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.

The books I picked & why

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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

By Anthony Bourdain,

Book cover of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Why 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

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

By Gabrielle Hamilton,

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

Why 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.

Taste: My Life Through Food

By Stanley Tucci,

Book cover of Taste: My Life Through Food

Why 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.

What Did You Eat Yesterday?

By Fumi Yoshinaga,

Book cover of What Did You Eat Yesterday?

Why 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.

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

By Michael W. Twitty,

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

Why 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. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

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