Julieverse Reads: A Collection of Favorites for Food Lovers (Great books for you or as a gift!)

This week’s Julieverse Reads post was written by Jessica Tom, who gets huge kudos and congratulations for debuting her first novel, Food Whore, today. (Yay Jessica!) A food lover herself, and former restaurant critic for the Yale Daily News Magazine, Jessica is sharing a list of books for food lovers. These books may be great for you, or someone on your holiday gift list.

What a great time to learn about the restaurant world. You have TV shows, chef memoirs, splashy magazine spreads, up-to-the-minute blogs, behind-the-scenes Instagram feeds — even movies starring some of the biggest actors and actresses on the planet.

Holiday gift guide and a great book list for food lovers -- no cookbooks but books every food lover will want to read and keep on her shelf

When I wrote my first novel, Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit, I consumed as much of this content as possible. Reading about restaurants and food became my “work” — how cool is that? Here’s just a small sampling of some of my favorite books, click on the title to be connected to Amazon with an affiliate link:

the fourth star -- a look inside a famous NYC restaurant. This post lists books every food lover will love

The Fourth Star by Leslie Brenner

This book is a fly-on-the-wall look at one of NYC’s most iconic fine-dining restaurants, Daniel, from every possible angle. From the reservationist to the kitchen to the dining room to the corporate office. It also has a riveting hook: Brenner spends an entire calendar year immersed in Daniel as it tries to raise its New York Times star rating from 3 stars, “excellent”, to 4 stars, “extraordinary”. Will it get there — and how? Well, I won’t spoil your appetite.

garlic and sapphires -- the life of a restaurant critic. This post lists books every food lover will love

Garlic & Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl was the New York Times restaurant critic from 1993 to 1999, and her book has a lot of the delightful tidbits that you’d want from a food critic memoir: disguises, transcendent meals, the lengths restaurants will go to catch a critic. But Reichl is also a self-proclaimed hippie from Berkeley who once dumpster-dove for her food. Her tales of lavish meals (paid on the corporate card) are laced with a spiritual unrest. Think her 1993 Le Cirque review was really 3 stars? Ask her alter-ego Molly…

born round -- a look at the life and struggles of a famous food critic. This post lists books every food lover will love

Born Round by Frank Bruni

Like Reichl’s memoir, this book has all the food critic requisites. It’s also about a conundrum that simmered just under the surface of Bruni’s reviews: a lifelong battle with food and his weight. Bruni is a sharp and intelligent writer, but also tender and in many passages, quite brave. He’s also super funny.

My Last Supper -- this post lists books for book lovers. No cookbooks, great reads. Saving this for Christmas shopping!

My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals by Melanie Dunea

Restaurant food is the chef’s art, sure, but it’s also about investor wants and food costs and keeping customer satisfaction high. This book shows what chefs want not because it’s impressive or press-worthy, but because it touches upon some part of themselves. Some of their requests are very specific (Daniel Boulud would drink a La Mission Haut-Brion 1955) or surprising (Wylie Dufresne’s wish is simpler than his cuisine: scrambled eggs, a cheeseburger, steak). Dunea pairs these interviews with striking photographs. Dare I say, the book is as good as eating in these chefs’ restaurants… maybe better.

Food Thesaurus -- not a cookbook, but a reference about tastes, flavor and what works well with what. This is a great gift for the food lovers on your list. Check out the other food-friendly books in the post

The Flavor Thesaurus by Niki Segnit

Not a story or real-life account, but a reference book of flavors and why they go together. If cookbooks are like sheet music, this is a like a book of harmonies. I used this book all the time as I was coming up with fictitious dishes. Sure, you might know that cucumbers go with dill, but what about pork, rhubarb, and rose?

Food Whore by Jessica Tom -- new novel about a food critic. This post has great books for food lovers

Food Whore by Jessica Tom

And, of course, if you’re looking for another insider look into the restaurant scene, check out my book, Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit — out now!!

Jessica Tom, author of the new novel, Food WhoreJESSICA TOM is a writer and food blogger living in Brooklyn. She has worked on initiatives with restaurants, hospitality startups, food trucks, and citywide culinary programs. She graduated from Yale University with a concentration in fiction writing and wrote the restaurant review for the Yale Daily News Magazine. Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit is her first novel. Connect with her at www.jessicatom.com and @jessica_tom.

Jessica on Facebook | Twitter

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel (jewelryverse.com) and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2015, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge