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Books by Foodlovers

mickie44 Jan 6, 2007 03:51 PM

I need more suggestions for books like Ruth Reichl's, Calvin Trillin's, Julia Child's Life in France, having read all those. Any ideas?

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    sarahbeth RE: mickie44 Jan 6, 2007 04:34 PM

    Currently, I am reading
    The Mere Mortal's Guide to Fine Dining: From Salad Forks to Sommeliers, How to Eat and Drink in Style Without Fear of Faux Pas by Colleen Rush.

    I am really enjoying it!

    1. h
      HillJ RE: mickie44 Jan 6, 2007 07:16 PM


      from this thread you will find wonderful suggestions and even an earlier thread on food related topics. Enjoy!

      1. mickie44 RE: mickie44 Jan 6, 2007 10:42 PM

        Thanks, I found that one after posting this.

        1. k
          KCJ RE: mickie44 Jan 6, 2007 10:45 PM

          M.F.K. Fisher !

          Must read her!


          Some of the ones I remember from my own bookshelves:

          If you're into the plays and other writings of Lillian Hellman, you might enjoy:
          Eating Together: Recipes and Recollections
          by Lillian Hellman and her guy pal Peter Feibleman

          Check out Holly Hunter's annual anthology series "Best Food Writing" gathered from newspapers, magazines, websites, and other sources. I think she's been compiling the anthologies since maybe 2000 if not earlier.

          Read anything by Michael and Jane Stern.

          The Man Who Ate Everything
          by Jeffrey Steingarten

          Letters to a Young Chef
          by Daniel Boulud

          Kitchen Confidential
          by Anthony Bourdain

          The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen
          by Jacques Pepin

          Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
          by Eric Schlosser

          Taste: A Literary History
          by Denise Gigante

          How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science
          by Russ Parsons

          For pure fluff, check book shops or the internet for Culinary Mysteries. There are several writers in this genre. I know some of them are or were culinary professionals.

          5 Replies
          1. re: KCJ
            jennyfur RE: KCJ Jan 6, 2007 10:48 PM

            MFK...YES! Don't believe ALL of her stories, I have heard...but, they make for a great afternoon/bedtime reading of fun!


            1. re: KCJ
              mickie44 RE: KCJ Jan 6, 2007 11:31 PM

              Thanks, KCJ. Good suggestions and some I hadn't seen before.

              1. re: KCJ
                KCJ RE: KCJ Jan 6, 2007 11:38 PM

                A few more I just remembered from my shelves:

                Extreme Cuisine: The Weird & Wonderful Foods That People Eat
                by Jerry Hopkins, Anthony Bourdain, and Michael Freeman

                Spotted Dick S'il Vous Plait: An English Restaurant in France
                by Tom Higgins

                Take Big Bites: Adventures Around the World and Across the Table
                by Linda Ellerbee

                Hotel Bemelmans
                by Ludwig Bemelmans

                1. re: KCJ
                  foodchick RE: KCJ Jan 9, 2007 12:53 PM

                  I have to say that I truly, passionately love Anthony Bourdain's books, specifically the ones where he travels- A Cook's Tour and The Nasty Bits. He makes the food culture in the places he visits come alive, and he makes me belly-laugh-out-loud in public places because he does it with such wit and humor! Right now I'm reading "How I Learned to Cook" which is similar to "Don't Try This at Home", both are collections of stories from chefs around the world- enjoy them as well! Looks like you've got alot of reading to do from all your responses! Have fun!

                  1. re: foodchick
                    mickie44 RE: foodchick Jan 9, 2007 03:33 PM

                    Yes, this list will absolutely get me through the winter. I agree with you that travel combined with food are the best books, one reason I like Trillin so much as he hangs around markets throughout the world. We are lucky in the Okanagan Valley marketwise. From May to October we have two farmer's markets a week in Vernon but can travel half an hour north or south to share theirs on other days of the week. Wonderful kimchi and pickled daikon at ours last summer.

