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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Food Books
Cook while reading, read while cooking. It’s a magical combination, and yours to be had with the books listed below, reviewed in Booklist over the past 12 months.
Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Dowton Abbey
. By Margaret Powell. St. Martin’s, $22.99 (9781250005441).
In this fascinating memoir of Powell’s life as a kitchen maid and cook in 1920s England, she writes conversationally, offering cutting and humorous insights.
The Cookbook Library: Four Centuries of the Cooks, Writers, and Recipes That Made the Modern Cookbook. By Anne Willan and others. Univ. of California, $50 (9780520244009).
Cookbooks comprise one of book publishing’s most successful genres, and they’ve been around just about as long as printing itself. Willan and her husband delve into the history of cookbooks, and from each century through the nineteenth, they offer a recipe or two.
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child. By Bob Spitz. Knopf, $29.95 (9780307272225).
The latest biography of Julia Child commemorates the centennial of the birth of America’s undisputed queen of cuisine. Drawing on diaries and correspondence, it fleshes out details of her already-much-examined life.
The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià. By Ferran Adria. Tr. by Enrique Cillero. Phaidon, $29.95 (9780714862538).
Spanish chef Adria, whose elBulli restaurant pioneered molecular gastronomy, brings his innovative talent to the home cook; his analytical, deconstructive techniques may intimidate the nonadept, but this book proves accessible even to novice cooks.
Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America. By Maricel E. Presilla. Norton, $45 (9780393050691).
Accomplished professionally both as a scholar and restaurateur, Cuban-born Presilla knows just about everything there is to know about the vast history and geography of the cooking of the Western Hemisphere’s Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking lands.
How to Cook Everything: The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food. By Mark Bittman. Wiley, $35 (9780470528068).
Bittman’s gifts for focusing on a recipe’s essence and for expressing expected outcomes become even more apparent in this latest addition to his list of cookbooks; as one would expect, virtually every recipe comes with variations to inspire creative cooks.
The Juice: Vinous Veritas. By Jay McInerney. Knopf, $26.95 (9780307957283).
Lauded for his fiction, McInerney has recently become even more renowned in the world of fine wines for his impeccable taste and his ability to turn the admittedly subjective art of wine tasting into a more concrete and objective study.
Restaurant Man. By Joe Bastianich. Viking, $27.95 (9780670023523).
Bastianich has created quite a reputation for himself as restaurateur and wine merchant; anyone needing to learn what it takes to attain real and sustainable success in the restaurant business should read this unique memoir.
Vegan Indian Cooking: 140 Simple and Healthy Vegan Recipes. By Anupy Singla. Agate, paper, $19.95 (9781572841307).
People pursuing a vegan diet and eschewing all animal products need not endure boring, bland food. Indian cuisine’s meatless tradition already has so long and venerable a history that it readily adapts to a vegan regimen.
A Year of Pies: A Seasonal Tour of Home Baked Pies. By Ashley English. Lark, paper, $19.95 (9781454702863).
The author’s talent is twofold: repurposing a traditional dish while staying true to its food legacy, and giving us foolproof instructions and color step-by-step photographs for making piecrusts right.
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