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Food Writings

Daniel Boulud

Letters to a Young Chef

From the reinvention of French food through the fine dining revolution in America, Daniel Boulud has been a witness to and a creator of today's food culture. In Letters to a Young Chef, Boulud speaks not only of how to make a career as a chef in today's world, but also of why one should want to do so in the first place. As he himself puts it, it is "a tasty life." The love of food and the obsession with flavors, ingredients, and techniques are the chef's source of strength, helping the young chef to survive and flourish during the long years of apprenticeship and their necessary sacrifices. Part memoir, part advice book, part cookbook, part reverie, this delicious new book will delight and enlighten chefs of all kinds, from passionate amateurs to serious professionals.
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Anthony Bourdain

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

CIA-trained Bourdain, currently the executive chef of the celebrated Les Halles, wrote two culinary mysteries before his first (and infamous) New Yorker essay launched this frank confessional about the lusty and larcenous real lives of cooks and restaurateurs. He is obscenely eloquent, unapologetically opinionated, and a damn fine storyteller--a Jack Kerouac of the kitchen.
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Toby Cecchini

Cosmopolitan : A Bartender's Life

This is a memoir of the bartending life structured as a day in the life at Passerby, the bar owned and run by Toby Cecchini. It is, as well, a rich study of human nature—of the sometimes annoying, sometimes outlandish behavior of the human animal under the influence of alcohol, lust, and the sheer desire to bust loose and party. Cosmopolitan: A Bartender's Life is the hip, behind-the-scenes look at the frenzied yet undeniably fun atmosphere of that great establishment—the bar—and Toby Cecchini sheds plenty of light on the hidden corners of what people do when they go out at night.
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Greg Critser

Fat Land : How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World

Greg Critser engages every aspect of American life to determine how we have made ourselves the second fattest people on the planet (after South Sea Islanders). Fat Land grapples with the expanding American waistline by tracing surprising connections among class, politics, culture, and economics. With groundbreaking research, Critser also investigates the dark metabolic underside of cheap fats and sugars and how their calories stick. Incisive, discerning, and disarmingly funny, Fat Land is a chilling but brilliantly rendered portrait of the cost in human lives — many of them very young lives — of America’s obesity epidemic.
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Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

Near A Thousand Tables : A History of Food

2003 IACP Award Winner! Literary Category; Because cuisine is a--perhaps the--defining characterization of culture, Near A Thousand Tables, is a sampler of civilization; because we meet our environment most intimately when we eat, this is an exploration in historical ecology. Because cooks were the first chemist, this is a history of science. Above all, perhaps, because food is universally appealing and irresistibly topical, this is unashamedly a book of human pleasures.
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M.F.K. Fisher

Art of Eating, 50th Anniversary Edition

This beautifully produced commemorative edition of M. F. K. Fisher’s The Art of Eating celebrates the 50th anniversary of its original publication. Fisher’s writing has delighted and inspired generations of lovers of good food and exquisite writing, and this outstanding compilation of her best work is as exciting and engaging today as it was half a century ago. Special features of the anniversary edition include an introductory tribute by Fisher’s leading biographer, Joan Reardon, and quotes from some of today’s top culinary names on the impact of Fisher’s writing.
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Jeremy Jackson

Cornbread Book : A Love Story with Recipes

2004 James Beard Award Nominee for Single Subject; An obsessive cornbread baker and eater, Jeremy has created 50 original recipes for everything from Carrotbread, Griddlecakes, and Indian Pudding to Curly Churros, Persimmon Coffee Cake, and Sour Cream Pie Crust. Jeremy offers tips on choosing the right pan, as well as description of various kinds of cornmeal and their origins.
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Madhur Jaffrey

From Curries to Kebabs : Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail

2004 James Beard Award Winner for International; 2004 IACP Award Nominee for International Category; From one of the world's best-loved authorities on food from India and the world comes an evocative and irresistible survey of the world's greatest dishes. Starting with classic curries of her native India, Madhur traces the outside influences that have left their mark on Indian food and goes on to show how the Indian diaspora has mingled the flavors of India with the cuisines of Africa, the West Indies, Asia, Europe, and South America. She concludes with a look at Indian cuisine as it is practised everywhere, from the Pacific Rim to her own kitchen in the United States.
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Ian Kelly

