100 books like Epicure’s Garden

By Roy Genders,

Here are 100 books that Epicure’s Garden fans have personally recommended if you like Epicure’s Garden. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A Study of t'Ang Exotics

Victor Cunrui Xiong Author Of Heavenly Khan: A Biography of Emperor Tang Taizong

From my list on China in the Tang period.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was first exposed to Western literature when working as a teenage farm worker in the jungle of south Yunnan decades ago and have kept my interest alive ever since. As an undergraduate at Peking University, I majored in English and American language and literature before I switched to the study of Chinese archaeology and history at the graduate level. Over the last three decades and more, I have been teaching Chinese and World history and doing research on Chinese history at a US university. In addition to dozens of articles, I have published several books both in English and Chinese, all on premodern China with a focus on the Sui-Tang period.

Victor's book list on China in the Tang period

Victor Cunrui Xiong Why did Victor love this book?

This book examines the exotics imported into China during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907) and depicts their influence on Chinese life. During the three centuries of Tang came into the land the natives of almost every nation of Asia, all bringing exotic wares either as gifts or as goods to be sold. Ivory, rare woods, drugs, diamonds, magicians, dancing girls—the author covers all classes of unusual imports, their places of origin, their lore, their effect on fashion, dwellings, diet, painting, sculpture, music, and poetry.

This book is for students of Tang culture and laymen interested in the same topic. Its author Edward Schafer was an eminent American sinologist.

By Edward H. Schafer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Golden Peaches of Samarkand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the seventh century the kingdom of Samarkand sent formal gifts of fancy yellow peaches, large as goose eggs and with a color like gold, to the Chinese court at Ch'ang-an. What kind of fruit these golden peaches really were cannot now be guessed, but they have the glamour of mystery, and they symbolize all the exotic things longed for, and unknown things hoped for, by the people of the T'ang empire. This book examines the exotics imported into China during the T'ang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907), and depicts their influence on Chinese life. Into the land during the three centuries…


Book cover of Leaves From Our Tuscan Kitchen, Or How to Cook Vegetables

William Woys Weaver Author Of Flavors from the Garden: Heirloom Vegetable Recipes from Roughwood

From my list on for garden gourmets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published 21 books, with three more on the way, and many deal with my kitchen garden at Roughwood and the massive seed collection started by my grandfather in 1932. Many of my books have won awards and several of them, especially Heirloom Vegetable Gardening, have become “breakthrough” texts in that they have shifted the conversation in a new direction. In short, I have helped make mainstream heritage fruits and vegetables, and my books are intended to help my readers enrich their lives by giving them meaning and context. It’s a story about learning to live well from simple basics: about discovering the gold in your own backyard. 

William's book list on for garden gourmets

William Woys Weaver Why did William love this book?

The objective of Ross’s book was to teach the English how to cook vegetables the Italian way (as opposed to boiling them to shreds). But this is also a romantic fling with the Mediterranean way of life and moving through it at a more humanizing pace. Ross also includes recipes, the part I like most, and like her, I also include recipes because if you are going through the trouble of growing your own food as an experiment in living a better way, come harvest time, it is important to know what to do with them. That should be the spiritual and culinary reward because it all comes together at the table.  

By Janet Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leaves From Our Tuscan Kitchen, Or How to Cook Vegetables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Excerpt from Leaves From Our Tuscan KitchenAbout the PublisherForgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books.This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works. This text has been…


Book cover of Acetaria: A Discourse Of Sallets

William Woys Weaver Author Of Flavors from the Garden: Heirloom Vegetable Recipes from Roughwood

From my list on for garden gourmets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published 21 books, with three more on the way, and many deal with my kitchen garden at Roughwood and the massive seed collection started by my grandfather in 1932. Many of my books have won awards and several of them, especially Heirloom Vegetable Gardening, have become “breakthrough” texts in that they have shifted the conversation in a new direction. In short, I have helped make mainstream heritage fruits and vegetables, and my books are intended to help my readers enrich their lives by giving them meaning and context. It’s a story about learning to live well from simple basics: about discovering the gold in your own backyard. 

William's book list on for garden gourmets

William Woys Weaver Why did William love this book?

John Eveyln’s book is classic. He was the first person (in English anyway) to discuss exotic vegetables, even common weeds, in terms of healthy salads. The man was literary, very smart, and he knew how to cook. I have often used his recipes and surprising enough, he is as trendy today as he was in 1699. Furthermore, this book is a talisman for real foodies. My enthusiasm for Evelyn was shared by the late English author Jane Grigson, whose book is also on my list. 

By John Evelyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Acetaria as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acetaria: A Discourse Of Sallets, has been considered important throughout the human history, and so that this work is never forgotten we have made efforts in its preservation by republishing this book in a modern format for present and future generations. This whole book has been reformatted, retyped and designed. These books are not made of scanned copies of their original work and hence the text is clear and readable.


