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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Food Books
It seems as if foodies are everywhere these days. And that is definitely a good thing. Everyone eats, and if we can elevate the quality of ingredients and experience, more power to all of us. However, many people, not simply avowed foodies, will appreciate these 10 outstanding food-related books, which Booklist has reviewed over the past 12 months. —Brad Hooper
As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child & Avis DeVoto; Food, Friendship, & the Making of a Masterpiece. Ed. by Joan Reardon. Houghton, $26 (9780547417714).
Julia Child’s extensive letter writing to “pen pal” Avis DeVoto began when DeVoto replied to a fan letter Child had sent to her husband, Bernard. This volume marks the first appearance of their complete correspondence; in an early note, DeVoto calls Child’s evolving manuscript “as exciting as a novel to read,” and, indeed, so are their conversations.
Cooking with Italian Grandmothers: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany to Sicily. By Jessica Theroux. Welcome, $40 (9781599620893).
Grandmothers across Italy invited Theroux into their kitchens, allowing her to record a smart selection of unique and utterly appealing dishes that will leave readers of all ethnicities yearning for an Italian grandmother in the family lineage.
Homemade Soda. By Andrew Schloss. Storey, paper, $18.95 (9781603427968).
Making sodas at home may be uncharted territory for even the most serious foodies. Schloss’ exhaustive menu of recipes and tips, however, shows just how approachable it can be.
Ideas in Food: Recipes and Why They Work. By Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot. Clarkson Potter, $25 (9780307717405).
Say “molecular gastronomy,” and chances are that people will think of either Bravo’s Top Chef or Spanish restaurateur Ferran Adria, chef of elBulli. Now, six years after Harold McGee’s groundbreaking scientific investigation, On Food and Cooking, comes a consumer-friendly and recipe-packed series of essays by a wife-and-husband team.
The Joy of Cheesemaking: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Making, and Eating Fine Cheese. By Jody Farnham and Marc Druart. Skyhorse, paper, $14.95 (9781616080600).
In between the scientific lingo and the critical procedures of learning about the art of cheesemaking come some great color photographs, a few dozen recipes, and introductions to “rock star” cheesemakers around the country that include personal histories, a cheese-featured dish or two, and contact information.
Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. By Nathan Myhrvoid and others. The Cooking Lab, $625 (9780982761007).
The brave new universe of molecular gastronomy is just one facet of today’s cooking revolution that has the food world reeling. This magisterial multivolume compendium rationalizes food science and technology for the new century.
One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking. By Molly O’Neill. Simon & Schuster, $50 (9780743232708).
This is One Big Book, filled to the brim with anecdotes, references, information, memorabilia, and 800 recipes that are truly representative of all U.S. cultures and ethnicities.
Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France. By Joan Nathan. Knopf, $40 (9780307267597).
TV host and award-winning cookbook author Nathan shares her collection of 200 recipes and also narrates, factually and with no small sentiment, the history of Jews in France.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adria’s elBulli. By Lisa Abend. Free Press, $26 (9781439175552).
The author recounts her stint as an intern working for free in Spain’s elBulli restaurant, until very recently generally considered the best in the world.
The Vertical Farm: Feeding Ourselves and the World in the 21st Century. By Dickson Despommier. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (9780312611392).
An award-winning professor of microbiology and public and environmental health sciences adds his voice to those calling for agricultural reform in a provocative introduction to a pragmatic approach to growing safe, nutritious food.
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