Suggested Reading

The following is a list of some of the most meaningful food books and journals that I have encountered over the past few years. Some of these books have made me laugh, some have made me cringe, some have inspired me beyond words, others have been valuable teaching tools, and several have accomplished some combination of these feats.  There is a story behind every one of them. I have tried to sort them out into categories, but of course, some are hard to classify. I will continue to add to this list as I discover new gems.

Memoirs and Biographies

  • The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber
  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  • Heat by Bill Buford
  • Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
  • My Life in France by Julia Child
  • Out of the Frying Pan by Gillian Clark
  • The Art of Eating in by Cathy Erway
  • Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
  • The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones
  • The Earth’s Best Story by Ron and Arnie Koss (also Food Politics)
  • Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee
  • Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
  • Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl
  • Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
  • Stuffed by Patricia Volk
  • A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

Dessert, Baking, and Pastry Arts Cookbooks

  • The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
  • Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
  • The Simple Art of Perfect Baking by Flo Braker
  • Sweet Miniatures: The Art of Making Bite-Sized Desserts by Flo Braker
  • Grand Livre De Cuisine: Alain Ducasse’s Desserts and Pastries by Alain Ducasse
  • Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan
  • Desserts by Pierre Hermé
  • Frozen Desserts by Francisco J. Migoya
  • Baking by James Peterson
  • Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart
  • The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
  • Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Shere
  • Baking by Flavor by Lisa Yockelson
  • Chocolate Chocolate by Lisa Yockelson
  • The Time Life Good Cook Series


  • Food Jobs: 150  Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers by Irena Chalmers
  • Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob
  • The Making of a Pastry Chef by Andrew MacLauchlan
  • The Reach of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman
  • How I Learned to Cook edited by Kimberley Witherspoon

Culinary History

  • Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows by Kathleen Collins
  • Kosher Nation by Sue Fishkoff
  • Hungry Town by Tom Fitzmorris
  • Appetite City by William Grimes
  • Gastropolis: Food & New York City edited by Annie S. Hauck-Lawson and Jonathan Deutsch
  • The Wild Vine by Todd Kliman
  • Sweet Invention : A History of Dessert by Michael Krondl
  • Au Revoir to All That: The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine by Michael Steinberger

Culinary Science

  • On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee
  • How Baking Works by Paula Figoni

Food Politics

  • The Town that Food Saved by Ben Hewitt
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan


  • Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Journals and Food Writing Compendia

  • Alimentum: The Literature of Food
  • Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture
  • Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink

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