Every writing teacher I ever had told me, “In order to be a good writer, you have to read, read, read”.
So it follows then that in order to be a good food writer I should “read, read, read” about food.
And I have. In addition to all the food magazines that clutter my house, in the last year or so, I’ve read almost nothing but food-related books. Even my fiction reading has been ever so slightly food related.
Some have been memoirs of famous restaurant reviewers, others have chronicled the trials and tribulations of making it in the culinary world as a chef, after that was a delightful history of the American food scene and still others are personal essays about eating, preparing and enjoying food in all its glory.
My food book faves?
- Ruth Reichl’s trilogy of memoirs take the reader from her early years in her mother’s wacky kitchen to her days as a reviewer for the New York Times.
- Gael Greene, who was the original reviewer for “New York” magazine wrote Insatiable. Greene holds no punches in all her personal life and this one could easily fit under the category of soft porn.
- And then there are Michael Ruhlman’s books that explore the lives of chefs. Ruhlman is an amazing writer. He makes you realize that becoming a chef takes plenty of blood, sweat and tears.
Anything by Anthony Bourdain is a must read.
- And Heat by Bill Buford takes you into Mario Batali’s kitchen as well as being an apprentice to a Tuscan butcher.
Ah, but there are so many to discuss. And so many more to read. More on that later.