So, I figure most of you reading this fall into one of four categories:
1) (Grand)Parents reading up about their young grown-ups’ almost-alma matter
2) Hungover students checking when graduation starts, so you know when to plan your Blanchard’s runs most efficiently (they’re open all day Sunday, so don’t worry about it)
3) Random people searching "food porn" on the internet. you know who you are.
4) Generous, college-grad donating family member looking for a young cook to sponsor in his business ventures (if you fall into this category, urgently contact my secretary for details on our secret and highly lucrative banking transaction)
If you fall into a category other than the ones listed here, simply leave a comment explaining yourself, and what makes you so damn special. I might just make you a category.
Anyway, now that I’ve significantly categorized and made my judgments about you, I’m going to turn my attention forward. To the future, that is. The future of your/your child’s/my eating career. Do you know how to sniff out the best diner in town? Do you know what’s going on in your favorite kitchens? Care to know who is actually preparing your food? Can you whip up multi-course meals after a long night of drinking?
How many calories are in a beer?
If you wish to acquire this knowledge, continue reading. If you’re uninterested, just looking for food porn, or perhaps already consider this trivia; go away. I won’t be posting any pictures with this post, scroll down for the goodies.
No, today I am here to talk to you about your available food resources. Where are you getting your food information? From health scares in the paper? Rachel Ray? Your local "Dining Out" section?
I’m interested in how this information is circling. I’d like to do an experiment. If you consider yourself a "foodie" and have not read Kitchen Confidendial by Anthony Bourdain, drop me a line. I will personally buy you a copy and ship it to you overnight. You will then read it, and recommend it to you everyone you would consider sharing a meal with. It gives in its thin paperback-y pages a wealth of knowledge that could only otherwise be obtained by twenty years standing behind stoves.
After that, read Omnivores Dilemma, and have for reference Harold McGee’s On Cooking. Then, if you want to get your hands dirty, pick up The Professional Chef Vol 8. Scalable, international recipes with all the instruction of a 2 year cooking school packed into a hefty book.
For the connoisseurs of fine food photography and detailed recipes, go for The French Laundry Cookbook and any of the El Bulli books. Ferran Adria will blow your mind and make you rethink the meal. While you’re at it, pick up the El Bulli/Anthony Bourdain DVD. It’s dollar for dollar the best modern-media food investment you can make.
Advanced food reading includes Near a Thousand Tables and The Making/Soul of a Chef Series by Michael Ruhlman.
Once your information-packed novels get there and you read all of them, go to the reviews section of my blog, and check out my other book commentary. Every one listed there is a guaranteed good read (I only blog the ones I really love), and I will add more if you run out.
I hope to hear back from you, either through comments or email, and look forward to your responses to the books.
Eat well graduates, parents, and all persons alike!