Yummy lives. Memoirs by chefs

Life experiences of people who make us jealous with all their cooking prowess.
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

by Anthony Bourdain

About the book:  After twenty-five years of 'sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine', chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain has decided to tell all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown; from the kitchen of the Rainbow Room atop the Rockefeller Center to drug dealers in the East Village, from Tokyo to Paris and back to New York again, Bourdain's tales of the kitchen are as passionate as they are unpredictable, as shocking as they are funny.


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My Life in France
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My Life in France

by Julia Child,Alex Prud'homme

About the book:  Julia Child singlehandedly created a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, who was to work for the USIS, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever with her newfound passion for cooking and teaching. Julia’s unforgettable story – struggles with the head of the Cordon Bleu, rejections from publishers to whom she sent her now-famous cookbook, a wonderful, nearly fifty-year long marriage that took them across the globe – unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as a chef and a writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years.


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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany
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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany

by Bill Buford

About the book:  A highly acclaimed writer and editor, Bill Buford left his job at The New Yorker for a most unlikely destination: the kitchen at Babbo, the revolutionary Italian restaurant created and ruled by superstar chef Mario Batali. Finally realizing a long-held desire to learn first-hand the experience of restaurant cooking, Buford soon finds himself drowning in improperly cubed carrots and scalding pasta water on his quest to learn the tricks of the trade. His love of Italian food then propels him on journeys further afield: to Italy, to discover the secrets of pasta-making and, finally, how to properly slaughter a pig. Throughout, Buford stunningly details the complex aspects of Italian cooking and its long history, creating an engrossing and visceral narrative stuffed with insight and humor.


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Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
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Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously

by Julie Powell

About the book:  Julie & Julia, the bestselling memoir that's "irresistible....A kind of Bridget Jones meets The French Chef" (Philadelphia Inquirer), is now a major motion picture. Julie Powell, nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves' livers and aspic, but a new life-lived with gusto. The film is written and directed by Nora Ephron and stars Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia.


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Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table (Random House Reader's Circle)
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Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table (Random House Reader's Circle)

by Ruth Reichl

About the book:  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAt an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that "food could be a way of making sense of the world. . . . If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were." Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told.  Beginning with Reichl's mother, the notorious food-poisoner known as the Queen of Mold, Reichl introduces us to the fascinating characters who shaped her world and her tastes, from the gourmand Monsieur du Croix, who served Reichl her first soufflé, to those at her politically correct table in Berkeley who championed the organic food revolution in the 1970s.  Spiced with Reichl's infectious humor and sprinkled with her favorite recipes, Tender at the Bone is a witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist's coming-of-age.


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Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
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Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

by Lucy Knisley

About the book:  A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERLucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe―many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions. A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a graphic novel for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013An NPR Best Book of 2013


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Yes, Chef: A Memoir
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Yes, Chef: A Memoir

by Marcus Samuelsson,Veronica Chambers

About the book:  JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY VOGUE • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“One of the great culinary stories of our time.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. Yes, Chef chronicles Samuelsson’s journey, from his grandmother’s kitchen to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson’s career of chasing flavors had only just begun—in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs, and, most important, the opening of Red Rooster in Harlem. At Red Rooster, Samuelsson has fulfilled his dream of creating a truly diverse, multiracial dining room—a place where presidents rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, and bus drivers. It is a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can feel at home.Praise for Yes, Chef  “Such an interesting life, told with touching modesty and remarkable candor.”—Ruth Reichl   “Marcus Samuelsson has an incomparable story, a quiet bravery, and a lyrical and discreetly glittering style—in the kitchen and on the page. I liked this book so very, very much.”—Gabrielle Hamilton   “Plenty of celebrity chefs have a compelling story to tell, but none of them can top [this] one.”—The Wall Street Journal   “Elegantly written . . . Samuelsson has the flavors of many countries in his blood.”—The Boston Globe   “Red Rooster’s arrival in Harlem brought with it a chef who has reinvigorated and reimagined what it means to be American. In his famed dishes, and now in this memoir, Marcus Samuelsson tells a story that reaches past racial and national divides to the foundations of family, hope, and downright good food.”—President Bill Clinton


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Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
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Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

by Gabrielle Hamilton

About the book:  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK   NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Miami Herald • Newsday • The Huffington Post • Financial Times • GQ • Slate • Men’s Journal • Washington Examiner • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews • National Post • The Toronto Star • BookPage • BookreporterBefore Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Blood, Bones & Butter follows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; Hamilton’s own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton’s idyllic past and her own future family—the result of a prickly marriage that nonetheless yields lasting dividends. By turns epic and intimate, Gabrielle Hamilton’s story is told with uncommon honesty, grit, humor, and passion.Features a new essay by Gabrielle Hamilton at the back of the bookLook for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.


