Books about chefs, cooking, & restaurants 2014

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In the Kitchen
Monica Ali

ALI

Struggling to maintain his culinary integrity in a hotel restaurant, executive chef Gabriel Lightfoot finds his secret ambition to become the hotel’s owner compromised by the murder of a porter and pressure from his girlfriend and investors.


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The School of Essential Ingredients
Erica Bauermeister

BAUERMEISTER
The School of Essential Ingredients series

Gathering at Lillian’s Restaurant for a weekly cooking class, a young mother struggles with the growing demands of her family, an Italian kitchen designer works to adapt to life in America, and a widower mourns the loss of his wife to breast cancer.


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The Lost Art of Mixing
Erica Bauermeister

BAUERMEISTER
The School of Essential Ingredients series

Restaurant owner Lillian manages an unexpected challenge while sharing her days with a circle of friends and regulars, including ritual-performing accountant Al, heartbroken chef Chloe, and unobtrusive giant Finnegan.


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Like Water for Chocolate
Laura Esquivel

ESQUIVEL

Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.


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When in Doubt, Add Butter
Beth Harbison

HARBISON

Dedicating herself to her culinary patrons, private chef Gemma Craig goes home every night to boxed cereals until an unexpected event compels a confrontation with the past and an unexpected romance.


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Comfort Food
Kate Jacobs

JACOBS

Tiring of playing the hostess as her fiftieth birthday approaches, celebrity chef Augusta Simpson tries to distance herself from her overly dependent loved ones and receives assistance from handsome fellow chef Oliver in her efforts to launch an on-air cooking class.


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White Truffles in Winter
N. M. Kelby

KELBY

The sensuality of food and love is explored in this novel about the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier, who was torn between his poet wife, Delphine Daffis and the reckless actress Sarah Bernhardt.


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Pomegranate Soup
Marsha Mehran

MEHRAN
The Babylon Café series

Three Iranian sisters—Marjan, Layla, and Bahar Aminpour—flee the turmoil of the Islamic Revolution in their native country to seek refuge in Ireland, where they open the exotic Babylon Café.


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Rosewater and Soda Bread
Marsha Mehran

MEHRAN
The Babylon Café series

The arrival of a mysterious young woman in possession of a dark secret has a profound impact on the lives of the inhabitants of Ballinacroagh, including the three Aminpour sisters, each of whom is going through her own transformation.


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The Last Chinese Chef
Nicole Mones

MONES

This alluring novel of friendship, love, and cuisine brings the best-selling author of Lost in Translation to one of the great Chinese subjects: food, this time the hidden world of high culinary culture.


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Baking Cakes in Kigali
Gaile Parkin

PARKIN

Rendered a confidant and supportive friend for her willingness to listen to her neighbors in genocide-stricken Rwanda, baker Angel Tungaraza provides decadent confections and transforming counsel to a series of troubled customers.


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Delicious!
Ruth Reichl

REICHL

Working as a public relations hotline consultant for a once-prestigious culinary magazine, Billie Breslin unexpectedly enters a world of New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors while reading World War II letters exchanged between a plucky 12-year-old and James Beard.


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Chef
Jaspreet Singh

SINGH

Kirpal Singh reminisces on his life as a Sikh cook in the military camp at the foot of the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir.


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A Place at the Table
Susan Rebecca White

WHITE

Three diverse people including an ostracized gay, Southern boy; a wealthy, Connecticut woman shattered by a family secret; and an African-American chef, whose life inspired a famous cookbook bond in a chic Manhattan café.


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Bread and Butter
Michelle Wildgen

WILDGEN

Kitchen Confidential meets Three Junes in this mouthwatering novel about three brothers who run competing restaurants, and the culinary snobbery, staff stealing, and secret affairs that unfold in the back of the house.
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Aunty Lee's Delights
Ovidia Yu

MYS YU

This delectable and witty mystery introduces Rosie “Aunty” Lee, feisty widow, amateur sleuth, and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home-cooking restaurant.


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Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen
Donia Bijan

BIOGRAPHY BIJAN

From the Persian world of her youth to the American life she embraced as a teenager to her years at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, to apprenticeships in France’s three-star kitchens and finally back to San Francisco, where she opened her own celebrated bistro, Bijan evokes a vibrant kaleidoscope of cultures and cuisines.


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Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
Eddie Huang

BIOGRAPHY HUANG

A Taiwanese-American rebel restaurateur chronicles his rise to success from his difficult childhood in the American South to his decision to embrace all he had learned about food in his father’s restaurants and his mother’s kitchen to create his own culinary identity.


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Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India
Madhur Jaffrey

BIOGRAPHY JAFFREY

Today’s most highly regarded writer on Indian food gives us an enchanting memoir of her childhood in Delhi in an age and a society that has since disappeared.


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Yes, Chef: A Memoir
Marcus Samuelsson

BIOGRAPHY SAMUELSSON

The “Top Chef: Masters” winner and proprietor of Harlem’s Red Rooster traces his Ethiopian birth, upbringing by an adoptive family in Sweden, and rise to a fame as a New York chef, sharing personal insights into his challenges as a black man in a deeply prejudiced industry.


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Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage
Molly Wizenberg

BIOGRAPHY WIZ

The Orangette blogger and author of the best-selling A Homemade Life describes how her husband’s decision to open and run a pizza restaurant sparked a first crisis in their young marriage.


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