We get it. One minute this influencer is telling you to eat nothing but small batch locally harvested salami, while another one screeches that if you eat before 12:37pm your insides will wither like old leather. It’s enough to make you sprawl out on the kitchen floor as you succumb to a confusion fueled Kit-Kat binge. Since every food is apparently death in a wrapper you’ll go out full of white starches and corn syrup, thank you very much.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Wade with us through the pond of nutritional misinformation and come out the other side armed with knowledge and a promise you’ll never have to hear the words “celery juice” again.
We owe balsamic vinegar to Craig Claiborne and if that isn’t enough reason to listen to this one, we don’t know what is. We get paid by the word though, so we’ll give you a few more. Meet the man who changed how America ate. He gave us Julia Child and her BFF Jacque, and a palate beyond hotdog salad and gelatin casseroles. In an age where all was becoming automated, he took us back to basics; put down the canned meat, and back away slowly. He was also the father of modern food critics who taught restaurants to hold to standards and take pride in their kitchens. He also taught us that, unlike the French people, we don’t have to fear French cuisine. Tres Bien.
Give you an underdog tale, but make it about food? Heard you loud and clear. This is the story of Marcus Samuelsson, an orphan from Ethiopia who grew up cooking with his adoptive grandmother. His unflinching honesty about his early life, and the events that transpired to lead him to cooking will keep you riveted. Eventually Marcus becomes a renowned chef and restaurateur, and along the way you get glimpses of career and personal crises peppered in for flavorful balance (we’re sorry, we had to).
Meet Gabrielle Hamilton, a chef who found the meaning of life, including her own, through food. Hard same, girl. Her autobiography explores not only experiences with family, food and travel, but how they catalyzed her into the chef she became. A chef she didn’t even know she wanted to be, until life just lead her into it. We also didn’t know what we wanted to be but instead of opening a restaurant we fell into a dark Lularoe hole which we don’t want to talk about.
What should we, as just another species on this planet, actually be eating? If we get in the way-way back machine and program that sucker to “the dawn of time” we’d see that we mostly ate what was available seasonally and regionally. That dietary process was pretty standard up until 40 or so years ago. Now society shapes how we eat, not nature, and what does that mean socially, culturally, and environmentally? Micheal Pollen seeks to answer these questions, while he examines our most common food chains; industrial, organic, even food we find ourselves… Sorry we just had a flashback of being lost in the woods while our mom hunted for morel mushrooms. You too or are you normal?
Ruth Reichl was one of the world’s top food critics, but you’d never know it since she’s basically a culinary spy. It tracks since anonymity is the name of the game in her profession. She also writes about how this interestingly became an accidental social experiment, since yes, she’d dress up as men and women of various ages. Told with wit and warmth, this book is a literary tomato soup with grilled cheese. We are, however, left with one haunting question: can we trust anyone in this world?