Cooking for Kings : The Life of Antonin Carême, the First Celebrity Chef

A unique feast of biography and Regency cookbook, Cooking for Kings takes readers on a chef's tour of the pleasure-palaces of Britain and Europe in the ultimate age of culinary indulgence. Drawing on the patissier royal's rich memoirs, Ian Kelly traces Antonin Carême's meteoric rise from Paris orphan to international celebrity, and provides a dramatic below-stairs perspective on one of the most momentous, and sensuous, periods in European history - First Empire Paris, Georgian England, and the Russia of War and Peace.
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Mark Kurlansky

Salt : A World History

New in paper. Homer called salt divine. Plato described it as especially dear to the gods. As Mark Kurlansky so brilliantly relates in his world-encompassing new book, salt has shaped civilization from the beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of mankind. So valuable that it has often served as currency (and still does in places today), salt inspired the earliest trade routes across unknown oceans and the remotest deserts. Wars have been fought over salt, and while salt taxes secured empires across Europe and Asia, they have also inspired revolution (Gandhi's salt march in 1930 began the overthrow of British rule in India).
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Edmund Lawler

Lessons in Service from Charlie Trotter

As winner of the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurant Award, Charlie Trotter and his service staff run what many consider to be America's finest restaurant. But it's not just about food in this renowned Chicago hot spot. It's about a subtle relationship between food, wine, ambiance, and service--a relationship Trotter has perfected by hiring passionate staff with the ability to surpass his incredibly high standards. In Lessons in Service, journalist Edmund Lawler reveals the secrets behind Trotter's unequaled success and shows other businesses how to improve their levels of service.
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Nan Lyons

Gluttony: More is More

Yes, you CAN eat gold and Nan Lyons writes delightful of those who have. So join the celebration and invite a friend. The author unmasks junk-food junkies, gleefully revealing both what genuine royals and Hollywood princes and princes really eat---thus finding soul mates for anyone who ever polished off a midnight pint of ice cream. This book is the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys food.
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Betty Marranca

Slice of Life : A Collection of the Best and the Tastiest Modern Food Writing

A Slice of Life is a collection of contemporary food writing that readers can really sink their teeth into: one that examines the ineluctable link between nourishment, literature, and society. Represented here are some of the world's best known writers, many of whom--like Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, and Anthony Bourdain--are well known for their alimentary musings, while others, like Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco, and Susan Sontag are better known for their writings in other genres; all speak eloquently on the nature of food, language, and the adaptability of social customs.
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Patrick Martins and Ben Watson

Slow Food Guide to New York City:
Restaurants, Markets, Bars

The Slow Food Guide to New York City celebrates the foods and cuisines of the city's finest restaurants, green markets, specialty food shops, bars, and late-night spots. What all these places share is a commitment to the values of the international Slow Food movement: Artisanship, Conviviality, Eco-Gastronomy, Freshness, Sustainability, Tradition, and Typicality.
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Shoba Narayan

Monsoon Diary : Reveries and Recipes from India

2004 James Beard Award Nominee for Writing & Reference; In the tradition of M.F.K. Fisher, Shoba Narayan weaves together a fascinating food narrative that combines delectable Indian recipes with musings about Indian culture, tales from her life, and stories of her delightfully eccentric family. The pages of Monsoon Diary confirm a central truth: Life is lived in the kitchen. In this creative and intimate work, Shoba Narayan's considerable vegetarian cooking talents are matched by stories as varied as Indian spices--at times pungent, mellow, piquant, sweet--about her childhood in South India and her life in the U.S.
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Marion Nestle

Food Politics : How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health

2003 James Beard Award Winner - Literary Category; When it comes to the mass production and consumption of food, strategic decisions are driven by economics--not science, not common sense, and certainly not health. No wonder most of us are thoroughly confused about what to eat to stay healthy. An accessible and balanced account, Food Politics will forever change the way we respond to food industry marketing practices. By explaining how much the food industry influences government nutrition policies and how cleverly it links its interests to those of nutrition experts, this pathbreaking book helps us understand more clearly than ever before what we eat and why.
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Barbara Ostmann and Jane Baker

Recipe Writer's Handbook, Revised and Expanded

Offering comprehensive guidance on the essential elements of the recipe-writing art, this useful reference provides complete and proven guidelines for recipe testing and writing, from format, syntax, spelling, and terminology to weights and measurements, and presentation.
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Jacques Pépin

