I probably spend more time reading about food than anything else. That’s probably why I’m always hungry. Below are a few of my favorite food books to get you started on the path to thinking about food…every…waking…second.
One of the biggest innovators in the pastry world, Ansel is the creator of the Cronut, the croissant-donut hybrid that made him world-famous (and yes, there is a recipe for it in his book). In my opinion, the real reason to visit Dominique Ansel or buy his cookbook is the DKA, his version of an incredible pastry called the kouign amann.
Rarely does a cookbook’s popularity last more than a few months, if that, but Jerusalem: A Cookbook is widely considered an instant classic. It introduced bold Mediterranean flavors to previously boring dinner tables. Cardamom, capers, and figs are staples in this cookbook and are a great way to spice up the same old chicken you eat every Tuesday.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Pick a book by Michael Pollan and you’ve found your new favorite food book. His books and essays are informative and accessible. Start with The Omnivore’s Dilemma and learn where all of your food really comes from. Bonus: His cookbook, The Pollan Family Table, is full of healthy and actually delicious food.
Marion Nestle, who Michael Pollan named the second “most powerful foodie” (after Michelle Obama), is a fixture in the nutrition and food politics world. Eat Drink Vote contains cartoons focusing on issues like obesity, GMOs, and food safety.
Ruth Reichl is a chef and former New York Times restaurant critic whose series of memoirs focuses on different times in her life. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise follows her 6-year stint as a critic and the hilarious lengths she goes to to disguise herself from the employees working in the restaurants she’s reviewing.
Bacon, kale, Magnolia Bakery (hint: Sex and the City); all of these have origin stories worth telling. The Tastemakers is all about when, why, and how food trends started. Author David Sax talks to trendsetters themselves about how their trends got started and how they feel about them now.
This one didn’t make the list because I haven’t read it yet, but I’m really looking forward to reading Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal by #30Authors contributor Ava Chin!
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