Time rushes forward and I realize I've neglected to post about a few books I read and liked.  I intend to write more about this season's books, but till then I want to mention a few that caught my interest when they came out.  First, Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford's Beyond the Great Wall.  This husband and wife team travel Asia with their kids, exploring food people and cultures.  It's a customarily lavish job (their Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet was a huge success) with great photography, stories of their travels and recipes picked up along the way.  What I love most about their work is that it shows how story and recipes can convey so much more about the tone and temperament of a culture than stories alone.

I was sent a galley's copy of Jay Raynor's The Man Who Ate the World about eating his way through some major food cities (NYC, Vegas, Dubai, Tokyo, his home town of London.  Raynor's writes for The Guardian, is an amiable voice, and I especially enjoyed his take on New York and familiar figures in the food world—Batali, the Zagats, for instance—as he's guided by Steve Plotnicki.Manwhoatetheworldhc

I was intrigued enough by the French Culinary Institute's new cooking textbook, The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine, to request a review copy (it was published more than a year ago).  Cooking is all about technique, not recipes, so these books always appeal to me and this seems to be a solid one.  But I'm still partial  to the CIA's main cooking text. If you cook a lot, these are good books to have because they provide and accepted of all the basics–basic pasta dough, pate a choux, cake batter, roux, that I return to for reference all the time.

I've felt guilty about not writing about these books when they came out, so now I can appease my guilt and move on from the clamor, the fascinating clamor, of my previous post!


13 Wonderful responses to “Last season’s books”

  • Pavlov

    Michael, I have been in the weeds this year so to speak with regards to my reading, thanks for bringing up the topic as well as some good looking books. That being said, will you be doing any more books following up on your “Chef” series? What besides cookbooks do you have planned (if you could share) for future topics?

  • Pavlov

    P.S.- regarding the last post… Thanks for making my life, and daily reading interesting Michael. “Once more into the breach dear friends…”

  • Tags

    Clammer, clammer, clammer!

    Why does it always have to be about food with you, anyway?

    Don’t you have anything else to talk about?

  • Rhonda

    Tags: I KNOW! Food, food, food. Outsiders may think that is all we care about!

  • Barry

    Heh. I do appreciate these timely recommendations. Just in time to add a title or two to my Christmas list.

    I am but a lowly home cook, a mere hack who knows good food when he tastes it. But I am a big fan of your blog and continue to appreciate your culinary insight and your skillful writing.

    I also believe that a man’s blog is his personal space. I enourage you to write about whatever you want. So what if we cancelled each other’s vote…this is America and that is our right.

  • ntsc

    We have the CIA book, actually we also had the previous edition and passed that along to a niece, she cooks, whose daughter (age 10) also cooks and has had a CIA class already.

  • sarah

    There are always so many new culinary books that I have my eye on. I hate to admit it but I am often lured in by terrific photography even though it may not be the greatest content! UGH! Hence, why I was extremely interested in “Beyond the Great Wall” when I saw it and never bought it. Thanks for the reco–sounds like it would be a great addition to my library!

  • luis

    I told myself I would not buy any more cookbooks Mickey…. but I never said anything about textbooks…. so… I am tempted once again to buy a textbook. This is not as simply as buying a cookbook which are cheap…and cheaper if second hand. Textbooks for what I have seen hold their value pretty well. hmm….. only a matter of time and conviction I found the must have textbook….now!

  • Kate in the NW

    I am halfway through “A Short History of the American Stomach” (F. Kaufman). Short book, interesting so far – not really at all about technique but the intersection of culture/history/food – and even…(I hope this doesn’t bring up PTSD) religion and politics’ effect on the dinner table and farm. If you have read it and care to comment on it when you expand this post I’d love to know what you think…

  • sarah

    Just received “On the Line” yesterday as a gift from a friend and it looks like a really neat book!