Epicurious has decreed what are the Top 10 Food books (not cook books, mind you) that every food fan should have read. They are:
- On Food & Cooking — Harold McGee
- The Art of Eating — MFK Fisher
- Kitchen Confidential — Anthony Bourdain
- It Must’ve Been Something I Ate — Jeffrey Steingarten
- Tender at the Bone — Ruth Reichl
- The Tummy Trilogy — Calvin Trillin
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma — Michael Pollan
- Down and Out in Paris and London — George Orwell
- Heat — Bill Buford
- The Physiology of Taste — Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
I’m a little confused by this post, because the title reads that it’s books for chefs, but in the post, its for “gastro-bibliophile”. So I’ll take the intial premise, and add my own two cents.
I realize that it’s just a blog post, but even so, I think there are several glaring omissions. I’m not sure I’d put Calvin Trillin and Ruth Reichl books on a list of books that chefs should read. Instead, I’d put in Molecular Gastronomy by Hervé This, in order to explore the art and science of looking for perfection.
I’d also throw in Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine by George M. Taber, to help remind folks to not take one’s culinary supremacy or tradition for granted.
Then I’d offer Food in History by Reay Tannahill, and Near a Thousand Tables : A History of Food by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto to offer context of how we got to where we’re currently at in regard to the foods we do serve today.
That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy Trillin, Reichl, and those in a similar vein. But the world of food is more than a singular experience that has been documented by a talented writer. To me, the collective experience is so much more fascinating and enlightening.