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The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School
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The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School

by Kathleen Flinn

About the book:  In 2003, Kathleen Flinn was a thirty-six-year-old American in London who felt trapped in corporate middle management - until her boss eliminated her job while she was on vacation. Ignoring her mother's advice that she find another job immediately or "never get hired anywhere ever again," Flinn cleared out her savings and moved to Paris to pursue a dream - a diploma from the venerable Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. But instead of being ushered into "a glamorous world of soufflés and foie gras," Flinn found herself struggling in a stew of hot-tempered chefs, competitive classmates, and her own "wretchedly inadequate" French. She trudged home traumatized by gutting fish, severing the heads off rabbits, and dropping an entire roast duck on the floor moments before having to present her plate to the presiding chef. One day she was even advised that her tronçons de colin pochés needed "a bit more salt" from the homeless man who sat near the school's entrance. As the story moves through the various classes, the basics of French cuisine--the ingredients, cooking techniques, wine, and more than two dozen recipes--are interwoven, but not every page is spent in the kitchen. Flinn also offers the experience of the vibrant sights and sounds of the markets, shops, and avenues of Paris. In time, Flinn triumphs in her battle with puff pastry, masters her sauces, and wins over the toughest of chefs. More importantly, though, she finds within herself the strength to pause on the usual journey and challenge a career-focused mind set and attempt a discovery of what really matters to her. She even comes to realize that the love of her life has been right in front of her the whole time. Fans of Julie & Julia, Cooking for Mr. Latte, and Eat, Pray, Love will be amused, inspired, and richly rewarded by this vibrant tale of romance, food, Paris, and chasing a life's dream.


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The Language of Baklava
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The Language of Baklava

by Diana Abu-Jaber

About the book:  Diana Abu-Jaber’s vibrant, humorous memoir weaves together stories of being raised by a food-obsessed Jordanian father with tales of Lake Ontario shish kabob cookouts and goat stew feasts under Bedouin tents in the desert. These sensuously evoked repasts, complete with recipes, in turn illuminate the two cultures of Diana's childhood–American and Jordanian–while helping to paint a loving and complex portrait of her impractical, displaced immigrant father who, like many an immigrant before him, cooked to remember the place he came from and to pass that connection on to his children. The Language of Baklava irresistably invites us to sit down at the table with Diana’s family, sharing unforgettable meals that turn out to be as much about “grace, difference, faith, love” as they are about food.


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Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness
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Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness

by Sasha Martin

About the book:  Witty, warm, and poignant, food blogger Sasha Martin's memoir about cooking her way to happiness and self-acceptance is a culinary journey like no other.   Over the course of 195 weeks, food writer and blogger Sasha Martin set out to cook—and eat—a meal from every country in the world. As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother, to a string of foster homes, to the house from which she launched her own cooking adventure, Martin's heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal—and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within."This beautifully written book is both poignant and uplifting. Not to mention delicious. It's an amazing family tale that reminds me of The Glass Castle, but with more food. And not just any food: We're talking cinnamon raisin pizza." —A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically "Life From Scratch is an unconventional love story. This beautiful book begins with the quest of cooking a meal from every country—a noble feat of it's own!—but then turns it into something far beyond a kitchen adventure. Be prepared to be changed as you experience Sasha's journey for yourself." —Chris Guillebeau, author of The Happiness PursuitFrom the Hardcover edition.


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Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen
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Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

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About the book:  Published for the first time in the UK, Laurie Colwin's much loved kitchen essays are perfect for fans of Nigella Lawson and Nigel Slater. Weaving together memories, recipes, and wild tales of years spent in the kitchen, Home Cooking is Laurie Colwin's manifesto on the joys of sharing food and entertaining. From the humble hot-plate of her one-room apartment to the crowded kitchens of bustling parties, Colwin regales us with tales of meals gone both magnificently well and disastrously wrong. Never before published in the UK, this is hilarious, personal and full of Colwin's hard-won expertise. Home Cooking will speak to the heart (and stomach) of any amateur cook, professional chef, or food lover.


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