Summer is almost here, and what goes hand-in-hand with a lazy day at the pool or the beach? Why an excellent book, of course!
Rather than getting strangely addicted to whatever sensational novel is released (I'm talking about you, 50 Shades of Grey), kick back and relax on the beach or at the pool with one of these five food memoirs in which food and life are intertwined creating excellent stories you won't be able to put down.
My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz
David Lebovitz is an excellent food writer who easily connects with his readers. In 2011, Lebovitz wrote The Sweet Life in Paris, his memoir of moving to Paris, living in an itsy-bitsy apartment, and learning how to cook and eat like a Parisian. My Paris Kitchen is filled with nearly 100 recipes accompanied with knowledgeable information about ingredients, cooking utensils, equipment and stories about each dish. If you love reading about cooking techniques and the history or story behind recipes, then this book is definitely for you.
Delancey by Molly Wizenberg
Molly Wizenberg is the author behind the blog, Orangette, and is one of my absolute favorite food writers/bloggers -- it doesn't hurt that we share the same name. Wizenberg's writing is inspiring; she has a way of speaking to her readers like they are her closest friends even though she has never met most of them. Before you dive in to Delancey, I suggest you begin with her first book, A Homemade Life, where she tells her story of becoming a food writer; each chapter ends with delicious recipes, too! But, in Delancey she focuses on her journey of opening a restaurant (Delancey) with her husband, Brandon Pettit. Wizenberg's vulnerable writing will keep your eyes glued to every page, and you'll probably end up making a few of her recipes.
Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl
Ruth Reichl is a genius; whether you're reading her restaurant reviews from The New York Times, or her various food memoirs (Tender at the Bone; Comfort Me with Apples; For You Mom, Finally; Garlic and Sapphires; Not Becoming My Mother; and Remembrance of Things Paris), you will truly fall in love with Ruth Reichl. Delicious!: A Novel is a fictional story about a woman named Billie Breslin who moves from California to New York (similar to Reichl's move from the LA Times to The New York Times) to work at Delicious!, a food magazine; but after the magazine is shut down, she continues to work in the vacated office only to find historical letters written by a child to chef James Beard.
Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney
If you're fascinated by the kitchen life in a hectic restaurant, then immerse yourself in Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, a second-person narrative about a day in a restaurant kitchen working as a sous chef. While we see what kitchen environments are like on reality shows and through other Hollywood depictions, this newly released book gives readers an inside scoop on what a sous chef's life is like. Author Michael Gibney began his culinary career at the fresh age of 16, and became a sous chef at the age of 22; he has experience in many restaurants, such as 10 Downing in Manhattan, and uses it to create this 24-hour story..
Best Food Writing 2013 edited by Holly Hughes
For those who love shorter stories, you'll enjoy the essays and novellas inside Best Food Writing 2013. Skip to certain stories, or read from cover to cover, it's up to you. Best Food Writing 2013 features blog posts, and award-winning food articles from newspapers and magazines, including Katharine Shilcutt's blog post from Eating Our Words entitled, "I Ate My First McRib, and I Regret It."