For Your Reading Pleasure

Books to Give or Cherish 

Here are a few of our favorite books—some by industry friends, others by authors admired from afar. 

Sweet Home Café. A celebration of African American cooking with 109 recipes from the National Museum of African American History and Culture's café. Co-author Albert Lucas, Restaurant Associates Supervising Chef Mid-Atlantic region, spent several years prior to the opening of the cafe researching the culinary contributions of African Americans. We were honored to have him join one of our Flavor Forays in Charleston where he had some fruitful conversations with Gullah chef BJ Dennis. You can order your own copy of the Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook here.

Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World’s Riskiest Business

Matt and Ted Lee. Matt Lee has served as an informal guide on one of our Charleston trips and we can attest to his ability to charm and inform with an insider’s knowledge. In their forthcoming book, he and brother Ted go behind the scenes to uncover the secret world of caterers and their universal reliance on the “hotbox,” an “upright aluminum cabinet on wheels” used to transport food and powered by Sterno lamps.  

Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking. Toups is one of the hottest chefs in New Orleans and one of his Meatery restaurants is adjacent to the wonderful Southern Food and Beverage Museum. We had some of the best cracklin’s a pig ever gave its life for and a prize winning po’boy from sous chef Courtney Hellenschmidt. We’ll be meeting up with them in NOLA.

Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel. We’ve been fans of New Orleans-based Alon Shaya from his first days at Domenica, then Shaya, and now his new restaurant Saba. Not only are these Israeli inflected recipes fabulous, Shaya’s personal story of the redemptive power of cooking is moving and inspiring. He’s definitely on our Flavor Forays agenda.

Ottolenghi Simple. A collection of 130 easy, streamlined recipes from beloved chef Yotam Ottolenghi with his signature Middle-Eastern inspired flavors. We don’t know Ottolenghi but we’re ready to meet him with za’atar and pomegranates in the pantry. Maybe it’s time for a Flavor Foray to London.

The Noma Guide to Fermentation: Including koji, kombuchas, shoyus, misos, vinegars, garums, lacto-ferments, and black fruits and vegetables. Every dish at NOMA includes one of these foundations of flavor.By Noma chef/co-owner  René Redzepi and David Zilber, the chef who runs the restaurant’s fermentation lab. Redzepi and NOMA founder Claus Meyer were frequent subjects in Food Arts as we covered the Nordic foraging fervor. Fermentation is all the rage now and we had a terrific lesson in Austin from Emmer & Rye’s chef/owner Kevin Fink, who staged at NOMA.