A Plethora of Food/Culinary Memoirs for Your Reading Pleasure

In doing some research recently, I realized just what an amazing treasure we food-and-book-lovers have with all the food/culinary memoirs that have been surfacing for years. And as luck would have it, as is wont to happen these days with a few clicks and the right keywords, I came across an amazing bibliography compiled by Jessica Esperanza for her blog, The Literary Foodie. I have updated the list, which seems to stop around 2012. And the formatting of her list is different from the way I write titles, but you’ll get the drift.

As we all know, a bibliography is an ongoing work of beauty, so if you see that your favorite title is missing, please send me a comment!



The Accidental Connoisseur: an irreverent journey though the wine world by Lawrence Osborne
A Cook’s Tour: global adventures in extreme cuisines by Anthony Bourdain
Acquired tastes: on the trail of the world’s most sought-after delicacies by Massimo Francesco Marcone
Adventures in Eating: an anthropological experience of dining around the world by Helen R. Haines
Adventures on the Wine Route: a wine buyer’s tour of France by Kermit Lynch
The African Kitchen: a day in the life of a safari chef by Josie Stow
The Agony of the Leaves: the ecstasy of my life with tea by Helen Gustafson
Al Dente: the adventures of a gastronomic in Italy by William Black
Alice, Let’s Eat: further adventures of a happy eater by Calvin Trillin
Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: the romantic, impractical, often eccentric, ultimately brilliant making of a food revolution by Thomas McNamee
All The Presidents’ Pastries: twenty-five years in the White House, a memoir by Roland Mesnier
Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant by Jenni Ferrari-Adler
Always Fresh: the story of Tim Hortons by the man who created a Canadian empire by Ron Joyce
Always Home: A Daughter’s Recipes & Stories by Fanny Singer
Amarcord, Marcella Remembers: the story of a woman who started out to teach science in Italy, but ended up teaching America how to cook Italian by Marcella Hazan
The Amateur Gourmet: how to shop, chop and table hop like a pro (almost) by Adam D. Roberts
American Pie: slices of life (and pie) from America’s backroads by Pascale LeDraoulec
American Terroir: savoring the flavors of our woods, waters and fields by Rowan Jacobsen
Among Friends by M.F.K. Fisher
Amore and Ameretti: a tale of love and food in Tuscany by Victoria Cosford
An Alphabet for Gourmets by M.F.K. Fisher
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a year of food life by Barbara Kingsolver
Aphrodite: a memoir of the senses by Isabel Allende
Appetite for life: the biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch
The Apprentice: my life in the kitchen by Jacques Pepin
Arbitrary Stupid Goal by Tamara Shopsin
Are You Really Going to Eat That? Reflections of a culinary thrill seeker by Robb Walsh
Around the World in 80 Dinners: the ultimate culinary adventure by Cheryl Alters Jamison
The Art of Eating by M. F. K. Fisher
As Always, Julia: the letters of Julia Child and Alvis DeVoto by Joan Reardon
As They Were by M.F.K. Fisher
At Grandmother’s Table: women write about food, life, and the enduring bond between grandmothers and granddaughters
At My Grandmother’s Knee: Recipes and Memories Handed Down by Women of the South by Faye Porter


Backstage With Julia: my years with Julia Child by Nancy Verde Barr
Baked-Off!: memoirs of a Pillsbury bake-off junkie by Steve Grieger
Baking as Biography: a life in recipes by Diane Tye
Beaten, Seared, and Sauced: on becoming a chef at the Culinary Institute of America by Jonathan Dixon
Behind Bars: the straight-up tales of a big-city bartender by Ty Wenzel
Bento Box in the Heartland: my Japanese girlhood in whitebread America by Linda Furiya
Best Food Writing (yearly collection)
The Best Thing I Ever Tasted: the secret of food by Sallie Tisdale
Between Bites: memoirs of a hungry hedonist by James Villas
Between Meals: an appetite for Paris by A.J. Liebling
Between Two Fires: intimate writings on life, love, food & flavor by Laura Esquivel
Big Appetite: my Southern-fried search for the meaning of life by Sam McLeod
Bitter Almonds: recollections and recipes from a Sicilian girlhood by Mary Taylor Simeti
The Bizarre Truth: culinary misadventures around the globe by Andrew Zimmern
The Black Family Reunion Cookbook by National Council of Negro Women
A Blissful Feast: Culinary Adventures in Italy’s Piedmont, Maremma, and La Marche by Teresa Lust
Blood, Bones, and Butter: the inadvertent education of a reluctant chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
The Blueberry years: a memoir of farm and family by Jim Minick
Blue Trout and Black Truffles: The Peregrinations of an Epicure by Joseph Wechsberg
The Book of Eating: Adventures in Professional Gluttony by Adam Platt
Boozehound: on the trail of the rare, the obscure, and the overrated in spirits by Jason Wilson
Bottomfeeder: a seafood lover’s journey to the end of the food chain by Taras Grescoe
Bread and Chocolate: my food life in & around San Francisco by Fran Gage
Breaking Bread: recipes and stories from immigrant kitchens by Lynne Christy Anderson
Born Round by Frank Bruni
The Bucolic Plague: how two Manhattanites became gentlemen farmers by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
The Burger King: Jim McLamore and the building of an empire by James W. Mclamore
Burgundy Stars: a year in the life of a great French restaurant by William Echikson
Burn the Place by Iliana Regan
Burnt Bread and Chutney: growing up between cultures, a memoir of an Indian Jewish childhood by Carmit Delman
The Butcher and the Vegetarian: one woman’s romp through a world of men, meat, and moral crisis by Tara Austen Weaver


