Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Culinary Books for Christmas

Santa was very good to me this year and brought me lots of books about food and cooking. I don't want any more cookbooks (I did get two but both are classics); between what I've got, online sources and blogs I read, I'm done with cookbooks for now, thanks.

I can't say yet if I have a favorite, but I'm very excited about The Silver Spoon, a 50-year standby in Italian kitchens. It has just been translated into English for the first time.

Julia Child was a little before my time but I have an aunt who's devoted to her methods, and with all the hype about the Julie/Julia project, I thought I should take a look. I received both the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and DVDs of The French Chef, her show on public television.

I have started reading Michael Ruhlman's The Making of a Chef, a chronicle of his time at the Culinary Institute of America. It's a great read so far, and I think it provides a good perspective on that school, although he gets a bit emotional at times. Having worked in hotel food service with CIA graduates, I know feelings both for and against the school run high.

The Perfectionist, by Rudolph Chelminski, is a book about the life and death of a well-known French chef Bernard Loiseau, who committed suicide in 2003 ahead of declining ratings by GaultMillau and the rumoured loss of a Michelin star.

Other goodies:
The Chef's Companion, by Elizabeth Riely
Hidden Kitchens, from The Kitchen Sisters
Best Food Writing 2005, edited by Holly Hughes
Don't Try This at Home, edited by Kimberly Witherspoon


Anonymous Debbie said...

Ooh, thanks for the info on The Silver Spoon, that looks like a great one! Do you have Garlic and Sapphires: the Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, by Ruth Reichl? It sounds very interesting.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Valyn said...

It was on my list but I didn't get it. The Silver Spoon looks great (it's the size of a telephone book) and is apparently an icon in Italy.

8:36 AM  

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