Memoirs Adult Core Collection: Food and Drink Memoirs

Find below a tasty list of food memoirs to sink your teeth into, showcased with stellar quotes from each book. Plucked from the Memoirs Adult Core Collection, these titles are varied in tone, perspective, and cuisine. What these memoirs do have in common is the understanding that food is never simply food. These authors see that food is “an archive, a keeper of secrets,” it is “the beginning of a trail that leads back to a person whose story is worth telling.”

Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin
“I knew the cardinal rule of getting on with one’s fellow cooks. It applies in any kitchen and can be summed up in two short words: bust ass.”

Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
“But it was from him - with his cool, long sideburns and aviator sunglasses, and box of watercolor paints (and artist's paycheck) - from him we learned how to create beauty where none exists, how to be generous beyond our means, how to change a small corner of the world just by making a little dinner for a few friends.”

Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef's Journey to Discover America's New Melting Pot Cuisine by Edward Lee
“I ask the ladies what we lose with each generation. They seem to agree: usually language goes first, then memories of relatives and grandparents, then traditions, then longing for home, then a sense of identity. What do we have left? A wedding ritual, a few old photos? For me, what is left is our connection to food.”

Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty
“Food, racism, power, and justice are linked. What I’m trying to do is dismantle culinary nutritional imperialism and gastronomic white supremacy with one cup of zobo made from hibiscus, one bowl of millet salad with groundnuts and dark green vegetables, and one piece of injera at a time. The next wave of human rights abuse is in the form of nutrition injustice.”

Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo
“Luckily, just at the world’s outer limit, right where a wandering soul needs it most, is a bar where he can get a beer.”

Eat a Peach by David Chang
“We humans are more alike in our tastes than we think. Even with completely different tools and ingredients, we’re bound to arrive at the same conclusions.”

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
“For a moment, or a second, the pinched expressions of the cynical, world-weary, throat-cutting, miserable bastards we've all had to become disappears, when we're confronted with something as simple as a plate of food.”

L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David Lebovitz
“The French word copain came about because your friends (copains, from compagnons) are the people with whom you break bread, or share pain.”

My Life in France by Julia Child
“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”

Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi
“I realized that being a cook wasn't only about providing people with food, but rather about providing them with the feeling that they were cared for.”

Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger by Lisa Donovan
“If someone values you only when you’re about to walk out the door, you should definitely keep walking.”

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
“I was slowly discovering that if you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were.”

Eat, drink, read, and be merry.

guest blog written by Maddie

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