Cakewalk by Kate Moses
Candy and me (a Love Story) by Hilary Liftin
Candyfreak: a journey through the chocolate underbelly of America by Steve Almond
Celebrating Our Mothers’ Kitchens by National Council of Negro Women
The Cheese chronicles: a journey though the making and selling of cheese in America, from field to farm to table by Liz Thorpe
Cheesemonger: a life on the wedge by Gordon Edgar
Chef’s story: 27 chefs talk about what got them into the kitchen
A Chef’s Tale: a memoir of food, France, and America by Pierre Franey
Cherries in Winter: my family’s recipes for hope in hard times by Suzan Colon
Choice Cuts: a savory selection of food writing by Mark Kurlansky
Citizen Coors: a grand family saga of business, politics and beer by Dan Baum
Cleaving: a story of marriage, meat, and obsession by Julie Powell
Clémentine in the Kitchen by Samuel Chamberlain
Cleora’s Kitchens: The Memoir of a Cook and Eight Decades of Great American Food by Cleora Butler
Climbing the Mango Trees: a memoir of a childhood in India by Madhur Jaffrey
The Comfort Food Diaries: My Quest for the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart by Emily Nunn
Comfort Food for Breakups: the memoir of a hungry girl by Marusya Bociurkiw
Comfort me With Apples by Ruth Reichl
Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook by Alice Waters
Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
Confessions of a Carb Queen: the lies you tell others & the lies you tell yourself: a memoir by Susan Blech
Consider the Oyster by M.F.K. Fisher
Consuming Passions: a food obsessed life by Michael Lee West
Cooked: from the streets to the stove, from cocaine to foie gras by Jeff Henderson
Cooking and Screaming by Adreinne Kane
Cooking dirty: a story of life, sex, love and death in the kitchen by Jason Sheehan
Cooking for Kings: the life of Antonin Careme: the first celebrity chef by Ian Kelly
Cookoff: recipe fever in America by Amy Sutherland
Cooking for Mr. Latte: a food lovers courtship by Amanda Hesser
Corked by Kathryn Borel
Cosmopolitan: a bartender’s life by Toby Cecchini
Coyota in the Kitchen: A memoir of New and Old Mexico by Anita Rodríguez
Crazy in the Kitchen: food, feuds, and forgiveness in an Italian family by Louise DeSalvo
Crete on the half Shell: a story about an island, good friends and food by Byron Ayanoglu


Dark and Light: the story of the Guinness family by Derek Wilson
Daughter of Heaven: a memoir with earthly recipes by Leslie Li
Day of Honey: a memoir of food, love, and war by Annia Ciezadlo
Death by Pad Thai: and other unforgettable meals by Douglas Bauer
Devil in the Kitchen: sex, pain, madness and the making of a great chef by Marco Pierre White
The Devil’s Picnic: around the world in pursuit of forbidden fruit by Taras Grescoe
The Dinner Diaries: raising whole wheat kids ina white bread world by Betsy Block
Dinner Party Disasters: True Stories of Culinary Catastrophe by Annaliese Soros
Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking by Bill Buford
Dirty Dishes: a restaurateur’s story of passion, pain, and pasta by Pino Luongo
The Dirty Life: on farming, food, and love by Kristen Kimball
Dirty Sugar Cookies: culinary observations, questionable taste by Ayun Halliday
Domesticity: a gastronomic interpretation of love by Bob Shacochis
Don’t Try This at Home: culinary catastrophes from the world’s greatest chefs by Andrew Friedman
Dubious Honors by M.F.K. Fisher