Book cover of Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book

William Woys Weaver Author Of Flavors from the Garden: Heirloom Vegetable Recipes from Roughwood

From my list on for garden gourmets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published 21 books, with three more on the way, and many deal with my kitchen garden at Roughwood and the massive seed collection started by my grandfather in 1932. Many of my books have won awards and several of them, especially Heirloom Vegetable Gardening, have become “breakthrough” texts in that they have shifted the conversation in a new direction. In short, I have helped make mainstream heritage fruits and vegetables, and my books are intended to help my readers enrich their lives by giving them meaning and context. It’s a story about learning to live well from simple basics: about discovering the gold in your own backyard. 

William's book list on for garden gourmets

William Woys Weaver Why did William love this book?

I have all of Jane Grigson’s books and to me each one is special. Jane was a personal friend and while she lived in the UK and I lived in the US we often spent hours on the telephone discussing the finer points of pawpaws or persimmons.  We also shared the same birthday. Jane discovered she had cancer and decided to meet it head-on by shifting to a plant-based diet. That is her overarching philosophy, and it pervades her books. And while her books reflect that personal journey toward healing, they are also useful because like me she was an epicure with hoe, her food writing was not an abstraction, she wrote from hands-on experience. 

By Jane Grigson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book American readers, gardeners, and food lovers will find everything they've always wanted to know about the history and romance of seventy-five different vegetables, from artichokes to yams, and will learn how to use them in hundreds of different recipes, from the exquisitely simple ""Broccoli Salad"" to the engagingly esoteric ""Game with Tomato and Chocolate Sauce."" Jane Grigson gives basic preparation and cooking instructions for all the vegetables discussed and recipes for eating them in every style from least adulterated to most adorned. This is by no means a book intended for vegetarians alone, however. There…


Book cover of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Ellie Alexander Author Of Muffin But the Truth

From my list on heartwarming foodies to cozy up with this winter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I wrote my first mystery in second grade, thinking I was writing a page-turning thriller when in reality I penned a sweet, little cozy where everything turns out okay in the end and everyone always has a cup of hot chocolate and a vanilla cookie in hand. Somehow, I’ve managed to turn my love of baking and writing into a long-term career. With over 30 mysteries and counting I’m not sure if I’m going to run out of recipes or ways to kill someone off first. 

Ellie's book list on heartwarming foodies to cozy up with this winter

Ellie Alexander Why did Ellie love this book?

I dare you to read this book and not end up a teary, blubbering mess, in the best possible way. Kitchens of the Great Midwest is one of those stories that transported and transformed me. I never knew I needed to spend an afternoon in Minnesota learning how to prepare lutefisk, but after reading this book I can say without hesitation that my life is infinitely better for having done so. This brilliant feast of fiction centers around a young chef Eva who reconnects with her Midwest roots on her quest to find herself and her family in her food. It’s a coming-of-age story intertwined with characters, ingredients, and flavors that simmer together beautifully. 

By J. Ryan Stradal,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Kitchens of the Great Midwest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A sweet and savory treat.” —People

“An impressive feat of narrative jujitsu . . . that keeps readers turning the pages too fast to realize just how ingenious they are.”—The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Pick

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lager Queen of Minnesota, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a novel about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation. 
 
When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine—and a dashing sommelier—he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own.…


Book cover of What Did You Eat Yesterday? 1

Brianne Moore Author Of All Stirred Up

From my list on mouthwatering reads for foodies.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Brianne's book list on mouthwatering reads for foodies

Brianne Moore Why did Brianne 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 Essential Wild Food Survival Guide

Thomas J. Elpel Author Of Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat

From my list on gourmet wild food foraging.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I spent summers and weekends with my grandmother, who introduced me to wild food foraging. Grandma Josie and I harvested purslane and lambs quarters weeds from her garden, dandelions and meadow mushrooms from the pasture, and watercress from a nearby spring. On daily walks we gathered peppermint, yarrow, and other wild herbs for tea. She cooked on a wood stove and kept a pot of tea warm at all times. Grandma nurtured my interest in wild plants, wilderness survival, and self-sufficiency. Inspired by her, I built my own stone and log house, teach survival skills and botany, and I still cook on a wood stove just like she did. 

Thomas' book list on gourmet wild food foraging

Thomas J. Elpel Why did Thomas love this book?

The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide is full of surprises. Author Linda Runyon lived semi-primitively without plumbing or electricity for thirteen years and foraged for the majority of her food. As a vegetarian she was truly dependent on wild edible plants for survival and sustenance. I was taught that real survival required plants rich in carbohydrates, oils, and calories, but Runyon showed that it is possible to survive and thrive by turning salad plants into real food, such as drying and grinding wild clovers and grasses into flour. There is protein in these plants, like beans and grains, and Runyon proved that you can really live off of them. One hour spent reading Runyon's book changed my view of what's edible and how to truly live off wild edible plants. 

