Tag Archives: Food Books

International Reviews: Top Books On Food In 2022

NOVEMBER 23, 2022

BUDMO!: Recipes from a Ukrainian Kitchen

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In this colorful  cookbook  you’ll find recipes for dishes like cold borscht, dark cherry varenyky and sweet pumpkin rice kasha from Ukrainian native Anna Voloshyna, who moved to California in 2011. Known for hosting pop-up dinners and cooking classes,  Voloshyna is also a food stylist, photographer and blogger. In her debut cookbook, she offers modern and American spins on the typical dishes she grew up with, and she also includes details like food origins, customs and traditions in each recipe’s headnote. Budmo, which is how Ukrainians say “cheers,” shares the country’s complicated history that has led up to the current war, while simultaneously celebrating its varied and vibrant cuisine.

A Waiter in Paris: Adventures in the Dark Heart of the City

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“It’s the boundary between two worlds: the Paris you see and the Paris you don’t,” writes Edward Chisholm, an Englishman who moved to Paris in 2012 and spent several years as a waiter while trying to build up his writing career. Now, his debut book, a no-holds-barred memoir detailing his time waiting tables in one of the world’s hottest restaurant cities, reveals what really goes on behind the scenes of fine dining establishments. This book is the next generation of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidentialand Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter, with Chisholm exposing the often-shocking mayhem of the restaurant kitchen in visceral detail. He deftly uses the Parisian restaurant as a microcosm for France as a whole, with immigrants, people of color and blue-collar workers at the bottom of the food chain.

Sweet Land of Liberty: A History of America in 11 Pies

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Ever wonder how apple pie became a symbol of America? Food writer and editor Rossi Anastopoulo slices into the history of pie in the good ol’ US of A, from pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving to apple pie on Independence Day, using the iconic American dessert to tell the story of a country. Still, it’s not all sweet, as she details how molasses pie traces its origin to slavery and Jell-O pie reveals the history of gender disparity in our country. All in all, Anastopoulo shares interesting facts behind 11 all-American pies, like how the first recipe for American apple pie appeared in a 1796 cookbook called American Cookery, which is believed to be the first cookbook ever published in the newly minted United States. The book includes a recipe for each pie, too.

Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook

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Part memoir and part cookbook, this debut from our country’s first Puerto Rican food columnist Illyanna Maisonet dives into the author’s personal family recipes, which she painstakingly documented from her extended relatives through the years, and also includes her interpretation of dishes by Puerto Rican friends, chefs and roadside food vendors. There are 90 recipes including traditional Puerto Rican dishes like tostones, pernil and mofongo. Other highlights include sloppy joes and sancocho. But more than just the recipes, Maisonet shares how migration and colonization have influenced and progressed Puerto Rican food, ingredients and techniques. In explaining why her family wraps their pasteles in foil, Maisonet writes in her intimate, conversational style, “When you think of my grandma coming to Sacramento as a 17-year-old mother of two in 1956, you have to wonder where the hell would she have found banana leaves in Northern California?” She posits that this progression is no less authentic than the original method, and that the resourcefulness of Puerto Ricans has evolved their cuisine into what it is today: dynamic and delicious.

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Reviews: New Books On Food Science – May 2022

May 2, 2022 – Our food system is a rich, complex blend of biology and culture. From the biodiversity in forests, oceans, and farms to the living weave of long-standing traditions and emerging trends, food touches every aspect of life on Earth. This diversity hasn’t always carried through to agricultural and culinary literatures, but fortunately this is changing. Fresh perspectives are emerging in the literary discussions of food, addressing a range of topics and cuisines. In 2022, Science will share this tapestry in a limited podcast series on science and food. Hosted by journalist Angela Saini, the series will highlight books from around the world that intersect with this theme. A different book and its author will appear monthly on the Science podcast, beginning on 26 May 2022.

Together, the books discussed in these segments expose an entanglement of biology, culinary science, and culture. In Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them, Dan Saladino addresses biodiversity loss and the future of food. Saladino covers vast swaths of time and space, taking us from wild honey gatherers in Africa to rare Orkney barley as he demonstrates that species loss is linked to cultural loss.

Food literatures also demand that we confront ourselves and our blind spots. T. Colin Campbell’s The Future of Nutrition: An Insider’s Look at the Science, Why We Keep Getting It Wrong, and How to Start Getting It Right explores the evidence of the health benefits of plant-based diets. Crucially, this book exposes the cultural and political inertia protecting animal protein from scrutiny, reminding us that scientific research is never detached from society.

New Food Books: ‘Petite Patisserie: 180 Easy Recipes – Elegant French Treats’

Christophe Felder, along with his longtime collaborator, Camille Lesecq, are back with a new volume that focuses upon the delightful small pastries that are one of the highlights of the art of French baking. Both children and adults adore these often bite-size indulgences. Included here are all the fundamental recipes–the classics and the traditional favorites–along with original, inventive creations. 

A delightful volume devoted to the delicate, charming treats that are the soul of France’s neighborhood patisseries. With Felder’s expert guidance, any home cook can now re-create the sweet enchantments and small indulgences that are the hallmark of many a holiday in France.

Recipes include amandines, babas, biscuits, bostocks, creams, croquantes, croustillons, financiers, flans, madeleines, Alsatian manderlis, Napoleans, petits fours, sablés, tartlets, and much more.

