Monday, June 30, 2008

My Favorite Food Writing Books

I cannot begin this post without mentioning Laurie Colwin. Her two amazing books, Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, are two of my absolute favorites. She is funny and warm, descriptive of food, educational and not dry. She is everything every food writer (should) aspires to be. I can't get into the story, because there really isn't one. Just trust me on this one and pick her up.

I had NO idea what to expect when I picked up this book. It didn't seem that interesting and I don't love the cover, so I though, pshh, how good could it be? Well, it is truly on of the most entertaining books I can remember reading. Bill Buford makes you feel as though you are in the kitchen. It is also one of the more realistic depictions of what it actually is to work in a fast paced, professional kitchen. Anyone who has any dreams of becoming a chef or working in a kitchen should read Heat and they will immediately get any romantic thoughts of gracefully chopping carrots and tasting food all day out of their heads. And the chapter on the day Buford went and bought an entire pig and brought it back to his Manhattan apartment is possibly one of the funniest around.

I am finishing this book right now, as we speak. Ok, not technically reading it at the moment, but I will finish it tonight. And so far I like the story. It is not very well written and the mood of it is sort of odd, but Marco Pierre White is too interesting a guy to pass up. He is the one that took Mario Batali in at a young age (there is a chapter on him in Heat, see above), and he also trained such chefs as Gordon Ramsay amongst others. White is the world renowned British chef who is the youngest ever to win 3 Michelin stars (33!) He is also known for his fiery temper and his knack for kicking people out of his restaurants, both in the kitchen and the dining room. He is self taught and truly a culinary genius. But I wish that the book focused more on his obsession and dedication to food, something that he obvious has and has won accolades for, than describing one more bollocking and one more tussle with the boys. He must know that there is something deeper inside that is causing his severe temper and misbehavior, but he chooses not to touch on that subject. Other than that though, the book is great. I wouldn't recommend you bring it as the only book on a vacation, but for what it is it's an interesting story and a fascinating man.

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