Saturday, February 23, 2008

Blogging about Books

While cooking is a newer hobby of mine, reading is something I've enjoyed since I first learned it. I have always loved bookstores, libraries, and talking with people about great books. Recently I've been combining my two loves, by reading about cooking. I have read three fantastic foodie books in the last 6 months, and I would highly recommend these books to anyone that wants a closer look at the cooking world.

The book that started it all was Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. This book has been around for a while, and I picked up my mom's copy when I was visiting them in October. It was so interesting to read about Bourdain's experiences-- the CIA, his love of food, and his whole journey to become a famous chef. He is honest, irreverent, and full of wild stories of the people he's worked with. After reading it I knew that I had no interest in becoming a restaurant chef myself, but I had a new level of respect for the successful chefs out there. If you like cooking and dining out, you should read this book!

I saw this book, David Kamp's United States of Arugula, when I Denver. We were at Tattered Cover, the best bookstore in the world. Seriously, it is a wonderful, huge, independent bookstore, and I recommend you visit it if you'rewas visiting my sister in hanging out in Denver. This book took me a long time to read, but was totally worth it. You will finish it with so much more prospective on dining and eating acorss America. There is a lot of information about the "Big 3"-- Julia Child, James Beard, and Craig Claiborne. There were a couple slow moments, but overall I thought it was a fascinating book!

I just finished this one, Julia Child's My Life in France. I was really sad to finish it, because I felt there was still so much more to learn about Child's and her amazing life. With some help from her nephew, Child's looked back on her time in France, and also wrote about the culinary career that resulted from her years abroad. She describes the struggles and lessons of studying at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, and adds in lots of short stories about the culinary friends she met along the way. In addition, she describes the extensive process of writing cookbooks, and also tells about her experiences filming The French Chef tv show. Now that I'm finished with the book, I am eager to collect and test out some of the recipes that this icon created. It was perfect timing, too, because Joe and I will be in Paris in about 3 weeks! I will be looking through Julia's eyes as we wander through the markets and shops around the city. Bon Appetit!

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