Eat a Peach by David Chang
Eat Me: the food philosophy of Kenny Shopsin by Kenny Shopsin
Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar: stories of food during wartime by the world’s leading correspondents edited by Matt Mcallester
Eat my Globe: one year to go everywhere and eat everything by Simon Majumdar
Eating by Jason Epstein
Eating as I go: scenes from America and abroad by Doris Friedensohn
Eating My Words: an appetite for life by Mimi Sheraton
Eat my Words: reading women’s lives through the cookbooks they wrote by Janet Theophano
Eat, Memory: great writers at the table a collection of essays from the New York Times by Amanda Hesser
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
87 Orchard: an edible history of five immigrant families in one New York tenement by Jane Ziegelman
Everything I ate: a year in the life of my mouth by Tucker Shaw
Everything is Under Control: A Memoir with Recipes by Phyllis Grant
An Extravagant Hunger: the passionate years of M.F.K Fisher by Anne Zimmerman
Extremely Pale Rose: a very French adventure by Jamie Ivey


Fair Shares for All: a memoir of family and food by John Haney
Family Life by Elizabeth Luard
Far Flung and Well Fed: the food writing of R.W. Apple, JR by R.W. Apple
Farm City: the education of an urban farmer by Novella Carpenter
Fat Girl: a true story by Judith Moore
The Feast Nearby: how I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering and eating locally (all on $40 a week) by Robin Mather
Feeding a Yen: savoring local specialties, from Kansas City to Cuzco by Calvin Trillin
Feeding Frenzy by Stuart Stevens
Ferran: the inside story of El Bulli and the man who reinvented food by Colman Andrews
Field Days: a year of farming, eating, and drinking wine in California by Jonah Raskin
52 Loaves: one man’s relentless pursuit of truth, meaning, and a perfect crust by William Alexander
Finding Martha’s Place by Martha Hawkins
Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
Food: a taste of the road by Richard Sterling (a collection)
Food for the Soul by Monique Y. Wells
Food for the Soul: Recipes and Stories from the Congregation of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church
Fork it Over: the intrepid adventures of a professional eater by Alan Richman
Four Kitchens: my life behind the burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris by Lauren Shockey
The Fourth Star: dispatches from inside daniel Boulud’s celebrated restaurant by Leslie Brenner
Fragrant rice: my continuing love affair with Bali by Janet De Neefe
French Lessons: Adventures with knife, fork, and corkscrew by Peter Mayle
Fried Butter by Abe Opincar
Forklore: recipes and tales from an American bistro by Ellen Yin
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: adventures in the world of Chinese food by Jennifer Lee
From Here You Can’t See Paris: seasons of a French village and its restaurant by Michael Sanders
From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembe Locke
From the Table of My Memory by Urmila Jithoo


Garlic And Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
A Garlic Testament: seasons on a small New Mexico farm by Stanley Crawford
Gastronaut: adventures in food for the romantic, the foolhardy and the brave by Stefan Gates
The Gastronomical Me by M. F. K. Fisher
The Gastronomy of Marriage: a memoir of food and love by Michelle Maisto
Ginger and Ganesh: adventures in Indian cooking, culture, and love by Nani Power
Going With the Grain: a wandering bread lover takes a bite out of life by Susan Seligson
Gordon Ramsey by Neil Simpson
Growing a Farmer: how I learned to live off the land by Kurt Timmermeister 
The Gumbo Tales: finding a place at the New Orleans table by Sarah Roahen


Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: a lifetime of memories with recipes by Maya Angelou
Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties: an entertaining life (with recipes) by Julia Reed
Harlot’s Sauce: a memoir of food, family, love, loss, and Greece by Patricia Volonakis Davis
Harvest: a year in the life of an organic farmer by Nicola Smith
Havana Salsa: stories and recipes by Viviana Carballo
Hay Fever: how chasing a dream on a Vermont farm changed my life by Angela Miller
Heat by Bill Bufford
Heirloom: notes from an accidental tomato farmer by Tim Stark
Here Let us Feast: a book of banquets by M.F.K. Fisher
Her Fork in the Road: women celebrate food and travel by Lisa S. Bach (a collection)
Hidden Kitchens: stories, recipes and more from NPR’s The Kitchen Sisters by Nikki Silva
Hollywood Dish! recipes, tips, & tales of a Hollywood caterer by Nick Grippo
Home Cooking: a writer in the kitchen by Laurie Colwin
A Homemade Life: stories and recipes from my kitchen table by Molly Wizenberg
Hometown Appetites: the story of Clementine Paddleford, the forgotten food writer who chronicled how America ate by Kelly Alexander
Honey from a Weed by Patience Gray
Hour of the Goddess: Memories of Women, Food, and Ritual in Bengal by Chitrita Banerji
How I Learned to Cook: culinary educations from the world’s greatest chefs edited by Kimberly Witherspoon
How to Cook a Dragon: living, loving, and eating in China by Linda Furiya
How To Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher
How To Eat a Small Country: a family’s pursuit of happiness, one meal at a time by Amy Finley
Hugh Fearlessly Eats it All: dispatches from the gastronomic frontline by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Humble Pie by Gordon Ramsay
The Hunger: a memoir of an accidental chef by John Delucie
Hungry Monkey: a food-loving father’s quest to raise an adventurous eater by Matthew Amster-Burton


I loved, I lost, I Made Spaghetti: a memoir of good food and bad boyfriends by Giulia Melucci
In Buddhas Kitchen: cooking, being cooked, and other adventures in a meditation center by Kimberly Snow
Indulgence: around the world in search of chocolate by Paul Richardson
I Never Forget a Meal: an indulgent reminiscence by Michael Tucker
Insatiable: tales from a life of delicious excess by Gael Greene
I was Never Here and This Never Happened: tasty bits and spicy tales from my life by Dorinda Hafner
It must Have been Something I ate by Jeffrey Steingarten


Julie and Julia: my year of cooking dangerously by Julie Powell


Keeping the Feast: one couple’s story of love, food, and healing in Italy by Paula Butturini
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
The Kitchen Book and The Cook Book by Nicolas Freeling
Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food by Ann Hood


The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber
Laughing With my Mouth Full: tales from a Gulf Islands kitchen by Pam Freir
Let Them Eat Pancakes: How I Survived in Paris Without Losing My Head by Craig Carlson
Life, Death & Bialys: a father/son baking story by Dylan Schaffer
Life Is Meals: A Food Lover’s Book of Days by James and Kay Salter
A Life of Spice: stories of food, culture, and life by Monica Bhide
Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat by Grant Achatz
Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness by Sasha Martin
Lilla’s Feast: one woman’s true story of love and war in the Orient by Frances Osborne
Living in a Foreign Language: a memoir of food, wine, and love in Italy by Michael Tucker
Long ago in France: the years in Dijon by M. F. K. Fisher
Lost Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone
Love by the Glass: tasting notes from a marriage by Dorothy J. Gaiter
Lunch in Paris: a love story with recipes by Elizabeth Bard


Mama Dip’s Kitchen by Mildred Council
The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten
Mastering the Art of French Eating: From Paris Bistros to Farmhouse Kitchens, Lessons in Food and Love by Ann Mah
Meatballs & Lefse: Memories and Recipes from a Scandinavian-American Farming Life by Cynthia Bertelsen
Medium Raw by Anthony Bordain
M.F.K. Fisher and Me: a memoir of food and friendship by Jeannette Ferrary
Midnight Chicken (& Other recipes Worth Living For) by Ella Risbrindger
Miriam’s Kitchen by Elizabeth Ehrlich
Monsoon Diary: a memoir with recipes by Shoba Narayan
More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin
Of Morsels and Marvels by Maryse Conde
Music, Food, and Love: a memoir with recipes by Guo Yue and Clare Farrow
My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story by Luisa Weiss
My Last Supper: 50 great chefs and their final meals by Melanie Dunea
My Life as a Wife by Elizabeth Luard
My Life From Scratch: a journey of starting over, one cake at a time by Gesine Bullock-Prado
My Life in France by Julia Child


Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir, by Kwame Onwuachi
Notes on a Banana by David Leite
Nothing Fancy: Recipes and Recollections of Soul-Satisfying Food by Diana Kennedy


An Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David
On a Dollar a Day: one couple’s unlikely adventures in eating in America by Christopher Greenslate
On the Line by Eric Ripert
On Rue Tatin: living and cooking in a French town by Susan Herrmann Loomis
An Onion in My Pocket by Deborah Madison
Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger by Lisa Donovan
Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire by Barbara Lynch


