That's right...if it has to do with food or people liking food or cooking it or even complaining about it, I am SO IN.
No list about non-fiction foodie books is complete without Anthony Bourdain. This sarcastic gourmand was the head chef at New York City's Les Halles before he became a TV star and world traveler. Kitchen Confidential is his memoir about the food industry that blew the doors off what it's really like on the kitchen line. While it's a great book, and a wonderful introduction to the personality that is BOURDAIN, I prefer A Cook's Tour, a combination food and travel memoir. I've said it time and again, but Bourdain's reverence for the cultures he experiences are him and his writing at their best.
It's really difficult to read non-fiction about food and NOT get wound up in France! You won't hear any complaints here...
I just read this one last month, but it's truly one of the best memoirs about food I've ever read. My Life in France by Julia Child was an experience! What a delightful, eye-opening memoir!
Paris My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate by Amy Thomas is a fun, light book all about sweets. If you're as crazy about pastries as I am, this might be the foodie non-fiction for you.
Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France by Karen Wheeler is not exclusively food-related. She leaves America to fix up an aged house in France, and food happens into the picture. As does a new love life and some kooky friends. This is a fun, light memoir that reads a little like chick lit.
I can't write this post and NOT include The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost. He writes some of my very favorite books about travel. This one is about his life in the equatorial pacific on an island made of coral. It's "roughing it" at its best. Hilarious and eye-opening. Food comes into the picture, but it's not always a positive for Troost and his family.
And finally, for the serious food reader, The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation by David Kamp, is a who's who of American food. Gourmands and celebrity chefs all get their turn here. It's like a sprawling biography of anyone who matters in American food.
There you have it! Do you ever read non-fiction about food? Can you add any recommendations to this list? I'd love to have them!