Hungry for more food memoirs?
Here are some more delectable (and insightful) ones to chew on–
Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness by Sasha Martin
Over the course of 195 weeks, this food writer and blogger set out to cook—and eat—a meal from every country in the world. As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother, to a string of foster homes, to the house from which she launched her own cooking adventure, Martin’s heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal—and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within.
Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi
This is Lakshmi’s extraordinary account of her journey from that humble kitchen of her grandmother in South India, ruled by ferocious and unforgettable women, to the judges’ table of Top Chef and beyond. It chronicles the fierce devotion of the remarkable people who shaped her along the way, from her headstrong mother who flouted conservative Indian convention to make a life in New York, to her Brahmin grandfather—a brilliant engineer with an irrepressible sweet tooth—to the man seemingly wrong for her in every way who proved to be her truest ally. A memoir rich with sensual prose and punctuated with evocative recipes, it is alive with the scents, tastes, and textures of a life that spans complex geographies both internal and external.
The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten
Funny, outrageous, passionate, and unrelenting, Vogue’s food writer, Steingarten, will stop at nothing, as he makes clear in these forty delectable pieces. Whether he is in search of a foolproof formula for sourdough bread (made from wild yeast, of course) or the most sublime French fries (the secret: cooking them in horse fat) or the perfect pie crust , he will go to any length to find the answer. Here is the man who ate everything and lived to tell about it.
Memoir of the Sunday Brunch by Julia Pandl
At age twelve, Pandl was initiated into the rite of the Sunday brunch, a weekly madhouse at Pandl’s, the family-owned Milwaukee-based restaurant where she and her eight older siblings did mandatory service—and where her father “traded his sanity for a paper chef hat and a set of utility tongs.” Amid the controlled chaos, they learned the ropes of the business and, more importantly, life lessons that would shape them in the years to come. Part coming-of-age story, and part window into the mysteries of the restaurant business, this memoir is filled with tender wisdom about the bonds between fathers and daughters, and about the simple pleasures that lie in the daily ritual of breaking bread.
My Kitchen Wars by Betty Fussell
A fierce and funny memoir of kitchen and bedroom from a James Beard Award winner. Fussell survives a motherless household during the Great Depression, gets married to the well-known writer and war historian Paul Fussell after World War II, goes through a divorce, and finally escapes to New York City in her mid-fifties, batterie de cuisine intact. What we get is a revelation of the author’s lifelong love affair with food-cooking it, eating it, and sharing it-no matter where or with whom she finds herself.
My Life in France by Julia Child & Alex Prud’Homme
Here is the captivating, bestselling story of Julia Child’s formative years in France, where she found “her true calling.” Child’s unforgettable story—struggles with the head of the Cordon Bleu, rejections from publishers to whom she sent her now-famous cookbook, a wonderful, nearly fifty-year long marriage that took the Childs across the globe—unfolds with the spirit so key to Julia’s success as a chef and a writer, brilliantly capturing one of America’s most endearing personalities.
Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression by David Leite
The stunning and long-awaited memoir from the beloved founder of the James Beard Award-winning website Leite’s Culinaria—a candid, courageous, and at times laugh-out-loud funny story of family, food, mental illness, and sexual identity.
Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater by Gail Simmons
A memoir revealing this Top Chef judge’s unusual and inspiring path to success, step-by-step and bite-by-bite. It takes the reader from her early years, growing up in a household where her mother ran a small cooking school, her father made his own wine, and family vacation destinations included Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East; through her adventures at culinary school in New York City and training as an apprentice in two of New York’s most acclaimed kitchens; and on to her time spent assisting Vogue’s legendary food critic Jeffrey Steingarten, working for renowned chef Daniel Boulud, and ultimately landing her current jobs at Food & Wine and on Top Chef.
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
At an early age, Reichl discovered that “food could be a way of making sense of the world. If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were.” Her deliciously crafted memoir is the story of a life defined, determined, and enhanced in equal measure by a passion for food, by unforgettable people, and by the love of tales well told. Spiced with Reichl’s infectious humor and sprinkled with her favorite recipes, this is a witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist’s coming-of-age.
32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert & Veronica Chambers
The brave and affecting coming-of-age story about the making of a French chef, from the culinary icon behind the renowned New York City restaurant Le Bernardin.
Taking us from Eric Ripert’s childhood in the south of France and the mountains of Andorra into the demanding kitchens of such legendary Parisian chefs as Joël Robuchon and Dominique Bouchet, until, at the age of twenty-four, Ripert made his way to the United States, this is the tender and richly told story of how one of our greatest living chefs found himself—and his home—in the kitchen.
Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson & Veronica Chambers
Chronicles Samuelsson’s journey, from his grandmother’s kitchen to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson’s career of chasing flavors had only just begun—in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs, and, most important, the opening of Red Rooster in Harlem.
-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian