Books about cooking/learning to cook that aren't cookbooks
November 19, 2017 10:26 PM   Subscribe

I love reading about other people learning to cook! Both in cooking schools and at home. Looking for more recommendations!

I really enjoy reading about other people learning to cook. I find it interesting and inspiring, and I like being reminded of why I should be doing a better job of cooking regularly. I like memoirs about people attending cooking school, but I'm also looking for more books about people learning how to cook at home. I've really enjoyed pretty much everything by Michael Ruhlman, "The Sharper Your Knife The Less You Cry" and "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" by Kathleen Flinn (especially the latter), and a short piece Mark Bittman wrote for Kindle called "Cooking Solves Everything". I also enjoyed the spirit and feel of Tamar Adlar's "An Everlasting Meal". Books about why one should cook are also interesting. What should I read next? Thanks!
posted by skycrashesdown to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking" and "More Home Cooking."

Anything by MFK Fisher, especially "The Art of Eating" or "With Bold Knife and Fork."

Susan Herrmann Loomis' "On Rue Tatin" or "Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin." (This is about the author's move to France, and she is VERY much of a Francophile, so if that doesn't interest you, I would skip it).

Luisa Weiss wrote a similar book about moving to Germany, called, "My Berlin Kitchen."

Judith Jones' "The Tenth Muse" - it's more about her journey into the world of food, but it's got some great recipes and stories in it.

Those are a few to get you started.
posted by dancing_angel at 11:02 PM on November 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Oh my god, I'm excited because I get to recommend two of my favourite books by one of my favourite authors: Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. I adore these books and have read and re-read them many times.

on preview: jinx dancing_angel
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:04 PM on November 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

"Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany" by Bill Buford
posted by Sunburnt at 12:02 AM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

The first part of Jacques Pepin's The Apprentice!
posted by praemunire at 12:10 AM on November 20, 2017

Elizabeth David's Italian Food is a book about her learning about Italian food. Obviously she was already a really good cook, but she didn't think much of Italian food before she began work on the book, and I think you can feel her curiosity and growing appreciation throughout the book.
posted by mumimor at 1:45 AM on November 20, 2017

Relish by Lucy Knisley if you like graphic novels.
posted by coevals at 5:40 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, you should read, My Life in France! It's basically Julia Child's superhero origin story. I absolutely loved it. (I'm also someone who adored An Everlasting Meal.) Other food-favorites of mine are Dinner: A Love Story (if you're a parent); Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (especially if you're interested in the locavore movement); and Bread and Wine (if you like faith and hospitality mixed with your food).
posted by hessie at 7:09 AM on November 20, 2017

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant is an anthology of essays about cooking and dining alone. Not all are about learning to cook, but I think it will scratch a similar itch.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:31 AM on November 20, 2017

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael Twitty is both generalized and intensely personal, and of course brilliantly written.
posted by Mizu at 7:41 AM on November 20, 2017

Julie and Julia certainly fits the bill. Her second book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession also does as well.
posted by mmascolino at 7:59 AM on November 20, 2017

I came in knowing that Laurie Colwin would already be recommended. She is a wonderful writer and she does also have recipes. You might enjoy Calvin Trillin's Tummy Trilogy. He is also a terrific writer, very funny, opinionated and loves all sorts of food. Ruth Reichl also writes about food and life and I have enjoyed her work.
posted by theora55 at 9:01 AM on November 20, 2017

I enjoyed The man who ate everything.
posted by bread-eater at 1:17 PM on November 20, 2017

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is written by a woman who interned at Chez Panisse. It's mostly advice on how to improve your cooking but is littered with anecdotes from her time learning to cook at the restaurant.
posted by xammerboy at 11:00 PM on January 12, 2018

If you haven't read Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential you should run not walk and get it.
posted by xammerboy at 11:03 PM on January 12, 2018

« Older How did you find your graduate school major...   |   Reach Out, or Let it Be? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.