations for getting involved in the world of food media.
In Heat, Bill Buford goes from writer and amateur gourmet to a full-on kitchen slave, at Babbo no less. If you are, yourself, an amateur gourmet, then you'll certainly connect with the daily fate of an amateur chef working in Babbo's Kitchen.
A Year in Provence tells the story of a married couple who decided to move to Provence for a year. It is as much an account of food (and the food culture in France) as of the european country lifestyle. Though there is no engrossing mystery in the book, it still manages to be a page turner, if only because everything in it is simply so pleasant.
Although based in a somewhat morbid context, My Last Supper profiles 50 culinary greats and begs the question: what would you have for your final meal? The answers are intriguing and the photographs are beautiful.
4 Cookbooks I Can't Put Down
I read this at the gym. Big. Mistake. Although the recipes in the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook are beyond incredible (just like the food at the restaurant--I actually dream about their pancakes), this is so much more than a cookbook. From cover to cover, the recipes and photographs are accompanied by compelling stories about the restaurant and the couple that runs it.
This book is a veritable encyclopedia of flavor combinations. Here's how it works: think of a food or flavor. Halibut, you say? The Flavor Bible can help! Simply look up halibut and see a list of proven flavor combinations from a variety of culinary backgrounds. This is an amazing way to start making your own recipes, once you are confident in your recipe technique. I got it as a Christmas present, after putting it on my wish list.
This cookbook is a necessity. Mark Bittman published How to Cook Everything years ago, and the simplicity is stunning. If you're a novice in the kitchen, this book will give you clear instructions on every basic recipe you can think of. If you're a more accomplished cook, you'll enjoy the variation ideas and techniques Bittman includes at the end of most of the basic recipes. This book has allowed me to develop recipes on my own, since once I learned the basic recipes and the variations, I began to understand how the variations worked.
This is the first cookbook from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, who also authored Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented (that's where that to-die-for double chocolate loaf with peanut butter cream cheese spread came from). The recipes are daring and any book that calls a photograph of a brownie "seductive" well, that is a cookbook I can get on board with.
*As a side note, I was not encouraged to write a post about any of these books or compensated for mentioning them in any way. I just love them all, and hope you'll get the same enjoyment from them that I do.