Apprentice : My Life in the Kitchen

2004 James Beard Award Nominee for Writing & Reference; 2004 IACP Award Nominee for Literary/Food Writing Category; New in Paper! In this frank and witty memoir, world-renowned chef Jacques Pépin tells how he rose from a frightened thirteen-year-old apprentice in an Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award-winning TV superstar who continues to teach millions of Americans how to cook.
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Jancis Robinson

Tasting Pleasure: Confessions of a Wine Lover

Writing with Julia Child's authority, Elizabeth David's intelligence, and M.F.K. Fisher's verve, Jancis Robinson share her lifelong romance with wine and its attendant pleasures--gastronomic, scenic, cultural, and social.
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Eric Schlosser

Fast Food Nation

Though created by a handful of mavericks, the fast food business has triggered the homogenization of our society. Fast food has unleashed the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, spawned an epidemic of obesity, and propelled the juggernaut of American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit and careful reasoning. This is a groundbreaking work of investigation and cultural history that is changing the way America thinks about the way it eats.
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Richard Schweid

Consider the Eel

Outside of sushi houses and the rare four-star restaurant, most Americans would never think to eat eel, but throughout Europe and Asia you can find it grilled, smoked, stewed, jellied, skewered, fried, baked, sauteed, and even cooked into an omelet. In Consider the Eel, acclaimed writer Richard Schweid takes the reader on a journey to show how this rich yet mild-tasting fish is a vibrant part of the world culture. Discover how eels, from their birth in the Sargasso Sea to their eventual end as a piece of kabayaki or as part of an Italian Christmas dinner, are one of our oldest and least understood gifts from the sea.
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Andrew Smith

Pure Ketchup: A History of America's National Condiment

For topping French Fries or cottage cheese, K rations or school lunches, ketchup has long been an American favorite. In Pure Ketchup, Andrew Smith chronicles American milestones in ketchup history, including colonial adaptations of popular British mushroom, anchovy, and walnut ketchups, the rise of tomato-based ketchup, the proliferation of commercial bottling after the Civil War, debates over preservatives, the resurgence of homemade and designer varieties, and a recent challenge from salsa. He also includes 100 historical recipes.
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James Villas

Between Bites: Memoirs of a Hungry Hedonist

James Villas stumbled into his forty year long career while escaping from the rain. Interested in food, but not as a career, he ducked into the Hôtel de la Côte d’Or during the reign of celebrated chef Alexandre Dumaine. Dumaine took Villas under his wing, for a moment. In Between Bites, Villas recounts his lifelong journey through the culinary world. He examines the importance of meeting and befriending culinary greats such as Alexandre Dumaine, Craig Claiborne, Paul Bocuse, Paula Wolfert, and many more. Villas exposes little known aspects of people in the food industry that everyone thought they knew. His telling of MFK Fisher’s personal instruction on the correct way to vomit is particularly juicy, as are his questionable activities with James Beard in bars in Midtown Manhattan. Villas’ odyssey would be incomplete without the recipes from critical moments of his life. From Coq au Vin with chicken’s blood to his mother’s strawberry preserves, each recipe is simple and produces stellar results. Read this book and experience the culinary revolution witnessed over the past forty years through James Villas’ eyes.
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Maria Villega

Taste + Color

Maria Villegas reveals the last secret of professional food writers and photographers: the direct link between sensation and presentation. Put plainly, the colors of the foods on the table actually affect their taste. Each of the color sections in the book (yellow, green, beige, red, and white) includes a spectrum of recipes from appetizers to entrees, soups, and desserts all in the color "family." The menus here include more than 80 main dishes and 60 complementary dishes which can be grouped in different combinations.
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Susan Wyler, Michael McLaughlin

Great Books for Cooks

"A lifetime is not long enough to enjoy all the marvelous books that have been written about food and cooking," say Susan Wyler and Michael McLaughlin. But their trenchant, trustworthy index detailing five hundred great books for cooks will certainly help you choose from the most appetizing selection. Here are cookbooks of every variety.

If you're an experienced chef, a novice cook wishing to explore new worlds of cuisine, or even a stranger to your own kitchen, Great Books for Cooks will fire you with new culinary zest. Finding the right cookbook can make all the difference.
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Search cookbook authors by the first letter of their last name.

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