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Memoir-type chef books

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello! I'm looking for a good, chef related read! I have read Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential", Grant Achatz "Line on the Line", and I am currently reading Marco Pierre White's "The Devil in the Kitchen"


Also on my list is "Atelier Crenn; Metamorphosis of Taste"


I'm looking for something motivating and overall just a good read.



post #2 of 15
The kitchen book by nicholas freeling; down and out in paris & london by george orwell
post #3 of 15

Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones & Butter.

Marcus Samuelson's Yes, Chef!

Eddie Huang's Fresh Off the Boat

Jacques Pepin's The Apprentice

post #4 of 15

My Life in France by Julia Child (not all about culinary stuff)

Stina The Story of a Cook by Herman Smith

When French Women Cook by Madeleine Kamman

I like the Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid books too, like travel memoirs with great photos and interviews with cooks - Hot Sour Salty Sweet, Mangoes and Curry Leaves, Beyond the Great Wall - and Duguid's Burma: Rivers of Flavor.

post #5 of 15

Anything by MFK Fisher. Not exactly memoir but not entirely not. She is the doyenne of food writing.


And, this explains a lot about how what we eat has evolved, at least here in the US, away from the horrifying "convenience food" cooking of the 1960s:




(Trust me, I have a 1959 cookbook that I believe does not have a single fresh vegetable in it aside from iceberg lettuce.)

post #6 of 15
The Taste of America by Karen andcJohn L Hess, also not a memoir but a great read.
post #7 of 15

Jacques Pepin autobiography. Great stories of his youth and early kitchen experiences. Also fascinating how fate played a big role in his early career. 

Heat by Bill Buford. His time in Italy is hilarious. 

Any of the books by Ruth Reichl. Her memoir of life with her mother I especially enjoyed. 

Becoming a Chef by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. 

post #8 of 15
Speaking of Jacques, Pierre Franey wrote a great book, I think called "A Chef's Life," a nice glimpse of pre war french kitchens.
post #9 of 15

I was going to suggest MFK Fisher as well. 


Cooking for Kings Antonin Careme. Standard fare, but required reading for any foodie and chef. 


Blood, Bones & Butter Gabrielle Hamilton. Owner of Prune in NYC. 


A Slice of Life Contemporary Writers on Food.

Numerous authors from Umberto Ecco, Nigella Lawson, A. Bourdain to Calvin Trillin and Isabelle Allende. Not necessarily a memoir, but interesting nevertheless. 


Edit : Oops. I didn't realize Chicago Terry suggested the same Gabrielle Hamilton book. I second the recommendation. 

Edited by jake t buds - 6/25/16 at 4:04pm
post #10 of 15

Hello there,


   I am Clattnow, I am afraid I do not know of a good read about cooking but I always use the bero book to cook with as it is step by step.  I know you want a good book to read I am afraid I cannot help there but just thought I would mention the Bero Book. 

post #11 of 15

I see you have been baking your entire life I do understand and yes a lot of cookbooks are rubbish.  I find the Bero book very good though.  Sorry should not go on.  Everyone to their own views though  and you will know better than me.  Apologies.  Apron

post #12 of 15

"A Chef's Tale" by Pierre Franey

post #13 of 15
Ferdinand Point's _Ma Gastronomie_ is fascinating, and a lot of it is sort of journal/memoir. Weird book, though.

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post #14 of 15

Ruth Reichl--Comfort Me With Apples & Tender at the Bone

Laurie Colwin--Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen & More Home Cooking

Elizabeth David--South Wind Through the Kitchen

Anya Von Bremzen--Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking



Not chefs but extremely appreciative eaters who also happen to be excellent (and funny) writers:


A. J. Liebling--Between Meals

Calvin Trillin--The Tummy Trilogy

Jim Harrison--The Raw and the Cooked

post #15 of 15

"secrets of a master chef", louis Diat  published by gourmet mag

Bernard Loiseau,  The Perfectionist : Life and Death in Haute Cuisine

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