It’s sometimes disastrous working in a bookstore with such great cookbooks. I think I gain 5 lbs. with each new book that hits our shelves. These books also make me think I live the lifestyle that allows for gracious entertaining and small intimate dinner parties for six. I suppose that is the whole point of marketing today, and I’m here to say it works! Show me a beautifully photographed table set for a dinner party and my imagination takes off. Before I know it I’m choosing the menu and looking up the recipes for the most ambitious of meals for my fantasy guests. And of course, the downside is that even though I don’t entertain that way, the images stay in my head and the next thing I know is I’m at Gelson’s buying foie gras for one and putting on weight.
Alas, a book that is a favorite of mine, however, is not a cookbook. “Heat” by Bill Buford. Buford, former editor at The New Yorker, spends a year as an intern in Mario Batali’s famous restaurant Babbo. He literally becomes a kitchen slave and we get to follow him in his pursuit of culinary conquests; everything from dicing the perfect carrots to making pasta fresca. After a year of grueling groveling he’s off to Italy to study with a premier pasta maker in a remote village and then on to study with the “Maestro” to learn the art of butchering. It’s such a well-written and funny book that even if you’re not a gourmand you will enjoy the witty ride.
Posted by Donna
Here are some of the irresistible books in our Cooking section:
Supper for a Song: Creative Comfort Food for the Resourceful Cook by Tamasin Day-Lewis
Everything it claims to be and more. Stunning photographs of most of the dishes that make your mouth water and propel you toward the kitchen to try your hand at the recipe. Why? Because you must eat it!
I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita
What more do you need to know?
Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours by Kim Boyce and Amy Scattergood
Did someone say something about gaining weight? Not with this book.
Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Book by Jennifer Katzinger
Gourmet Today edited by Ruth Reichl herself
Coco: 10 World-Leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs by the Editors of Phaidon Press
Don’t even think about calling yourself a foodie if you don’t own this one.
Come into the store and steal a recipe or two from any of our cookbooks. Seriously. Just come in, say hi, browse the cooking section and copy down any recipe from any book. It’ll be a nice way to get to know you, as you’ll be returning again and again.