If you love food, and you love memoirs, then culinary memoirs are the perfect pairing for your next read! These memoirs are about food, of course, but they also are about so much more: life, death, birth, heartache, healing, and finding your own place in the world. From coming of age stories to tell-alls from the movers and shakers in the food world, there’s something for every book club and personal TBR list here!
In her charming memoir Bon Appétempt, Amelia Morris recounts how food has shaped and influenced her coming of age in LA. Navigating her childhood to young adult years and telling funny stories, like the time she epically failed at recreating a Bon Appétite cake recipe that had to be served in a giant serving bowl, this is a lovely memoir about how food and growing up can be intrinsically twined and essential.
by Julie Powell
The inspiration behind the beloved film starring Meryl Steep and Amy Adams, Julie and Julia is a funny and heartfelt memoir about Julie Powell, who decides to cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of one life-changing year. Working a dead-end secretarial job in New York City, Julie finds new purpose and inspiration through her project and blogging about it, connecting with readers and food lovers across the world as she discovers her passion.
In Lunch in Paris, Elizabeth Bard tells the story of how she left for Paris and never came home, all thanks to a very memorable lunch with a handsome Frenchman where she began to fall for the man and the wonderful food that Paris had to offer. Bard tells readers about how she grew to love France through the food, and how she used food to understand an unfamiliar place and navigate her own transition as American ex-pat.
by Tom Faley
If you're curious about those family food businesses that hit it big, then pick up Treated Like Family, a memoir that goes behind the scenes to highlight success of the Sargento cheese company. At the heart of this story is founder Leonard Gentine and his wife Dolores, whom he fell in love with in high school and became his partner in his quest to create a family business. The author draws from multiple interviews with four generations of this remarkable family, along with employees past and present.
With Kevin West
Ian Purkayastha is New York City's leading truffle importer, but before he rose to prominence in the truffle trade, he was a teen from rural Arkansas. Truffle Boy tells of how he went from a teen who tasted his first truffle at age fifteen to searching the world high and low for the best truffles, sometimes putting himself in danger in the pursuit. This book is about the love of a very particular kind of food, but also the perils of the exotic food market.
Tiny Hotdogs is a fascinating and fun memoir about Mary Guiliani, a caterer to some of the biggest stars working today. In "small bites" she reveals stories of growing up in a protective Italian family on Long Island to achieving an unexpected break that led her to her current profession. If you like your memoirs full of good food and interesting brushes with fame, this is the memoir for you!
Lauren Shockey aspired to become a great chef, but she was dissatisfied with the education she received and the French Culinary Institute—so she came up with a plan to learn from chefs in fine restaurants all over the world. This is a memoir of the time she spent in kitchens in New York, Vietnam, Israel, and France, learning from some of the best chefs in the business and finding her own place and style in the world of food. This book also includes recipes and interesting cooking and flavor insights she learned during her apprenticeship.
Which delicious book will you devour next?
What to Read Next
Tirzah Price is a writer and contributing editor at Book Riot. Find her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.