The Top 3 Books About Food
There is a food explosion going on out there and if you’ve missed it, you must have been buried under your duvet for the winter. From the trained chefs to home cooks and celebrities, it seems that almost everybody has a tale to tell about their foodie adventure, whether people want to listen or not. I’m not talking merely a recipe book (although I can devour those at great speed) but a book of travel, excitement and adventure that takes you on a nostalgic journey of aroma, colour and flavour without leaving your comfy sofa.
Here are my top three books all about food. Try and resist these!
#1 The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater (4th Estate)
Childhood memories intertwined with traditional and comforting winter recipes creates an exquisite literary masterpiece of food writing. It will leave you smiling as you fondly recall the magic of a Christmas market or the heady scent of spice as the Christmas cake gently rises in the oven. Presenting traditions and creating recipes typical of Midwinter (between November 1st and February 2nd) the reader is transported to a bygone time. I challenge you not to smile and sigh out loud when reading this delight, whether for the first, second, or tenth time. Nigel Slater is an award-winning author, journalist, and television presenter who has been a food columnist for the Observer (UK) for over 25 years. He currently lives in London, England.
#2 An Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David (Lyons Press)
An enchanting collection of articles and essays by one of the great food writers of our time, The articles appeared originally in such prestigious publications as the Spectator, Vogue, Gourmet, and the Sunday Times of London between 1952 and 1984. Recommended by many foodies and writers alike it is a delightful exploration of both food and cooking. Each article, from the wonderfully titled “Big Bad Bramley” through to the enquiring “How bare is your cupboard?” are written and delivered with such intricate detail that it is impossible not to create images in your head that bring the whole book bursting to life. Elizabeth David was a British cookery and food writer, who with her incredible writing revitalized home cooking throughout the UK and beyond through her witty presentation of tales and exploits exploring both traditional British dishes and more European cuisines. Elizabeth David sadly passed away in 1992 in London, England.
#3 A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain (Bloomsbury)
In the book, we see Anthony, a cook and best selling author travelling his way around the world in search of the best meal. His journey is long and crosses many different borders and countries and into places that some of us may never have even heard of. His experiences in each country are as varied as the food that he is encouraged to try along the way. Fair play to the man as he puts some weird and wonderful things in his mouth that I wouldn’t want within 10 miles of me let alone eat; this is not a book for the squeamish or fainthearted. It is, however, a fantastic read and you cannot help but be dragged along on the dramatic journey with him, visibly cringing at his exploits ranging from dinner with Russian gangsters, a traditional and ritual pig slaughter in Portugal (described in graphic detail, and I reiterate, not for the fainthearted) and his dangerous trek through Khymer Rouge territory littered with landmines. It is utterly engaging, exciting, and exhausting at the same time, and is a book that I found hard to put down, even when reading the grisly bits. Anthony Bourdain was an American chef, author, and TV personality from New York City, New York who tragically died from suicide in 2018.
If you’ve been looking for a new book to read–food related or not–head over to our Brookstore, featuring fiction, non-fiction, and books by independent authors.
After 30 years in the global insurance market and living in 3 countries, Jacqui Hodges headed to Barbados where she now pursues writing and her passion for food, travel and books.
A huge animal advocate, her home isn’t complete without a foster kitten or three. In addition to volunteer work she writes media content for animal charities.
Favourite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Favourite brunch dish: avocado toast with tomato and chilli