Pass the Polenta: and other writings from the kitchen, with recipes by Teresa Lust
The Perfectionist: a food-obsessed life by Rudolph Chelminski
Pig-Tails and Breadfruit by Austin Clark
Plenty: one man, one woman, and a raucous year of eating locally by Alisa Smith


The Reach of a Chef: beyond the kitchen by Michael Ruhlman
Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters by Dominique Crenn
Risotto with Nettles: a memoir with food by Anna Del Conte
Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson


The Saucier’s Apprentice: one long strange trip through the great cooking schools of Europe by Bob Spitz
Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl
Say Grace: How the Restaurant Industry Saved My Life by Steve Palmer
The Seasoning of a Chef: my journey from Diner to Ducasse and beyond by Doug Psaltis
Serve it Forth by M.F.K. Fisher
Service Included: four-star secrets of an eavesdropping waiter by Phoebe Damrosch
Sex, Death and Oysters: a half shell lover’s wold tour by Robb Walsh
The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: love, laughter, and tears in Paris at the world’s most famous cooking school by Kathleen Flinn
Siren’s Feast, An Edible Odyssey by Nancy Mehagian
The Soul of a Chef: the journey toward perfection by Michael Ruhlman
Southern Homecoming Traditions: Recipes and Remembrances by Carolyn Quick Tillery
The Spice Necklace: my adventures in Caribbean cooking, eating, and island life by Ann Vanderhoof
Spiced: a pastry Chef’s true stories by Dalia Jurgensen
Spoonbread & Strawberry Wine by Norma Jean Darden and Carole Darden
Spoon Fed: how eight cooks saved my life by Kim Severson
Starting from Scratch: memoirs of a wandering cook by Patty Kirk
Steak: one man’s search for the world’s tastiest piece of beef by Mark Schatker
Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen
Start the File: How I Started a Food Revolution in America by Jeremiah Tower
Still Life by Elizabeth Luard
Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home, by Jessica Flechtor
Stuffed: adventures of a restaurant family by Patricia Volk
The Sweet Life in Paris: delicious adventures in the world’s most glorious-and perplexing city by David Lebovitz
Sweet-Sour Memoir of eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop
Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, with Pies by Patty Pinner  


A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food, and Culture by Denise Chávez
Talking With my Mouth Full: crab cakes, bundt cakes, and other kitchen stories by Bonny Wolf
Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis
A Taste of the Past by Andras Koerner
Tastes Like Cuba by Eduardo Machado
The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti
Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
The Tenth Muse: my life in food by Judith Jones
Terra Madre by Carlo Petrini
32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert
Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bites by Mary Giuliani
Toast by Nigel Slater
Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle
The Town that Food Saved: how one community found vitality in local food by Ben Hewitt
Trail of Crumbs: hunger, love and the search for home by Kim Sunee


Under the Table: saucy tales from culinary school by Katherine Darling
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
The Ungarnished Truth: a cooking contest memoir by Ellie Mathews
Untangling my Chopsticks: a culinary Sojourn in Kyoto by Victoria Abbott Riccardi


Vertamae Cooks Again by Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor
Vibration Cooking by Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor


Waiting by Debra Ginsberg
When French Women Cook by Madeleine Kamman
Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef by Aaron Sanchez
White House Chef: eleven years, two presidents, one kitchen by Walter Scheib
Wine Girl by Victoria James
With Bold Knife and Fork by M.F.K. Fisher
The Woman Who Ate Chinatown: a San Francisco Odyssey by Shirley Fong-Torres
Wrestling With Gravy: a Life, with food by Jonathan Reynolds
Women Who Eat: a new generation on the glory of food by Leslie Miller


Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson

6 thoughts on “A Plethora of Food/Culinary Memoirs for Your Reading Pleasure

  1. Freeling’s book was on the list, placed there by the original compiler but with the title as The Kitchen and The Cook. I have fixed those. Will a couple of the others. Thanks for your input.

  2. It is a little difficult to set the borders of this genre. When does a very personal cookery book become a memoir? For example, would you include Edda Servi Machlin’s The classic cuisine of the Italian Jews , which she sub-titles Traditional recipes and a Memoir of a vanished way of life?
    Anyway, here are some clearer examples for you to add
    Nicholas Freeling The Kitchen Book and The Cook Book
    Michael Twitty The cooking Gene
    Patience Gray Honey from a weed
    Andras Koerner A Taste of the Past

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