                2. x
                  xfleetwoodx RE: mickie44 Jan 7, 2007 12:03 AM

                  I recommend reading anything by Michael Ruhlman. I've enjoyed all of his works, the most recent of which is The Reach of a Chef.

                  Heat by Bill Buford is also an excellent read.

                  1. Foodrat RE: mickie44 Jan 7, 2007 10:30 AM

                    A second for Michael Ruhlman.

                    "Making of a Chef" by Michael Ruhlman

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Foodrat
                      nosh RE: Foodrat Jan 7, 2007 04:42 PM

                      Third for Ruhlman. His books are well-narrated and he poses some interesting questions -- Is cooking Art or Craft? But most of all he has a great eye for seeing and pen for writing the funny anecdote. I tend to read his books on planes and I'm continually laughing out loud or chuckling which my seatmates notice...

                    2. steinpilz RE: mickie44 Jan 7, 2007 03:43 PM

                      RW (Johnny) Apple published at least two books on food, one about europe and one on the US.

                      I second the MFK Fisher and Bourdain recs.

                      1. b
                        babettesfeast RE: mickie44 Jan 8, 2007 02:08 AM

                        just started....

                        Last Chance to Eat (the Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World) by Gina Mallet
                        Too Die For (100 gastronomic experiences to have before you die) by aussie writer Stephen Downes

                        1. c
                          care2 RE: mickie44 Jan 8, 2007 11:09 AM

                          Has anyone read the book about the French chef who committed suicide after his restaurant was downgraded in the Michelin guide? Don't remember the name or title, but came across it recently and debated on buying it.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: care2
                            Dundie RE: care2 Jan 8, 2007 08:00 PM

                            The chef is Bernard Loiseau and he has a number of books that you can find on Amazon.com, but I think they're all in French.

                            From Wikipedia: "In February, 2003, Bernard Loiseau, a prominent French chef with a history of bipolar disorder, committed suicide when his widely-admired restaurant Côte d'Or in Saulieu, Burgundy, was rumoured to be in danger of a downgrade by Michelin from three to two stars. However, most news reports attributed this suicide to a downgrade by the rival Gault Millau guide, the Michelin guide having stated he would not be downgraded."

                            1. re: care2
                              Aromatherapy RE: care2 Jan 8, 2007 09:16 PM

                              I believe there are 2, one older (Burgundy Stars) and one newish (The Perfectionist). I read the older one and it was definitely worth reading but not sure I'd pay $$ for it. I'll probably reserve a library copy of the newer one.

                              1. re: care2
                                Seattle Rose RE: care2 Jan 8, 2007 11:56 PM

                                The book you are thinking of is "The Perfectionist". It was not written by Loiseau, however, but it is a biography published after his death. I enjoyed the book, tragic though it was. By the way, his restaurant was NOT downgraded, he just feared it might be. A bigger issue is that fact that he was most likely bi-polar, which no doubt added to his woes.

                                1. re: care2
                                  Canada Eats RE: care2 Jan 9, 2007 01:30 PM

                                  I think I mentioned this book on another thread requesting food books, but your question about the Michelin guide and chef's suicide reminded me of it again. The book is Eating Crow, by Jay Rayner- a novel about the guy on the other end of a similar saga. Ie. the critic whose review causes a chef to off himself by popoing his head into the oven. It's quite funny, and there's endless eating of chocolate throughout, so arm yourself before reading.

                                  - Lea

                                2. c
                                  chezlamere RE: mickie44 Jan 10, 2007 02:51 AM

                                  Heat by Bill Buford was a really good read

                                  1. hotoynoodle RE: mickie44 Jan 11, 2007 05:29 PM

                                    not strictly about food, but paul theroux's travel books, especially "riding the iron rooster through china," have fascinating food detours. especially when discussing the street food, the varying levels of atrocity for on-board meals depending on where the train was and some illicit banquets serving only bits of very endangered animals. he's an irascible traveler and a delightful writer.

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