Dig into this culinary collection of nonfiction titles featuring themes of cooking and culture.
BIO HAMILTON GABRIELLE
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef / Gabrielle Hamilton
Chef Hamilton presents an unflinching account of her search for meaning and purpose in the food-central rural New Jersey home of her youth, marked by a first chicken kill, an international backpacking tour and the opening of a first restaurant. Also available as an ebook and audiobook through Libby, by Overdrive.
Sifting through stories, recipes, genetic tests and historical documents, a renowned culinary historian, in a memoir of Southern culinary tradition and food culture, traces his ancestry through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom, and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue and all Southern cuisine.
Crying in H Mart: a Memoir / Michelle Zauner
The Japanese Breakfast indie pop star presents a full-length account of her viral New Yorker essay to share poignant reflections on her experiences of growing up Korean-American, becoming a professional musician and caring for her terminally ill mother. Also available in Large Print, and as an audiobook and ebook through Libby, by Overdrive.
Eat a Peach: a Memoir / David Chang with Gabe Ulla
Author Chang lays bare his mistakes and wonders about his extraordinary luck as he recounts the improbable series of events that led him to the top of the culinary profession. He wrestles with his lifelong feelings of otherness and inadequacy, explores the mental illness that almost killed him, and finds hope in the shared value of deliciousness. Along the way, Chang gives us a penetrating look at restaurant life, in which he balances his deep love for the kitchen with unflinching honesty about the industry’s history of brutishness and its uncertain future.
Fatty Fatty Boom Boom: a Memoir of Food, Fat, and Family / Rabia Chaudry
From the author and host of the popular Undisclosed podcast comes a warm, intimate memoir about food, body image and growing up in a loving but sometimes oppressively concerned Pakistani immigrant family.
Heavy: an American Memoir / Kiese Laymon
An essayist and novelist explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse. Also available as an audiobook through Libby, by Overdrive.
Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew / Michael W. Twitty
The author explores the cultural crossroads of Jewish and African diaspora cuisine and issues of memory, identity, and food. The creation of African-Jewish cooking is a conversation of migrations and a dialogue of diasporas offering a rich background for inventive recipes and the people who create them. The question that most intrigues him is not just who makes the food, but how the food makes the people.
Notes from a Young Black Chef: a Memoir / Kwame Onwuachi with Joshua David Stein
The Top Chef star traces his culinary coming-of-age in both the Bronx and Nigeria, discussing his eclectic training in acclaimed restaurants while sharing insights into the racial barriers that have challenged his career.
Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger: a Memoir / Lisa Donovan
Noted chef and James Beard Award-winning essayist Lisa Donovan helped establish some of the South’s most important kitchens, and her pastry work is at the forefront of a resurgence in traditional desserts. Yet Donovan struggled to make a living in an industry where male chefs built successful careers on the stories, recipes, and culinary heritage passed down from generations of female cooks and cooks of color. Donovan herself had been told at every juncture that she wasn’t enough: she came from a struggling southern family that felt ashamed of its own mixed race heritage and whose elders diminished their women. She survived abuse and assault as a young mother. But Donovan’s salvations were food, self-reliance, and the network of women in food who stood by her.
Savor: a Chef’s Hunger for More / Fatima Ali with Tarajia Morrell
In this memoir, a young, boundary-breaking culinary star, diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, spends her final year savoring the world, delicious food and her loved ones, as she reflects on her life and her identity as a chef, a daughter and a queer woman butting up against traditional views.