By 9780936699103,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Author Linda Runyon lived off of the land in the wilderness of Upstate NY for years, feeding her family with wild edible plants. She has paid her dues and learned the hard way so you don't have to. With this book, you will learn how to see and use the abundance that surrounds us everywhere plants grow. You won't look at the world the same way again, and you will never fear hunger. The book is 320 jam-packed pages, profusely illustrated by the author. You will learn how to identify, gather, prepare, store and enjoy an endlessly nutritious and renewable…


Book cover of Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast

Tara Bench Author Of Delicious Gatherings: Recipes to Celebrate Together

From my list on cookbooks for entertaining.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the power of food and cooking, and how it can bring people together, allow us to explore our creativity, and nourish both body and soul. I’ve spent over 20 years creating recipes for home cooks, published in magazines, and inspiring confidence in the kitchen. Now I share my best advice, takes on traditional favorites, and the beauty of food and entertaining in cookbooks and on TaraTeaspoon.com. I encourage cooks to find cookbooks they inspire, with tested recipes, helpful tips, and beautiful pictures to entice all the senses. Trying new recipes from my cookbook list will bring joy to your cooking and entertaining.

Tara's book list on cookbooks for entertaining

Tara Bench Why did Tara love this book?

Few chefs make cooking seem as fun as Jamie Oliver. His genuinely happy personality shines through in his recipes from this cooking library staple. This book is unique because the recipes are organized into 50 full meals instead of separate chapters. This makes entertaining super easy because you can choose a main dish, and Jamie tells you what to serve with it. The recipes are all completely approachable and there’s no guessing what side dishes or desserts go with dinner. I’m the kind of cook who uses this book as a jumping-off board, and I change up his menus depending on what I want to serve. But the fact that you can do this, or follow his formulas to the tee and get a great meal, is the selling point for me.

By Jamie Oliver,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Renowned chef Oliver, bestselling author and star of ABC's "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution," shows home cooks how to use their kitchen and their time more efficiently so they can get exciting, delicious meals for the whole family on the table in no time.


Book cover of Death by Chocolate: The Last Word on a Consuming Passion

Dinah Bucholz Author Of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

From my list on cookbooks for novice and experienced chefs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved cooking and baking since I was a little girl. I attempted to bake a chocolate cake when I was nine without a recipe and put the resulting glop in a plastic bowl in the oven. Luckily, I forgot to turn the oven on and my mother discovered it later, no harm done. I was always a foodie but also a tremendous reader with a great love for the English language, so food writing marries my two passions. My published works include The New York Times bestselling The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (over a million copies sold), and I write a food column for a women’s magazine.

Dinah's book list on cookbooks for novice and experienced chefs

Dinah Bucholz Why did Dinah love this book?

This is the kind of cookbook that is so beautiful that it can serve as a decorative item to keep on your coffee table. The downside is that it can set unrealistic expectations in the minds of your guests. Or give them crazy chocolate cravings. (I am actually eating chocolate as I write these words.) The book is filled with whimsical and fanciful recipe titles, like “Chocolate Phantasmagoria” and, of course, the star of the show, “Death by Chocolate.”

By Marcel Desaulniers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death by Chocolate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gathers recipes for chocolate desserts, including cookies, candies, cakes, parfaits, mousses, ice creams, sorbets, fudge, brownies, fritters, tarts, souffles, and pies.


Book cover of Hadley Beckett's Next Dish

Andrea Christenson Author Of How Sweet It Is: A Deep Haven Novel

From my list on when you’re in the mood for food.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an aspiring foodie and a huge lover of books with a great food subplot (or main plot!). I’ve been known to read cookbooks for fun and probably the most thumbed book in our house is my copy of The Joy of Cooking. I’m a firm believer in reading books at the lunch table and that no book should be read without a cup of coffee and a cookie (at the minimum) near one’s elbow. Hopefully you find these books to be as drool-worthy as I did!

Andrea's book list on when you’re in the mood for food

Andrea Christenson Why did Andrea love this book?

This fun and heartwarming rom-com by Bethany Turner features a pair of chefs on a cooking show.

An enemies-to-lovers trope where food is the third party in the relationship? Yes, please! I will binge-watch Chopped, The Great British Baking Show, and America’s Test Kitchen all day long. Bethany Turner gave me those vibes and more with this delightful dish.

By Bethany Turner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hadley Beckett's Next Dish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanagh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel's other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.

When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum, he's sent packing to get his life in order. When he returns, career in shambles, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public's good graces is to work alongside Hadley.

As these…


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