When I am not in the kitchen, there is a pretty great chance that I am reading, watching, or participating in some sort of food activity. I have learned so much about the sustainable food movement, other cultural food customs, and new trends in the industry from keeping my eyes open. I want to start a “database” of sorts for all things entertaining and foodie. If you have a great book, movie, another food blog, or anything else that people would enjoy, please comment on this page and I will add it to the list! The more descriptive the better, as it will help myself and others. I hope the Entertainment section becomes a fun resource for readers to take and give back to.
The Hundred Foot Journey– (Richard C. Morais) A great, light-hearted story about a young boy who grows up in India. His family owns a successful, but modest Indian restaurant when a family tragedy uproots them to Paris. After an interesting encounter with one of the top chefs in Paris, Hassan finds himself working among the culinary elite producing haute cuisine unlike anything he’s seen before. A fun story of a culinary journey full of highs and lows about becoming a rising chef. Vivid details about the dishes made me wish I was in Paris while I was reading.
The Last Chinese Chef– (Nicole Mones) a look into true Chinese cuisine, which is unlike anything you find here the United States. The story of Sam Liang, a Chinese man who grew up in America, and his journey back to China to compete in the top culinary challenge in China. I found the love story in the book a little boring, but it’s a great read for people who want to know more about traditional Chinese dishes.
Books (Non Fiction)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle- (Barbara Kingsolver) the trials and tribulations of deliberately living on a farm and eating products grown close to home. An excellent source about heirloom plants and vegetables, and why we have to be proactive in saving endangered food species. The stories from this book are quite funny, and Kingsolver’s daughter provides seasonal recipes based on their farm intake. You might not be enticed to start your own farm, but you will be inspired to support your local farmers.
Blood Bones and Butter (Gabrielle Hamilton) Recommended by Cathy Neistat- “The true story of Gabrielle Hamilton’s struggle of making it in the food world and then owning her own restaurant. Can’t wait to try Prune in NY!”
Kitchen Confidential– (Anthony Bourdain) a crude and at times frightening look into the “underbelly” of the food industry. Bourdain’s first autobiography of his start and growth in the restaurant industry. His frankness and language choice are almost overwhelming, but that is what you have to love about him. The book every culinary student should read before entering the industry, and the book every diner should read if you want a serious look at what goes on the kitchen.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma– (Michael Pollan) the book that changed my life and how I approach what I eat. A very detailed look into four meals- the first from McDonalds, the second from Whole Foods, the third from a sustainable farm in West Virginia, and the fourth that Pollan hunts and gathers himself. For anyone who is unaware of corporate food manufacturing practices, this book provides an incredible picture into where your food comes from. You might think twice before eating a Big Mac again. My only critique is that the detail gets a little long at times, although it’s very informative.
Today’s Special– Recommended by Cathy Neistat- “I was so anxious for this movie to come out and not sure that it was ever released. It’s now On Demand under ethnic and foreign films. The story of a chef working at one of NY’s top restaurants while his eastern Indian family owns a struggling restaurant of their own on the ‘other’ side of town. The son gets called in to help out and discovers not only his cultural roots and the foods he was raised on, but the passion behind the incredible flavors.”