Food writing

I'm craving a good read. Unfortunately, I find a lot of food writing to be precious and saccharine at best. I have a strong affection for MFK Fisher and, recently, Tamar Adler. Any suggestions?

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24 Comments

Sadassa_Ulna August 12, 2012
I just remembered, I really enjoyed The Year of Eating Dangerously by Tom Parker Bowles (who happens to be Camilla's son). I learned a lot about glass elvers and other rarities/oddities.
 
calendargirl August 8, 2012
Definitely Laurie Colwin, any and all. Also, Laura Shapiro's JULIA CHILD, a short, incisive, and well-written biography from the Penguin Lives series. Shapiro also wrote PERFECTION SALAD, about women and cooking as the 19th century became the 20th (basically the birth of home economics) and SOMETHING FROM THE OVEN: REINVENTING DINNER IN 1950's AMERICA (packaged foods, cans, wonderful social history).
 
pierino August 8, 2012
How could I forget Michael Ruhlman's work? MAKING OF A CHEF, SOUL OF A CHEF etc. He also happens to be the Boswell to Thomas Keller's Johnson.
 
Louisa August 8, 2012
The new picture book biography, "Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child" by Jessie Hartland.
 
Sadassa_Ulna August 8, 2012
"Life, On the Line" by Grant Achatz and his business partner, Nick Kokonas, was hard to put down. In addition to writing about his childhood spent working in his family's restaurant and later starting his first restaurant, he writes extensively about working at The French Laundry and his admiration for Thomas Keller.
 
pierino August 8, 2012
On Italy, the late Barbara Grizzuti Harrison; ITALIAN DAYS. She writes wonderfully about my favorite city in the world, Rome.
 
boulangere August 8, 2012
Wonderful book.
 
boulangere August 8, 2012
Donna Leon writes a series of mysteries set in Venice about Comissario Guido Brunetti, a police detective. In addition to his acerbic and brilliant observations on the part of his wife, Paola, every book is laced with details about food. When Brunetti isn't thinking about his latest case, he is thinking about food - eating it, procuring it, anticipating it. I still miss Laurie Colwin, found Trail of Crumbs a bit flat, and Calvin Trillin is an American treasure.
 
Maedl August 8, 2012
Marlena de Blasi's books (Thousand Days in Venice, Thousand Days in Tuscany, Lady in the Palazzo)
As Always, Julia (edited by Joan Reardon)
Julia Child's My Life in France
Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series (his descriptions of Sicilian foods will make you wish for an extended Sicilian family)
Penguin has a 'Great Food' series that has a great selection of titles.
 
Brain H. August 8, 2012
Check out the Best Food Writing Anthologies by Holly Hughes. I have the 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions, and have discovered many great writers, some famous and some not so well known. And when I really need a fix of good food writing, I reread the parts of Hemingway's A Moveable Feast that pertain to food, cafes, and drinking.
 

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Nozlee S. August 7, 2012
And we'd be remiss to forget Nora Ephron, whose writing was sharp as a knife and never breathy or overly sweet, whether or not it was about food.
 
em-i-lis August 8, 2012
I read Heartburn in a single sitting yesterday and laughed my bum off half the time. Wonderful!
 
SeaJambon August 7, 2012
David Lebovitz - Living the Sweet Life in Paris
 
Nozlee S. August 7, 2012
Seconding the Laurie Colwin -- she's ANYTHING but too precious. I also love Molly Wizenberg of Orangette's book A Homemade Life!
 
drbabs August 7, 2012
Home Cooking and More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin. Born Round by Frank Bruni. I liked Ruth Reichl's books, too. Cooking for Mr Latte by Amanda Hesser--have you read that? I just started Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson--he's had an interesting life! Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Calvin Trillin's books.
 
pierino August 7, 2012
Calvin Trillin is a god to me. He is the best American humorist since Mark Twain. And he writes beautifully about food when he's not writing about something else. I love his phrase "foods of longing and regret."
 
ChefJune August 8, 2012
Anything by Laurie Colwin is fabulous. Nothing "precious" about her!
 
pierino August 7, 2012
Gabrielle Hamilton's food memoir won a Beard award and all kinds of accolades from her peers.

But I also have to put in a shameless plug for a good personal friend, Kim Sunée; TRAIL OF CRUMBS. Kim was orphaned at the age of three in a market in S. Korea. She was adopted by American parents and grew up in New Orleans, lived in Paris and Provence---I don't want to give away too many personal details. So, buy her book.
 
petitbleu August 7, 2012
I'm intrigued. I have read Blood, Bones, and Butter. I enjoyed it but wasn't blown away (it's funny that "blown away" is a positive cliché). I was also a bit disappointed with Reichl's memoirs. Nothing personal--just not my style. I will have to try Sunée's book, though. Thanks for the recommendation.
 
cookbookchick August 7, 2012
Oops -- missed an "L" -- Gabrielle Hamilton. Great read!
 
cookbookchick August 7, 2012
"Blood, Bones and Butter" by Gabriele Hamilton.
 
HalfPint August 7, 2012
I've always like Nigel Slater, any of his books.
 
petitbleu August 7, 2012
Oh yeah. I forgot about Nigel Slater. Great stuff, that.
 
miss J. August 7, 2012
What about any of Ruth Reichl's books she edited such as "Endless Feasts" or "Remembrance of things Paris". Her memoirs are also great food reads.
 
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