Sweet Cooking

Summer Reading for the Pretend Chef

In Miscellaneous on July 29, 2010 at 9:09 am

I have been traveling the last few days (visiting friends and family in Georgia and Alabama) so I haven’t been in the kitchen. Sorry, kitchen! I’ve missed you. I’ll be back today.

I do, however, want to tell you about my latest finds in the bookstore. I love cookbooks and all the new “chef” related novels out there. Here are my latest finds:

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

The author of this book must have an awesome publisher because you can’t pick up a food magazine without reading a raving review. I am about 1/3 finished…the 2 main characters (wildly different sisters) are slowly coming together.

This isn't a book that will grab you from the start, but I have high hopes!

A brief review from The New Yorker: Goodman’s charming reworking of “Sense and Sensibility” follows two sisters—Emily, the C.E.O. of a promising data-storage startup in Silicon Valley, in the late-nineties, and Jess, a tree-hugging vegan who meanders through graduate school at Berkeley while moonlighting at an antiquarian bookstore. There she and her grumpy boss, George, an old-school Microsoft millionaire, stumble into “a bibliophile’s Louisiana Purchase,” the rare cookbook collection of an eccentric lichenologist. Goodman ably captures the giddy atmosphere of the dot-com bubble and takes the parabola of the market as the geometry of all desire: when the Nasdaq swoons, so does Jess for George. If Goodman’s story occasionally overreaches—it has too many ingredients and relies a lot on coincidence and revelation—it remains wry, astute, and gratifying.

52 Loaves by William Alexander

I have not started this book yet, but it's next up. Read an excerpt from the book jacket below.

William Alexander is determined to bake the perfect loaf of bread. He tasted it long ago and has been trying to reproduce it ever since. Now, on the theory that practice makes perfect, he sets out to bake the same peasant bread every other week until he gets it right. He bakes his loaf from scratch. And because Alexander is nothing if not thorough, he really means from scratch: growing, harvesting, threshing, winnowing, and milling his own wheat. His journey spans three continents, a backyard wheat field, two exploding ovens, one herniated vertebra, a prolonged battle with food poisoning, a crisis of faith, and a thirteen-hundred-year-old monastery – in pursuit of perfection.

Molto Gusto – Easy Italian Cooking by Mario Batali

This book is a feast for the eyes!

I love all of the photography not to mention the recipes. They are all so simple….just a few quality ingredients and basic cooking skills are required. Check out Mario making Linguine with Clams here. He makes it look so easy! The cookbook contains chapters on Vegetable Antipasti, Seafood & Meat Antipasti, Bruschetta & Cheese, Insalata, Pasta, Pizza, and Gelato & Sorbetto. I can’t wait to make everything!

Last, but not least, my stepmother and I had a great celebrity chef (and author) siting in Sag Harbor, NY over the weekend. We were having delicious lobster rolls at Beacon when I spotted Anthony Bourdain. Anthony is kinda hot in person. Read his book, "No Reservations" if you haven't!

All of the books previously mentioned can be found at Amazon. Happy reading!
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  1. Unfortunately my wife had the same opinion. Dad

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