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Topic: Foodie Book List

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Subject: Foodie Book List
Date Posted: 1/19/2014 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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I haven't looked over my foodie book list in a bit, and find that it is kinda quiet.  I know there have to be more great non-fiction books on chefs, cooking, restaurants and so on, so take a look and let me know by adding it if there is anything else you know about I should read.  This list is how I found School of Essential Ingredients (thanks, Beth!!).  So what else can you suggest?   Anyone can add to the list.

These are good foodie books, writing about food, chefs, and the food industry, not cookbooks. Select fiction that is cooking centered (no cozys please) is OK, like School of Essential Ingredients. Add your favorite and vote for ones you liked.

If you don't want to take the time to add, just post here and I'll add it.

(please don't add Kitchen Confidential it was a foul vulgar book),

Last Edited on: 1/19/14 9:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/19/2014 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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Anthony Bourdain is a vulgar man but he will tell you things that no one else will about the restaurant industry. It's a foul, vulgar business. If you want to know what really happens in a kitchen he's your man.

Date Posted: 1/19/2014 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 466
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Here's a few I've liked although I'm not exactly sure they fit your list:

Fish, Flesh and Good Red Herring  Alice Thomas Ellis

From the cooking methods of Ulysses to Victorian nursery fare, from Biblical food facts to modern food fads, Alice Thomas Ellis takes delight in all things gastronomical, and generously seasons her gallimaufry with anecdote and wit. Fish, Flesh and Good Red Herring is a delectable culinary history catering to all tastes - as well as revealing some unusual ones: we learn that Charles Darwin proclaimed roast armadillo 'a most excellent dish'; that Elvis Presley adored cooked squirrel; and that British infants once devoured sugared mice - real ones! Garnished throughout with extracts from famous food writers including Brilliat-Savarin, Mrs Beeton, and Elizabeth Craig, there are recipes to relish and historical titbits to savour: we are taken from the sumptuous eighteenth-century banquet to the gossipy literary lunch, from the misery of rationing to the gluttony of the Roman feast. And cooking practices of some of the most celebrated chefs are shared with us -- as well as the grisly fates of those not so highly favoured: King Henry VIII boiled two of his cooks, whereas Ivan the Terrible preferred his fried.

Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century

Toasted marshmallows stuffed with raisins? Green-and-white luncheons? Chemistry in the kitchen? This entertaining and erudite social history, now in its fourth paperback edition, tells the remarkable story of America's transformation from a nation of honest appetites into an obedient market for instant mashed potatoes. In Perfection Salad, Laura Shapiro investigates a band of passionate but ladylike reformers at the turn of the twentieth century—including Fannie Farmer of the Boston Cooking School—who were determined to modernize the American diet through a "scientific" approach to cooking. Shapiro's fascinating tale shows why we think the way we do about food today.

What Einstein Told His Cook  Wolke

There are a few of these  I think 3 different ones.

Why is red meat red? How do they decaffeinate coffee? Do you wish you understood the science of food but don't want to plow through dry, technical books? In What Einstein Told His Cook, University of Pittsburgh chemistry professor emeritus and award-winning Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke provides reliable and witty explanations for your most burning food questions, while debunking misconceptions and helping you interpret confusing advertising and labeling. A finalist for both the James Beard Foundation and IACP Awards for best food reference



Date Posted: 1/19/2014 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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Ann, I think I'll pass on the first one, but the Perfection book and the Einstein book sound good.  Feel free to add them to the list.


Date Posted: 1/24/2014 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Babette's Feast, by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blizen) is about a stellar Parisian woman chef who spends her last 10,000 francs to provide a splendid feast to some old Danish people who gave her refuge when she fled France in the World War II years.

Last Edited on: 1/30/14 6:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/30/2014 4:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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Hi Carole.  Sorry I never updated the list.  I am embarrassed to say that I don't even know where the list is anymore. "/

I am currently reading Eating for Beginners by Melanie Rehak.  I was a bit worried that it was going to be about her struggles with feeding her picky eater but so far (page 62) it has been wonderful.  She is working part time at a restaurant, gets curious where something comes from like cheese, and takes a ride to the farm that makes it, etc.  The restaurant tries to work with local farmers but doesn't dismiss products from farther away places.

Since you joined goodreads, I didn't feel like I needed to come here to update knowing you could see what I read there.  oops.  I don't really do anything with pbs anymore except swap books.

Date Posted: 1/30/2014 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
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Oh, Beth, I completely forgot about looking at lists on Goodreads.  I did find yours, thanks!!


Date Posted: 6/26/2014 7:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg.  Her newer book is Delancey.


Last Edited on: 6/26/14 7:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2016 7:04 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,447
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Is Salami and Eggs better than Sex by Alan King and Mimi Sheraton. Mimi writes short pieces to set up topics and then King write a longer piece about that topic. all related to food. one of the sections is about Kings mother's cooking during the years he was growing up. There is a section about a terrific argument King got into with his wife as they cooked together in the kitchen. another section is about King's experiences finding food on the road while he is traveling. I am only about half way through the book.