By Dan Barber (641.302 Barb)
Barber, an early advocate of the farm-to-table locavore movement, and head chef of New York City’s Blue Hill restaurant, takes the reader to the front lines of food production, looking for the most sustainable way to produce the best-tasting food.
By Cat Cora (B Cora)
Left in a foundling home in Jackson, Mississippi and adopted by a couple forever in tough financial straits, Cat Cora had an uphill climb to graduating from the Culinary Institute of America and stardom as the first female Iron Chef. Her memoir is a warts-and-all account of life as a chef.
By J. Ryan Stradal (Fic Stra)
Eva Thorvald was born to be a chef. From her first mouthful of pork shoulder lovingly braised and pureed by her father to the hydroponic habaneros she grows at age eleven (and uses on the school bully), Eva’s life is seasoned with equal parts love and hardship.
By Michael Gibney (641.59747 Gibn)
Veteran chef Gibney, who also has an M.F.A. in writing, gives the reader an hour-by-hour tour of a day in the busy kitchen of a Manhattan fine dining restaurant. The complexity of the organization, skill required to create each dish, and flexibility to handle disasters large and small is all part of everyday culinary life.
By Nora Pouillon & Laura Fraser (B Poui)
Nora Pouillon grew up in the Austrian countryside, and upon moving to the United States in the 1960’s was shocked by the prevalence of tasteless processed food in the supermarkets. Scouring ethnic markets and joining hippie food co-ops helped her find the ingredients she wanted, and inspired her to eventually open Restaurant Nora, the nation’s first certified organic restaurant, in Washington D.C. in 1979.
By Mina Holland (641.59 Holl)
More than a simple cookbook, this tour of worldwide cuisine includes not only recipes, but the story of how culture, history, and politics shape a nation’s taste. Holland includes an extensive reading list for further exploration.
By Molly Wizenberg (647.95 Wize)
When Wizenberg, the author of the food blog Orangette, married Brandon, a musician whose career trajectory changed weekly, she did not expect to actually follow through with his capricious plans. Missing his favorite New York pizzeria inspired him to start up his own restaurant in Seattle, and she is swept up in the process. The difficulties of creating a business from the ground up stresses their relationship to the breaking point.
By Jon Favreau (Writer & Director) (DVD Chef)
Once considered an up-and-coming culinary genius, high-end chef Carl Casper is in a rut. When he freaks out on an influential restaurant reviewer, he also ends up unemployed. Taking his act on the road, he buys a food truck and rekindles his love of food, friends, and family on a cross-country trek from Miami to L.A. with his best friend and his young son.
By Ruth Reichl (641.564)
Blindsided by the abrupt closing of the legendary Gourmet magazine, editor-in-chief Reichl (author of the memoir Tender at the Bone and others) picks up the pieces of her shattered career by immersing herself in her own home kitchen. Cooking for herself, family, and friends, she heals her bruised soul over the course of the following year.
By Mark Bittman (338.10973 Bitt)
Cookbook author and food columnist for the New York Times, Bittman began writing op-ed pieces on food issues five years ago. Compiled here, he addresses a range of topics, such as agricultural practices, government legislation, fad diets, and corporate greed.