Food

Dive Into This Spring's Best Food Books for Chefs

Looking for a good read? This spring boasts plenty of them, from memoirs of legendary chefs to rivetting narratives to books that just might teach you something (about everything from tacos to food labels). Here are our picks for the season’s best food books.

Eat a Peach: A Memoir

“What if the underground could become mainstream?” That’s the question that drives world-renowned chef David Chang to open his critically acclaimed and wildy popular Momofuku restaurants in his new memoir. But the book grapples with so much more than that: Chang frankly discusses mental health, anger issues, what it means to fail, and the brutality of kitchen life. Above all, Eat a Peach is a look at how to deal with success—and what comes next.

Hungry: Avocado Toast, Instagram Influencers, and Our Search for Connection and Meaning

Did that subtitle make you bristle? Give it a shot: Hungry is a sobering look at the whys behind “foodie” culture, wellness trends, the artisanal food movement, and, yes, the human urge to take photos of food and post it on Instagram. It turns out everyone is just looking for connection in a lonely and increasingly digitized world. Eve Turow-Paul makes connections that will blow your mind (the so-called death of the cereal industry is connected to...smart phones?) and does it all in a charming and highly-readable voice.

 

The Ethical Meat Handbook (Revised & Expanded Second Edition)

This extremely thorough look at the ethics of meat production, preparation, and consumption was first released in 2015, but this second edition is expanded with new information from author Meredith Leigh and updated whole-animal recipes. Read this book to learn about the economics that drive the meat industry’s best and worst practices, how to source meat responsibly, and what to do with meat once you have it, from butchery to recipes.

American Tacos: A History and Guide

José R. Ralat knows tacos: as Texas Monthly Taco Editor, he travels the state eating tacos for a living. In his first book, American Tacos, he expands the footprint, traveling throughout the country to write about the different regional styles of tacos north of the Mexican border. The book functions as a travel guide and a taco history that looks at the many delicious things Americans roll up inside tortillas.

​An Onion in My Pocket: My Life with Vegetables

Deborah Madison has lived many lives. Perhaps best known as the cookbook author behind the legendary vegetable cookbook Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Madison was also the ground breaking chef at San Francisco restaurant Greens. And before that, she was a Buddhist priest for 20 years. Her book is a wild ride, and particularly of interest for those looking to explore the history of vegetarian fine dining.

Dirt

For his much-anticipated follow-up to 2007’s Heat, Bill Buford spent five years cooking his way through the famed kitchens of Lyon, France, in an attempt to answer the question: why is French food so damn good? The answer, perhaps, lies in the book’s title (spoiler alert), but the journey to get there is a delicious and eye-opening one. Read to peek inside the kitchens of Paul Bocuse, Michel Richard, Daniel Boulud, Dan Barber, and more.

How to Be a Conscious Eater

Feeling overwhelmed and a little confused about what to select when faced with food labels like "all-natural," "animal welfare approved," and "free-range"? You aren't the only one, and food sustainability expert Sophie Egan is here to help with this highly readable book, in which she helps the reader navigate all the choices out there while exposing myths about sustainability and nutrition.