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Culinary audiobook recommendations?

corneygirl Jul 9, 2013 09:13 PM

Does anybody have any recommendations for really good audiobooks about food? Memoirs/food science/fiction are all fine. Anything where the personality of the writing show through. Some books I've liked in print are Heat, all Bourdain and the Alice Waters memoir. TIA for any tips!

  1. Bada Bing Jul 10, 2013 07:14 AM

    Maybe there are some by M.F.K. Fisher? I haven't read any of her books, but she sure has fans, so might be popular enough to have become audiobooked:


    Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club?

    Although films rather than books, I cannot resist mentioning Big Night and Eat, Drink, Man, Woman.

    1. m
      MelMM Jul 10, 2013 07:50 AM

      All the stuff you mentioned is on audiobook (Waters, Bourdain, Buford). But I assume you want something new.

      Here are a few I have listened to:

      Michael Pollan's stuff is on audiobook. I have listened to "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food."

      Nigel Slater, "Toast" and "Eating for England".

      "Julie and Julia" by Julie Powell

      This is fiction, "The School of Essential Ingredients," by Erica Bauermeister.

      "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," by Barbara Kingsolver

      "Waiter Rant," by Steve Dublanica

      Ruth Reichl's memoirs. The only one I've listened to on audiobook is "Garlic and Sapphires".

      Frank Bruni's (former NYT critic) memoir "Born Round."

      Jacques Pepin, "The Apprentice" (This is up next for me, haven't listened yet).

      And saving the best for last, Calvin Trillin's "The Tummy Trilogy." Probably my favorite audiobook ever. Very funny. I have listened to this again and again and never get tired of it.

      Jeremiah Tower's memoir "California Dish" is not on audiobook, as far as I can tell, but if you read Alice Waters, you should probably read his as a counterpoint.

      Richard Olney's memoir is also not on audiobook, and was unfinished at the time of his death, so it was kind of cobbled together out an unfinished manuscript and journal entries. But I think it is well worth reading, since he had such a profound influence (particularly on Alice Waters).

      1 Reply
      1. re: MelMM
        Bada Bing Jul 10, 2013 08:59 AM

        Neat ideas. Now I want to do this, too....

      2. t
        truman Jul 10, 2013 11:49 AM

        Fiction: the Diane Mott Davidson mystery series, beginning with "Catering to Nobody." The main character is a caterer so there's lots of food talk in the stories, and recipes are included.

        I also loved Alton Brown's "Feasting on Asphalt" - a road trip down the Mississippi River - but it doesn't look like it is available as an audiobook (at least not from B&N).

        1. Bada Bing Jul 13, 2013 03:15 PM

          Check out this Splendid Table website link to recommended summer reading: maybe some are audiobooked:


          p.s., keep in mind that various software programs make it possible to have text read aloud by pretty decent computer-generated voices.

          1. t
            truman Jul 18, 2013 10:12 AM

            Three more "culinary travel" books were recommended in an Epicurious blog post (http://www.epicurious.com/articlesgui...) this week:

            "...Christopher Bakken's new Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table..."

            "...Bitter Lemons, Lawrence Durrell's 1950s-era account of life on Cyprus..."

            "...culinary and cultural history of Rome and Lazio in Popes, Peasants, and Shepherds, by Oretta Zanini de Vita, translated by Maureen B. Fant."

            (of course, it remains to be seen whether they are available as audiobooks...)

            1. h
              HillJ Jul 18, 2013 10:46 AM

              Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family. Really enjoyed it.

              Also try the food podcasts out there for inbetween reads. For instance, NPR has a large archive. But this quick list by C&Z is a nice resource for where to hunt!

              1. h
                HillJ Jul 18, 2013 10:52 AM


                This American Life stories via podcasts in the food/drinks/cooking category alone will keep you busy!

                4 Replies
                1. re: HillJ
                  Bada Bing Jul 19, 2013 06:22 AM

                  Podcasts are a great thought. The OP might also find worthy listening in the public radio school Splendid Table. My iTUnes has accumulated a huge number of episodes, which feature interviews, recipe discussion, call-in, etc.


                  I'm supposing it must be possible to download past episodes.

                  1. re: Bada Bing
                    HillJ Jul 19, 2013 06:59 AM

                    Ch, paulj, often speaks of the ST site so I've been paying closer attention of late. I adore podcasts; they are not only a great value for the ears and wallet but they capture current topics quickly. STable and others are listed on the link I provided-and there are so many today covering food, travel and lifestyle crossover topics.

                    I still buy books and use lending libraries. But like music clouds, podcasts have become a real, simple private pleasure.

                    1. re: Bada Bing
                      MelMM Jul 19, 2013 07:04 AM

                      Adding to the podcast idea, Leite's Culinaria has a podcast called Talking with My Mouth Full. It is witty and well-produced.


                      1. re: MelMM
                        HillJ Jul 19, 2013 07:21 AM

                        MelMM, I just love the photo from Epi 5:
                        Small Bites: Cocktails for a Crowd

                  2. SilverlakeGirl Jul 18, 2013 10:46 PM

                    Some I've gotten on Audible

                    Heat by Bill Buford

                    Blood Bones and Butter by Gabtrielle Hamilton

                    Life on the Line by Grant Achatz

                    The Apprentise by Jacques Pepin

                    Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman

                    Knives at Dawn by Andrew Friedman

                    Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich

                    Judgment of Paris by George Taber

                    Au Revoir to All that by Michael Steinberger

                    Kitchen Condidential by Anthony Bourdain

                    All Peter Mayle books and the Tuscany books
                    Calvin Trilling

                    1. s
                      stockholm28 Jul 19, 2013 06:45 PM

                      "Yes, Chef" by Marcus Samuelsson - I got this from audible and really enjoyed the book. I got this book mainly because I was interested in his connection to Sweden ... how his loved for food was fostered by his Swedish grandmother ... but it is much more than that.

                      I'll second the recommendations for "Blood, Bones, and Butter" and "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle".

                      1. corneygirl Jul 19, 2013 07:32 PM

                        Thanks for all of the recommendations! I wanted one for while I was traveling and I wound up getting Blood, Bones, and Butter which I like well enough - I'm glad I didn't get the actual book since it is interesting while multitasking, but with the precious little time to read (visually) for pleasure it wouldn't necessarily make the cut. I love the podcast idea and as an NPR addict the suggestions are great. I also really appreciate the advice on books that may only be available in print form - I'm always looking for new suggestions! Keep them coming - I know I will refer back the next time.

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