|Click for Creme Catalan recipe|
Reading other food writers gives you a sense of the range of ways people write about food and different styles. Where should you start? Peat O Neil, author of Pyrenees Pilgramage, suggests grabbing a couple of cook books. If you are looking for previews of cookbooks and culinary arts try Appetite for Books. You might keep an eye on several food blogs like Outlawcook, egullet, or Chowhound. Looking for a book, check out Peat’s flash reviews of literary food reads:
Home Cooking/ Laurie Colwin.
She died young, but novelist Laurie Colwin lived large on a tight budget. Her tussles with stock pots and roasted birds in a New York City studio demystify the notion that great food can’t be produced on a hot plate. Novice cooks learn how to get started and become brave, original cooks. Writers see how to fold memoir into the mix and segue from the story line to topical recipes.
Is There a Nutmeg in the House?/ Elizabeth David
Anything by “ED” is worth reading, and this collection of essays studded with recipes and basted with history includes selections from her published and unpublished work. Every food writer worth a dash of pink sea salt needs to know ED’s approach to cooking and describing food.
With Bold Knife and Fork /M.F.K. Fisher
Writers interested in culinary topics usually worship at a kitchen shrine to Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, a Californian who brought poetic nuance and elegant prose to instructions on how to make meals. Fisher cooked to express emotional intimacy, and infused her food writing with feeling.
Adventures of a Roving Gourmand/Jim Harrison
French bibliophiles consider Jim Harrison the best author of fiction alive; I don’t know what they think about his food writing. Harrison hails from the “hunt it, dress it, sear and sauce it” school of cookery. His gusto for life, acumen and way with words are a treat.
Between Meals/Jim Harrison North
Here’s a book that shows how to eat, rather than how to cook or select ripe peaches in the market. Leibling wrote for the New Yorker and evidently never missed a meal. A worthy model for aspiring restaurant reviewers and food writers.