Blood, Bones, and Butter
This New York Times bestselling book is by Gabrielle Hamilton, owner of the acclaimed “Prune” restaurant in New York. This book describes her journey – from childhood – through some of the most amazing food experiences imaginable. The Amazon review gives a little insight into what you can expect when you buy this book: “[Gabrielle] moved to New York City at 16, living off loose change and eating ketchup packets from McDonald’s; worked 20-hour days at a soulless catering company; traveled, often half-starved, through Europe; and cooked for allergy-riddled children at a summer camp.”
Cooking For Kings
Marie-Antoine Carême is the father of modern French cooking. He is known as “The King of Chefs, and the Chef of Kings” He was employed but such famous families as the Rothschilds and worked for Napoleon, King George IV of England, and Tsar Alexander I of Russia. He was especially famous for his pièces montées – immense decorative table centers made of food. This book tells the story of his life which gives great insight into the birth of modern cuisine. It also contains lovely illustrations of some of his amazing pièces montées. This is a must-have book for those interested in extravagant food and food history.
Food: The History of Taste
This stunning book is full of beautiful illustrations – it is like an encyclopedia of the history of eating. It covers human food tastes and eating habits from cavemen to modern men. It is incredibly detailed but not stuffy so reading it is quite easy. He covers food eating in prehistory, then Ancient Greece and Rome, Imperial China, Medieval Islamic cuisine, and so much more. Anyone with a love of history and a love of food or eating needs this book .
The Man who Ate Everything
The Man who Ate Everything is the first compilation of food articles written by Vogue food writer Jeffrey Steingarten. His writing style is warm and amusing and virtually every tale will have you laughing. It is not hard to see why he was appointed to his prestigious place at Vogue. His essays include “Salad: the silent killer” and he describes his various travels around the world on his food adventures seeking out the best foods. In his attempt to perfect the french fry he even goes so far as to deep fry the potatoes in a large vat of horse fat! For me this was one of the most enjoyable books on food .
The Art of Eating
Author M F K Fisher wrote more than 27 books on food and cooking (including a translation of Brillat-Savarin’s “Physiology of Taste” – item 1). Her books are an amalgam of food literature, travel and memoir. The principle underlying all of her books is that eating is an art form – and in this she tells you how it’s done. In this particular book (chosen for this list because of its essay format) she gives culinary advice to World War II housewives plagued by food shortages, writes portraits of family members and friends and so exudes her passion for food and cooking that it is a book every cook (home or otherwise) needs on their shelf. The Art of Eating won the James Beard Cookbook award.
On Food and Cooking
If you love myth busting and delicious food – this is the book for you. Harold McGee is the foremost authority on the dos and don’ts of cooking. Mario Balti reviewed the book thus: “McGee’s immeasurable knowledge and infinite wisdom have hugely influenced the state go gastronomy. This book covers topics you have never even heard of in a comprehensive end-all way.” The book covers the history and science of milk and dairy, eggs, meat, edible plants, alcohol, sugars, and so much more. This is an essential encyclopedia of everything there is to know about food, It has the perfect methods for packing or frying eggs and so much more. Every page is a wonder.