Memoir-type chef books

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by freshbaked, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. freshbaked

    freshbaked

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    Hello! I'm looking for a good, chef related read! I have read Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential", Grant Achatz "Line on the Line", and I am currently reading Marco Pierre White's "The Devil in the Kitchen"

    Also on my list is "Atelier Crenn; Metamorphosis of Taste"

    I'm looking for something motivating and overall just a good read.

    Thanks!
     
  2. grande

    grande

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    The kitchen book by nicholas freeling; down and out in paris & london by george orwell
     
  3. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones & Butter.

    Marcus Samuelson's Yes, Chef!

    Eddie Huang's Fresh Off the Boat

    Jacques Pepin's The Apprentice
     
  4. sionnac

    sionnac

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    My Life in France by Julia Child (not all about culinary stuff)

    Stina The Story of a Cook by Herman Smith

    When French Women Cook by Madeleine Kamman

    I like the Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid books too, like travel memoirs with great photos and interviews with cooks - Hot Sour Salty Sweet, Mangoes and Curry Leaves, Beyond the Great Wall - and Duguid's Burma: Rivers of Flavor.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  5. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Anything by MFK Fisher. Not exactly memoir but not entirely not. She is the doyenne of food writing.

    And, this explains a lot about how what we eat has evolved, at least here in the US, away from the horrifying "convenience food" cooking of the 1960s:



    (Trust me, I have a 1959 cookbook that I believe does not have a single fresh vegetable in it aside from iceberg lettuce.)
     
  6. grande

    grande

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    The Taste of America by Karen andcJohn L Hess, also not a memoir but a great read.
     
  7. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Jacques Pepin autobiography. Great stories of his youth and early kitchen experiences. Also fascinating how fate played a big role in his early career. 

    Heat by Bill Buford. His time in Italy is hilarious. 

    Any of the books by Ruth Reichl. Her memoir of life with her mother I especially enjoyed. 

    Becoming a Chef by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. 
     
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  8. grande

    grande

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    Speaking of Jacques, Pierre Franey wrote a great book, I think called "A Chef's Life," a nice glimpse of pre war french kitchens.
     
  9. jake t buds

    jake t buds

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    I was going to suggest MFK Fisher as well. 

    Cooking for Kings Antonin Careme. Standard fare, but required reading for any foodie and chef. 

    Blood, Bones & Butter Gabrielle Hamilton. Owner of Prune in NYC. 

    A Slice of Life Contemporary Writers on Food.

    Numerous authors from Umberto Ecco, Nigella Lawson, A. Bourdain to Calvin Trillin and Isabelle Allende. Not necessarily a memoir, but interesting nevertheless. 

    Edit : Oops. I didn't realize Chicago Terry suggested the same Gabrielle Hamilton book. I second the recommendation. 
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  10. apron

    apron

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    Hello there,

       I am Clattnow, I am afraid I do not know of a good read about cooking but I always use the bero book to cook with as it is step by step.  I know you want a good book to read I am afraid I cannot help there but just thought I would mention the Bero Book. 
     
  11. apron

    apron

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    I see you have been baking your entire life I do understand and yes a lot of cookbooks are rubbish.  I find the Bero book very good though.  Sorry should not go on.  Everyone to their own views though  and you will know better than me.  Apologies.  Apron
     
  12. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    "A Chef's Tale" by Pierre Franey
     
  13. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    Ferdinand Point's _Ma Gastronomie_ is fascinating, and a lot of it is sort of journal/memoir. Weird book, though.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  14. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Ruth Reichl--Comfort Me With Apples & Tender at the Bone

    Laurie Colwin--Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen & More Home Cooking

    Elizabeth David--South Wind Through the Kitchen

    Anya Von Bremzen--Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking

    Not chefs but extremely appreciative eaters who also happen to be excellent (and funny) writers:

    A. J. Liebling--Between Meals

    Calvin Trillin--The Tummy Trilogy

    Jim Harrison--The Raw and the Cooked
     
  15. ldiatone

    ldiatone

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    "secrets of a master chef", louis Diat  published by gourmet mag

    Bernard Loiseau,  The Perfectionist : Life and Death in Haute Cuisine
     
  16. bloodymary

    bloodymary

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    I am currently reading Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard.

    It is a cookbook, but it offers a lot of history about the chef and the tradition and stories of southern foods. In this book, she offers her techniques that are thoroughly explained in detail.

    She has a show on PBS called A Chef's Life.

    It is quite a large book. It's about the size and weight of a Chicago Yellow Pages phone book. That is my only critique.
     
  17. ldiatone

    ldiatone

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    do you like the book?  i do not care for the show.  but  she is now doing a commercial for a brand of mayo.
     
  18. bloodymary

    bloodymary

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    I like them both, the show and the book. My passion is comfort food and southern cooking. So anything in this area interests me.

    The first couple seasons of A Chef's Life were much better than they are now because she was always in her kitchen before she became a busy celebrity chef. You got to see more of her creativity flow and her gorgeous presentations, as well as following the ups and downs of working in her own restaurant and raising a family. 

    Speaking of condiments, I got turned on to purple mustard because of Vivian talking about her work under famous chefs in NYC on her show. Its a grainy french mustard made with the must of red wine. I never heard of it before. I ordered it on Amazon and it was really delicious with roast beef sandwiches.
     
  19. ldiatone

    ldiatone

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    i have used the mustard also
     
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