We all love cookbooks. Even if you’re not a cook, so many of the best cookbook writers offer recipes with great stories behind them. Maybe that’s why food memoirs have been on the rise the past few years. These memoirs go beyond lists of ingredients to explore the ways in which food nourishes not just our bodies, but our lives.
My Life in France by Julia Child
This memoir recalls the early days of Julia Child’s lifelong love affair with French food. I’ve read it twice and enjoyed it even more the second time. Bon appetit!
Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
Magazine editor, writer, restaurateur, novelist, and travel/cooking show host Ruth Reichl has written five memoirs in addition to her bestselling cookbook, My Kitchen Year. This is her first autobiographical work and covers her childhood and the early years of her professional life.
Amarcord, Marcella Remembers by Marcella Hazan
Before there was Lidia Bastianich there was Marcella Hazan. She introduced Americans to classic Italian cuisine. This memoir begins with her childhood and the early days of her influential cooking school in Bologna. She is credited with making Americans fall in love with pasta Bolognese!
Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey
Best-selling cookbook author and television personality Madhur Jaffrey recalls her life in India in the final days of colonial rule. This memoir traces Jaffrey’s childhood until she leaves India to study drama in London. She didn’t spend any of her childhood years cooking but it is where she developed her amazing palate. Jaffrey was instrumental in introducing Americans to Indian food.