Cooking the Books
Looking for a read you can really sink your teeth into? Here are a few of the juiciest, most wickedly delicious toque-minded tomes to simmer over this summer.
by Amy Zavatto
Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home by Kim Sunée (Grand Central Publishing): The newly released paperback version of Sunée’s hungry journey from lost to found is engrossing, heartbreaking and downright delicious. Sunée will make you yearn for French lovers, Provençal estates and a helping of whatever she has on the stove. Bonus: Great, well-written recipes follow each chapter, giving you a taste of Sunée’s incredible travels.
Simple Stunning Parties at Home: Recipes, Ideas, and Inspiration for Creative Entertaining by Karen Bussen (Stewart, Tabori & Chang): Shrinking entertainment budget? No problem. This DIY Network expert shows you how to make home the hottest spot around. From delectable, easy recipes and cocktail concoctions to gaffe-avoiding advice and perfect playlists, this gorgeously photographed volume is like having your very own party planner on speed dial.
Olives & Oranges: Recipes & Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus & Beyond by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox (Houghton Mifflin): This exquisite book will make you want to grab the biggest canvas bag you’ve got, head straight for the farmers’ market, and start cooking. Jenkins, chef-owner of the devilishly divine Porchetta on East Seventh Street, inspires equally with fresh, flavorful recipes (and the history behind them) from her journeys along the Mediterranean.
Spiced: A Pastry Chef’s True Stories of Trials By Fire, After-Hours Exploits, and What Really Goes on in the Kitchen by Dalia Jurgensen (Putnam): As lovely as the postprandial treats she now makes at Brooklyn’s lauded Dressler, Jurgensen drags us through the sticky and the sweet in her aptly named chef’s-eye-view behind the swinging doors. It’s pure candy for the kitchen-curious.
The New York Restaurant Cookbook: Recipes From the City’s Best Chefs by Florence Fabricant (Rizzoli): What do you get when you combine one of The New York Times’ most respected food writers and over 100 of NYC’s best restaurants? A book of epic and epicurean proportions. This newly updated edition of what has become a New York classic lets you peer into pots and pans at the likes of Thomas Keller’s Per Se and Alain Ducasse’s Adour, behold the molecular mystery of Wylie Dufresne’s wd~50 and savor creations by such Midtown stalwarts as the Carnegie Deli.
The Cheese Chronicles by Liz Thorpe (Ecco): Learning about cheese through the wonderful, irreverent Liz Thorpe, VP of all things fromage at NY’s venerable Murray’s, is a giddy trip through 80 hallowed cheesemaking halls in America. Part travel guide, part cheese course, part insider’s source to the greatest American cheesemakers, this chronicle is unabashed lactose love.
photograph by Anna Stockwell