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What's your favorite non fiction cooking novel?

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Showing 26-50 of 106 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2008 5:25:07 PM PDT
Vlad says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2008 10:15:27 AM PDT
Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. Compelling story of New York's famous innovative restaurateur. Good tips for any business.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2008 5:39:14 PM PDT
Santino says:
"A Cook's Tour", Bourdain

A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 1:00:34 AM PDT
I can't believe that no one has mentioned Michael Pollan's "Ominivores Dilemma". It would fit in with your interest in detective type books since he researches the ways that the various foodstuffs get to our plate. For a "historical"/reference on food and cooking I highly recommend Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking". It's not a book that you will sit down and read through; rather it's one of those reference books that you will turn to to answer a question and you suddenly realize that you've spent an hour or so flipping through the book as your thought process leads you on a merry journey. You also cannot go wrong with Bourdain's books. He has several "foodie" novels in addition to his nonfiction works.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2008 3:58:23 PM PDT
K. Wall says:
D. Grzymala:

I'd recommend "The United States of Arugula" by David Kamp. In spite of the title there's a lot in there about the French chefs (Pepin, etc) who came here and influenced our culinary tastes.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2008 4:25:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 6, 2008 4:36:40 PM PDT
Poodle_Mama says:
to Steven W. Martz:
A friend of mine mentioned Micheal Pollan's "Ominivores Dilemma". That is on my list. He said it will astound you to find out just how much time and cost is involved in getting an avocado to the local market. Thanks for mentioning this book.
I finally got a copy of "The Making of a Chef" by Michael Ruhlman from my library. there was only one copy available in the entire library system.
I am also waiting for a copy of a used 1988 edition of " Larousse Gastronmique" Not exactly up to date, but I believe before it's last revision. Another "merry journey" type of book. ( I love that) thank you Steven.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2008 4:30:26 PM PDT
Poodle_Mama says:
to K.Wall:
That sounds interesting. Thank you

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2008 12:22:55 AM PDT
J. Denslow says:
My favorite is Michael Ruhlman's "The Making of a Chef". There are two follow ups to it, but the story of his immersion in the Culinary Institute of America is fascinating. He makes even the subject of making a simple brown sauce riveting. Good writing and good information about what it means to be a chef.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2008 7:14:47 AM PDT
The question confused me too, but I could talk books and food all day so I will give you nonfiction and novels. I loved Julie and Julia but it does read more like fiction. The girl's life and friends were pretty unconventional. I will actually admit that I don't like B. Kingsolver's other books, but I really liked the one other posters have mentioned. It really got me thinking about food and our food sources. Another one not mentioned that made me laugh out loud was Skinny Bitch. If you don't mind foul language, it really drives home the importance of thinking about what goes in your mouth. The sequel is good too: Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

For my job I have to read profound books that are difficult to get through at times. I love to just lose myself in any and all of Joanna Fluke's mysteries with Hannah Swenson as the detective. Start with Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and you might be hooked on the quaint characters and small town life day to day stuff. I also love the Coffeehouse Mystery series.

As far as cookbooks, I like the Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks. The recipes are different and good. I learn about new ingredients and cooking methods too.

Hope this helps...have fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 12:06:28 PM PDT
Poodle_Mama says:
I am reading "the Making of a Chef" and I agree. the Brown sauce debate tickled me!
I think I'll stick with teaching myself. I don't think at 48 I'd be able to keep up with the pack! Does anyone on this blog own a copy of "the Professional Chef'" ? I'd like to know if it is worth the price. any edition. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 12:18:52 PM PDT
Poodle_Mama says:
Sorry I confused everyone. I should have said Food Journalism, that's what I meant but I did not know that's what it is called! duh...
Anyway, I myself loved the other Kingslover books. I looked at the one mentioned, and it did not appeal to me right now, maybe later. I'll check out "Skinny Bitch" for sure, I'm not into murder mysteries, unless they are true crime, or Serial murder type fiction. But thanks. I do hear the murder mystery books you mentioned have some good recipes in them.
And on a fun note...Can I get a job doing what you do?
Thanks for your input

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2008 9:43:51 AM PDT
I'm a latecomer to this discussion, but I want to add Margaret Visser's name to the mix. She's a historian/sociologist/anthropologist who has written a few books on subjects connected with food and eating. My favorite is "Much Depends on Dinner", but the others are good also. She's Canadian, so the books might be harder to find, but they're well worth it.
Virtual Bon Appetit
P.H. Green

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2008 5:49:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 15, 2008 6:27:04 PM PDT
Mother Crone says:
Jody - I agree. I absolutely love Laurie Colwin's books on cooking. I have purchased them over and over again for friends who also love to cook. And, her recipes are very good. I love her Damp Ginberbread recipe.

