For my Read This! post on Monday I highlighted Jeffrey Steingarten’s “It Must’ve Been Something I Ate,” a delightful compilation of Steingarten’s columns on food from Vogue magazine. Today I have three other books on food as part of my weekly series recommending three books with a common theme that tell great stories:
1) Heat, by Bill Buford. Account of the amateur chef and former Granta magazine editor of learning culinary techniques by working in the restaurant kitchen of his pal, renowned chef Mario Batali. For a fun book group activity, count the number of times Batali uses the f-word.
2) Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain. Memoir of how the Travel Channel superstar got interested in food and started his career. Bourdain tells a great story and doesn’t flinch when it comes to the less attractive aspects of his own behavior, one of the marks of a really good memoirist.
3) Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating, by Mark Bittman. Bittman’s articles on food and cooking in The New York Times are superb examples of storytelling; as I noted on Monday, the one on no-knead bread can change your life. In this book, he recounts his own journey toward awareness of what he eats. As a bonus, he includes a number of recipes.
If you have an interest in cooking, the forums on ChefTalk.com are a great place to go for advice.
Three’s a lovely number, but any list of three books necessarily omits many others that are equally good or even better. What food books have you enjoyed?