The best mouthwatering reads for foodies

Who am I?

I grew up in a family of chefs and restaurant owners, so it’s probably no surprise that food plays a major role in my debut novel, All Stirred Up. (The two main characters are, in fact, chefs and restaurant owners. You write what you know!) Cooking plays a major part in my life as well—I’m always making something for family and loved ones. It’s probably no surprise that I love a good food book as well, whether it be fiction, memoir, or history. On my list are just five of my favourites.

I wrote...

All Stirred Up

By Brianne Moore,

Book cover of All Stirred Up

What is my book about?

Susan Napier is determined to save her grandfather's once-celebrated Edinburgh restaurant from bankruptcy. But the reappearance of Chris Baker—former protégé of her grandfather, celebrity chef, and the love of Susan’s life—makes that a lot more complicated, especially as he’s opening a competing restaurant and is embittered over their messy breakup years earlier.

As Susan and Chris carefully navigate their new personal and professional relationships, they stir up old feelings, resentment, and regret in this modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s classic, Persuasion.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Why did I love this book?

This book (rightfully) put Bourdain on the map, hilariously revealing the seedy side of the restaurant business. I found this book to be as addictive as the many illegal substances that pass through the kitchen staff, as well as a wry look at an extremely challenging industry and a celebration of excellent food produced by talented (and sometimes difficult) people. Some of the stories Bourdain told definitely inspired certain happenings in my own book

By Anthony Bourdain,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Kitchen Confidential as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE CLASSIC BESTSELLER: 'The greatest book about food ever written' 'A compelling book with its intriguing mix of clever writing and kitchen patois ... more horrifically gripping than a Stephen King novel' Sunday Times 'Extraordinary ... written with a clarity and a clear-eyed wit to put the professional food-writing fraternity to shame' Observer _____________________________ After twenty-five years of 'sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine', chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain decided to tell all - and he meant all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown;…

Book cover of Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

Why did I love this book?

Gabrielle Hamilton isn’t just a ‘reluctant chef’ (in her own words), she’s also an absolutely exquisite writer (her MFA really paid off!). Her memoir traces her life and love of food from her New Jersey childhood, through her many professional ups and downs and international travels (I especially love the parts where she’s staying at her Italian mother-in-law’s home, describing the incredible produce she was able to get. Oh, the tomatoes!) Did I extra love this because she grew up in the same small town I was born in? Maybe, but it’s a wonderful book no matter where you’re from.

By Gabrielle Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Blood, Bones & Butter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Magnificent' Anthony Bourdain

A sharply crafted and unflinchingly honest memoir. This is a rollicking, passionate story of food, purpose and family.

Blood, Bones & Butter follows the chef Gabrielle Hamilton's extraordinary journey through the places she has inhabited over the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; and the kitchen of her beloved Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton's idyllic past and her…

Book cover of Taste: My Life Through Food

Why did I love this book?

When I was young, I remember watching Tucci in the film Big Night, in which he plays an Italian chef in the 1950s, preparing the ultimate meal for a celebrity guest. The film seemed like such a lush love letter to Italian cooking (the sort of Italian cooking my own mother made, and which I grew up with) and Tucci seemed so invested in it I wasn’t surprised to learn he’s a giant foodie. This lovely memoir is all about how food has helped shape his life, from helping his mother to deepening his relationship with his wife. Just such a lovely, heartfelt read.

By Stanley Tucci,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Taste as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A Guardian book of the year
A Times book of the year
A Daily Mail book of the year

From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. For Stanley and foodie fans, this is the perfect, irresistible gift.

'It's impossible to read this without becoming ravenous!' -- Nigella Lawson

'It is as infectious as it is delicious, as funny as it is insightful. The only reason to put this book down, is to go cook and eat from it' -- Heston…

Book cover of What Did You Eat Yesterday? 1

Why did I love this book?

I like to branch out into different genres, and I’ve recently started getting into Manga. This is a really wonderful series about a gay couple—one of whom loves to try out new dishes the other is always eager to try—whose relationship deepens over the meals they enjoy together. It’s something that really touched a chord in me, as someone who also uses food as a love language.

By Fumi Yoshinaga,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Did You Eat Yesterday? 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From award-winning author Fumi Yoshinaga comes a casual romance between two middle-aged men and the many meals they share together.

A hard-working middle-aged gay couple in Tokyo come to enjoy the finer moments of life through food. After long days at work, either in the law firm or the hair salon, Shiro and Kenji will always have down time together by the dinner table, where they can discuss their troubles, hash out their feelings and enjoy delicately prepared home cooked meals!

Book cover of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South

Why did I love this book?

I’m a sucker for culinary history books, and this one is an absolute must-read, weaving together both food and race history as it spotlights what is, perhaps, America’s greatest culinary contribution to the world: southern cuisine. Twitty uses his own family’s story to highlight the significant contribution African Americans have made to American cooking, addressing the question of who ‘owns’ soul food, barbeque, and other Southern staples, and how that struggle reflects on race tensions and relations today. 

By Michael W. Twitty,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Cooking Gene as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2018 James Beard Foundation Book of the Year | 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner inWriting | Nominee for the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction | #75 on The Root100 2018

A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touch points in our…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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