29 May 2006

A Reading Foodie's Delight

Sunday was a day for lazing the day away by sitting outside, tanking up on caffeine, reading the NY Times. And, what a treat for a gourmet or a gourmand that this week's issue of the NYT Book Review was 'The Food Issue'.

Becoming Julia Child is a review of the her autobiography My Life In France, co-written by Child's nephew Alex Prud'homme. Child described herself as "6-foot-2-inch, 36-year-old, rather loud and unserious Californian" when she first started cooking at Ecole du Cordon Bleu. This bio focuses on her life in France when she first began to cook. The review made me want to run right to the store to buy it.

Eat Your Vegetables reviews two similarly titled books The Way We Eat and What to Eat that explore the food industry. From the review, I'm not sure one would want to read this while eating.

Will Work for Food discusses Bill Buford memoir Heat about ditching his job as a fiction editor at The New Yorker to be an apprentice in Mario Batali's kitchen.

Save These Books poses the question: What is your favorite out-of-print cookbook? to chefs, restauranteurs, and foodies. Interesting responses leave you wishing that most of these were still in print.

My favorite out-of-print cookbook? The Covent Garden Cookbook by Marie Stone. Purchased on my first trip to London in 1980, at a hole-in-the-wall thrift shop located in the midst of the Covent Garden district, then awaiting the wrecking ball, signs of 'Save the Garden' all around, this is, perhaps, a sentimental choice. But, in addition to that, this is a great vegetarian cookbook that is an interesting read because the recipes are interspersed with stories, drawings and photographs from the 300 year history of the Covent Garden market. Covent Garden today has been rebuilt, gentrified, reborn as a center of entertainment, shopping and--what else?--eating.

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