Thursday, May 24, 2007

Recent Reads

I read a lot of food books and will occasionally report on those I find interesting:

The United States of Arugula by David Kamp.

David Kamp provides a delightful and gossipy romp through the past 50 years of American food history, from David Beard and Julia Child to Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. Lots of fun and a quick read; five stars.

Heat by Bill Buford.

Buford documents the year he spent working in Mario Batali's famous New York restaurant Babbo and apprenticing to a butcher in Tuscany. Hard core Batali fans might love this book, but I found it a bit tedious. The voyeuristic thrill of looking into a celebrity kitchen wears off quickly, and I didn't find Buford's hand wringing and performance anxiety very compelling. The chapters on the butcher are fairly slow. All in all a decent book to pass the time but not one that is thrilling or life changing.

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