It's the holiday season, and let's face it--foodies are hard to shop for. In part 3 of our series on gifts foodies will like, we focus on books about food, wine, spirits, and gastronomy that are sure to please. These are available at your local bookstore (to the extent you have one), Half-Price Books, and online via Amazon. We have personally read each of these books, and can't recommend them more highly! There's still time to go out and get one or more of these for the foodie on your list.
Michael Ruhlman's Books: All great books centering around the Culinary Institute of America, and the making of the modern professional chef. Ruhlman covers some of America's best chefs before they were really discovered, giving you insight into what these amazing individuals went through to get where they are today.
Anthony Bordain's Books: Anthony Bordain, formerly of Food Network and the Travel Channel, now with CNN, was once a line cook, caterer, heavy drug user, and excessive drinker. These books show his growth and maturity into one of America's most astute social commentators.
The Billionaire's Vinegar: A fascinating story about the world's most expensive bottle of wine--allegedly belonging to Thomas Jefferson at one time--that mysteriously appeared on the world market under suspicious and allegedly fraudulent circumstances. This gives you insight into the mind of the ultra-high-end collector, and provides a glimpse of the rarefied air of fine wine that few know even exist.
What to Drink with What you Eat: This is a great resource for those that find themselves asking "what should I drink with that meal?" It is very approachable, and provides valuable guidance.
Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2017: The definitive guide on all things Whisky.
Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table: This fantastic autobiography, by esteemed food critic Ruth Reichl, covers her childhood, and how her formative years gave her great insight into the world of food and wine.
Vintage Cocktails: For all of you vintage cocktail enthusiasts out there. This is a great resource to keep on your home bar.
The Sweet Life in Paris: This biography, by pastry chef turned blogger David Lebovitz, is heartfelt, touching, and funny, all rolled into one. After abruptly leaving San Francisco after a personal loss, he finds himself in Paris, quickly trying to acclimate to a new culture, and finding new purpose in life. A great read.
Books on Wine and War by Don and Petie Kladstrup: These books--one focusing on French wine during WWII, and another focusing on the history of Champagne--are interesting historical reads that still provide heartwarming stories of struggle and triumph that will make you look at your cherished bottle with new appreciation.
The World Atlas of Wine: The definitive all-in-one guide to those wanting to learn about wine around the world.
Yes, Chef: Acclaimed chef and Food Network personality Marcus Samuelsson's autobiography about being born in Ethiopia, losing his mother before the age of 4, being adopted by loving Swedish parents, and rising to become one of the most beloved soul-food chefs in the United States. It's, at times, a poignant and/or self-absorbed read that gives you a lot of insight into the mind of this interesting and talented man.
The Widow Clicquot: This is the biography of the woman who founded one of the world's most beloved champagne houses--Veuve Clicquot. It's an interesting read covering a fascinating and iron-willed woman.
As Always, Julia: These re-printed letters between famed Chef Julia Child and her literary mentor and "pen-pal" give an insight into Julia Child the person that is not seen through Julia Child the author or Julia Child the TV personality. This is a fascinating read.