Thanks for remembering her. She's one of my favorites.

I also enjoy Anthony Bourdain's books and, in fact, he is quite an excellent writer. The first book I read was "Kitchen Confidential" which I think is a good primer for anyone interested in a career as a chef.

The New Food Lover's Companion 4th Edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst is an encyclopedia of cooking terms and ingredients.

MFK Fisher - The Art of Eating - excellent.

There are several mystery series that I also enjoy on occasion. This involves a mystery with some recipes thrown in for good measure. Lots of fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2008 6:11:44 PM PDT
JMS66 says:
I wasn't confused by your question at all--I knew what you were getting at. If anyone else feels the need to flex their mental muscle and edify us all as to the definition of the word "novel", PLEASE refrain--and get a life!

Moving on...
It's a great topic, D. Grzymala!
I'm also a fan of MFK Fisher--I recommend WITH BOLD KNIFE AND FORK. I also second the Ruth Reichel books.
I'm reading Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle now. I'm also a big fan of her fiction and I'm really enjoying it. Her writing style is so enjoyable! Of course, it also appeals to me as a gardener and someone interested in the Slow Food movement.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2008 10:41:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 15, 2008 10:54:13 PM PDT
Poodle_Mama says:
to: V. Green and Mother Crone (BTW I love that user name!)

Visser sounds exceptional. Book Mooch is a good source for Canadian books. I love books that "connect".
There are so many good suggestions here! It's a bit overwhelming. LOL I'm new to the "foodie" scene, and everyone has been so helpful.
I started The Saucer's Apprentice (sp) the other night, very good so far. I have to finish The Making of a Chef too! my only problem is the lingo, I don't know enough about "Chef" diction, So The New Food Lovers Companion might be a good choice to add to my ever growing list. I'm still waiting for the "Larousse Gastronomique" to arrive, that I know will also help me.
good eating to all

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2008 10:50:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 15, 2008 10:51:56 PM PDT
Poodle_Mama says:
to: JMS66
thanks for the save... and the suggestions. Glad you like the topic!
As for Kingslover, my favorite so far is "The Poisonwood Bible" not a cook book, but a great example of the sociological ramification's when two different cultures collide.Then again most of her books tend to be great sociological studies put to fiction!
thanks for your input!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2008 11:58:28 AM PDT
I highly recommend Jeffery Steingarten's two collections of essays he wrote for Vogue Magazine: The Man Who Ate Everything and It Must Have Been Something I Ate. Steingarten has written on a huge variety of different food topics. His pieces often feature good investigative work and his personality and sense of humor always come through. Also seconding Kemp's United States of Arugula. Some people find it too gossipy but I thought it was interesting. Stay away from In the Devil's Garden by Allen, it purports to be a history of forbidden food, but falls short in the quality of the writing and research.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2008 3:24:31 PM PDT
"Like Water for Chocolate"

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2008 6:29:55 PM PDT
I have the 8th edition and I love it. I graduated from culinary school in June "07 and it was very helpful. I bought a used copy that was actually brand new iff Amazon or Ebay for $25!


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2008 10:41:33 AM PDT
Read toast by Nigel Slater Wonderful book

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2008 9:48:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2008 9:54:17 AM PDT
Read MFK Fisher. She's the grand dame of food cooking. You can get a huge collection of her work from the library and read about her early life in Provence, Atlantic crossings in the days of the great ships, her childhood in California, fabulous meals in France, a selection called "How to Cook a Wolf" written during the depression. (When the wolf is at your door...) There's much, much more. She's the best, in my opinion. Many of the current food writers pale in comparison and seem whiny or arrogant, as if they either deserve more or as if they themselves discovered food. Fisher is intelligent and sensual and it's a pleasure to be in her company.

I also like Kitchen Confidential by Bourdain. Everyone who eats in restaurants should know what goes on in the back of the house.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2008 10:50:57 AM PDT
Right. Fisher's food writing is excellent.
_The Art of Eating_ is an omnibus collection of 5 or 6 of her books, that where I got my start reading her.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2008 7:36:41 AM PST
StantonChef says:
An excellent foodie book that reads like a novel is "Beard on Food" by James Beard with a delightful introductory note by Julia Child. Although the book was written in the mid '70's, the content is ageless. Highly recommend.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2008 9:43:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2008 9:45:21 AM PST
Mark Twain says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2008 1:04:57 PM PST
Dave Jeffery says:
Culinary mystery novels fit into this catagory. Appetite for Murder and Glutton for Punishment are great examples of this genre.

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Initial post:  Jul 18, 2008
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