Everyone who knows me knows: I read a lot, and I am a compulsive list maker. One of my favorite tasks when I was in graduate school, then later as I began to teach, was compiling bibliographies. Maybe in another life I was a librarian.
On this page you’ll discover lists of books that I find myself reaching for again and again; I recommend them all highly. The lists are meant to be fairly selective and personal. Everything you see here is based on my own reading experience, so if I haven’t read it yet, it isn’t here. Another thing that isn’t here: endorsements “under the influence” (i.e., paid or solicited recommendations; see the bottom of the page for my nod to the FTC).
Okay, the books. Seek them out in your local independent bookstore—they need your support and appreciate you as a customer more than any chain or online monopoly (you know who I mean) could ever do! May you find these titles as useful and enjoyable as I do.
- Adventures in Greek Cookery, Stella Kopulos and Dorothy P. Jones (Thomas Y. Crowell, 1966, 1972)
- The Food and Wine of Greece, Diane Kochilas (St. Martin’s, 1990)
- Greek Cooking for the Gods, Eva Zane (101 Productions, 1970, 1989)
- How to Roast a Lamb, Michael Psilakis (Little, Brown, 2009)
- Modern Greek: 170 Contemporary Recipes from the Mediterranean, Andy Harris (Chronicle, 2002)
- The Regional Cuisines of Greece, by the Recipe Club of St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church (Doubleday, 1981)
- Vefa’s Kitchen, by Vefa Alexiadou (Phaidon, 2009)
Other International, Regional, and Specialty Cookbooks
- 3 Bowls: Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery, Seppo Ed Farrey with Myochi Nancy O’Hara (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)
- Around the Southern Table: Innovative Recipes Celebrating 300 Years of Eating and Drinking, Sarah Belk (Simon & Schuster, 1991)
- Italy, a Culinary Journey: Classic Recipes from the Regions of Italy, produced by Weldon Owen (Collins Publishers, 1991)
- The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast, David Leite (Clarkson Potter, 2009)
Cookbooks from Restaurants
- Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman (Broadway Books, 1998)
- Staff Meals from Chanterelle, David Waltuck and Melicia Phillips (Workman, 2000)
- The Cake Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum (William Morrow, 1988)
- La Dolce Vita, Michele Scicolone (William Morrow, 1993)
- Lee Bailey’s Country Desserts, Lee Bailey (Clarkson Potter, 1988)
- The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern, Claudia Fleming with Melissa Clark (Random House, 2001)
- Stars Desserts, Emily Luchetti (Harper Collins, 1991)
General Cookbooks, Kitchen Reference, and Culinary Science
- BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking, Shirley O. Corriher (Scribner, 2008)
- The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer, et al.
- The Kitchen Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking and the Kitchen, Polly Clingerman (American Cooking Guild, 1994)
- An Edible History of Humanity, Tom Standage (Walker, 2009)
- Moveable Feasts, Sarah Murray (Picador, 2008)
- Spice: The History of a Temptation, Jack Turner (Knopf, 2004)
Culinary Memoir, Essays, and Fiction
- Alone in the Kitchen With an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone, edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Riverhead, 2007)
- A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, Molly Wizenberg (Simon & Schuster, 2009)
- Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain (Bloomsbury, 2000)
- The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten (Knopf, 1997)
Food Writing (Professional Reference)
- The Recipe Writer’s Handbook, Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane L. Baker (Wiley, 2001)
- Will Write for Food, Dianne Jacob (Da Capo, 2005)
The Fine Print: In deference to the Federal Trade Commission, readers should know that I receive no benefit whatsoever from recommendations. Books are not sent to me for review, nor have I been paid or in any way encouraged by authors or publishers to include books on the list. This is another thing people who know me know: my good opinion can’t be bought.