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Jan 5, 2013 12:06 AM

Classic books about cooking not cook books

Another thread has me wondering about what 'classic' books around food have I not read/bought. Here's a short list of a few I treasure: Please add any you'd recommend.
AB's Kitchen Confidential
Orwell's Down and Out In Paris and London
Nicolas Freeling's The Kitchen Book and The Cook book
Waverly Root's The Food of France
A.J. Liebling's Between Meals
Zola's The Belly of Paris
J. Pepin's The Apprentice

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  1. John Thorne's writing
    Laurie Colwin
    M.F.K. Fisher

    3 Replies
    1. re: sr44

      +3. Don't recall hearing a lot of CH love for Thorne, an excellent writer. I especially enjoyed his take on 'dry toast', which I had never thought of as a separate dish before. His taste is idiosyncratic, which I appreciate even when it does not coincide with mine.

      1. re: mwhitmore

        He's a wonderful example of success by following his bliss.

        1. re: mwhitmore

          I found his newsletter "Simple Cooking" back in the '80s and subscribed for several years. It was supposed to be a quarterly, but he's always been terrible at deadlines, worse than I ever was. He was dead honest, though - you paid for four issues, you GOT four issues, even if it took two years! We swapped some letters about New England v. Southern cooking, differences and similarities, and again not long ago about his search (was it Outlaw Cook or Serious Pig?) for a Karo-free pecan pie, a most worthy pursuit. I've always loved his writing, just like a good conversation with a smart and friendly man. Which it is.

      2. Larousse Gastronomique. Technique by Pepin.

        1. Madhur Jaffrey's memoir "Climbing the Mango Trees". Very evocative.

          1. Some that I have enjoyed:

            M.F.K Fisher, Art of Eating is a compilation of most of her work
            Elizabeth David, various editions
            Patience Gray, Honey from a Weed
            Michael Ruhlman, Making of a Chef, Soul of a Chef series

            Not a specific book, but there is an annual publication, "Best Food Writing of 20xx" that complies articles and essays from various writers.

            1. James W. Davidson's The Island of Formosa