As some readers will know I have an Amazon Store through which I’m able to suggest some of my favourite books about food and wine and then get paid a small commission on the purchases that you make. You can find my store by clicking on the “Store” tab at the top of the page, the banner near the bottom of every page’s right column, or right here. I have just added an Amazon.ca search box (in the right column beside the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher badge) that will allow readers to search their entire catalog of products and have also just added some books to the store that I’d like to bring to your attention.
I’m shamefully late in getting on the Momofuku cookbook bandwagon. It’s heavy on the how-the-empire-came-to-be story and the last time I got a cookbook with as many pictures of the chef-author it was Tony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook but it’s one of my favourites. From bacon dashi to the steamed buns that I couldn’t even wait to get the cookbook before making there are also a lot of really good recipes under the lucky peach. It’s not Asian cuisine in a strict or traditional sense but many of the ingredients and most of the inspirations are Korean, Japanese, or Chinese so I’ve put it into the Asian category with David Thompson’s classic Thai Street Food.
The other book about which I’m really excited–my copy just arrived today–is Ideas in Food from Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot. There is a strong echo of Harold McGee in their writing that is both curious and scientific. Ideas, techniques, and recipes sing in harmony for three hundred picture-free pages that I’m sure I’ll have to read in the next forty-eight hours or so.
Since I cooked from it extensively last summer I should have included My Bread by Jim Lahey sooner. For workability I still prefer Peter Reinhart’s pizza dough recipe in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and my adaptation thereof but Lahey’s bread recipes are great. The idea that you can bake bread without kneading the dough and the only special equipment you need is a dutch oven for baking is revelatory if not revolutionary.
I have also belatedly added an Italian section that right now only includes the seminal Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. More to come, I’m sure.
One book that I wish I could include is Food by Waverly Root but Amazon doesn’t carry it. If On Food and Cooking or Cookwise are the first references for a scientific background to a particular ingredient or dish Food does the same from a historical, cultural, and literary perspective. I found my copy on Alibris.