The book opens with a section on twenty-seven base recipes from which all others can be made, including pâte brisée, pâte sucrée, sablé breton, dacquoise, pâte á choux, feuilletée rapide, and crème pâtissière. It is then divided into chapters of increasing complexity, with a final chapter on “funny” cakes–playfully decorated small cakes designed to delight children or for parties.

Each recipe comes with precise preparation and cooking times, step-by-step decorating tips, and suggestions for vegan and gluten-free alternatives–this seemingly petite package contains a wide range of sweet and simple pleasures to delight big and small gourmets alike.

About The Author

Christophe Felder is one of the most respected pastry masters in the world, having achieved fame during his fifteen-year tenure as the pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. In 2009, he founded Studio Christophe Felder, a pastry school open to the public and located in Strasbourg in his native Alsace. Together with Camille Lesecq, former pastry chef at Le Meurice, they operate a patisserie, Les Pâtissiers, in Mutzig, Alsace.

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Top New Culinary Books: “Sushi Shokunin” – Andrea Fazzari -“Stunning Images”

In this stunning monograph, James Beard Award-winning photographer and author Andrea Fazzari profiles twenty of the most celebrated sushi masters on the Japanese food scene. Through a combination of striking photography and intimate essays, each chapter introduces readers to a new master and restaurant, capturing the aesthetics, philosophy, and level of dedication that illustrates their status as the world’s finest culinary shokunin.

In Japan, cooking often bears aesthetic value, and the making of sushi is exalted as one of the finest culinary crafts. In line with this ideal of food as art, the Japanese often employ the word shokunin, loosely defined as “artisan”, to refer to highly skilled sushi masters. Connoting excellence and devotion to one’s craft, this title is reserved for those who approach their work with an artistic eye and seemingly spiritual sense of purpose, or ikigai.

A must-have for sushi enthusiasts—and for anyone interested in fine food culture—Sushi Shokunin is the first book of its kind to the most revered sushi masters and restaurants. Fazzari invites readers to explore the rarefied world of top shokunin who view sushi making not only as a career, but also as a way of life.

Andrea Fazzari is a Tokyo-based James Beard Award-winning photographer and author specializing in travel and the culinary world. Her previous book was Tokyo New WaveShe was chosen as one of “30 Photographers to Watch” by Photo District News in 2004. Her editorial and advertising clients include Travel + LeisureDeparturesSaveurCathay Pacific Airlines, and Four Seasons Hotels

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Interviews: Indonesian Cookbook “Coconut & Sambal” Author Lara Lee

Monocle 24 The MenuLara Lee, the author of the new cookery book ‘Coconut & Sambal’, shares one of her favourite recipes.

About Coconut & Sambal

Coconut & SambalBe transported to the bountiful islands of Indonesia by this collection of fragrant, colourful and mouth-watering recipes.

‘An exciting and panoramic selection of dishes and snacks’
– Fuchsia Dunlop, author of The Food of Sichuan


‘Start with Lara’s fragrant chicken soup, do lots of exploring on the way whilst dousing everything with spoonfuls of sambal, and end with her coconut and pandan sponge cake’
 Yotam Ottolenghi, author of SIMPLE

Coconut & Sambal reveals the secrets behind authentic Indonesian cookery. With more than 80 traditional and vibrant recipes that have been passed down through the generations, you will discover dishes such as Nasi goreng, Beef rendang, Chilli prawn satay and Pandan cake, alongside a variety of recipes for sambals: fragrant, spicy relishes that are undoubtedly the heart and soul of every meal.Lara uses simple techniques and easily accessible ingredients throughout Coconut and Sambal, interweaving the recipes with beguiling tales of island life and gorgeous travel photography that shines a light on the magnificent, little-known cuisine of Indonesia.

What are you waiting for? Travel the beautiful islands of Indonesia and taste the different regions through these recipes.

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1950’s Artwork: English Painter John Minton’s “Lavish” Food Book Covers

From Apollo Magazine article (April 13, 2020):

John Minton Illustration for French Cooking by Eizabeth DavidMinton had gone on to produce a series of spectacularly colourful oil paintings of Corsica on his return to London, exhibiting them at the Lefevre Gallery in 1949. Many of them depicted fruit and fish and other ingredients for Mediterranean cuisine, and so confirmed Minton as the obvious choice for the David commission. 

David delightedly recalled that: ‘In the shop windows [Minton’s] brilliant blue Mediterranean bay, his tables spread with white cloths and bright fruit, bowls of pasta and rice, a lobster, pitchers and jugs and bottles of wine, could be seen far down the street.’

Variations on these two images were used for the double-page spread on which the title appeared in David’s second book, French Country Cooking (1951), while the wrap-around image on the dust jacket depicted the interior of a well-stocked kitchen, many of its utensils borrowed from the author to ensure accurate representation.

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Francis John Minton (25 December 1917 – 20 January 1957) was an English painter, illustrator, stage designer and teacher. After studying in France, he became a teacher in London, and at the same time maintained a consistently large output of works. In addition to landscapes, portraits and other paintings, some of them on an unusually large scale, he built up a reputation as an illustrator of books.

In the mid-1950s, Minton found himself out of sympathy with the abstract trend that was then becoming fashionable, and felt increasingly sidelined. He suffered psychological problems, self-medicated with alcohol, and in 1957 died by suicide.

From Wikipedia