Entertaining (and Calorie-free) Culinary Memoirs

shelved under Cookbooks & Food Memoirs

These highly entertaining culinary memoirs are informative, at times hilarious, and always calorie-free.


Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

by Laurie Colwin

I found this book in a used bookstore, and became bound and determined to read everything that Laurie Colwin had published. Her books have such a friendly, conversational style I always felt like I was talking to a friend about food over drinks at my kitchen table. Sadly, Laurie Colwin passed away at the age of 48 in 1992. Read her books about food. You will thank me.


Julie and Julia : 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen

by Julie Powell

I can remember reading Julie Powell’s blog, and thinking what a fabulous, crazy idea-to make all 524 recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

This book also appears on What New Yorkers Read on the Subway


Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

by Anthony Bourdain

The eloquent, humorous, profane, tell-it-like-it-is Bourdain came to international attention with this tell-all book.


My Life in France

by Alex Prud'Homme, Julia Child

I don’t think I can say anything about this wonderful book except that it is about Julia Child’s life in France, and it’s written by the inestimable Julia Child.


Long Ago In France: The Years In Dijon

by M.F.K. Fisher

Out of all of Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher’s books, this is by far my favorite. Ms. Fisher’s prose is so evocative I felt transported to 1930s France.


Mostly True: A Memoir of Family, Food, and Baseball

by Molly O'Neill

Nice memoir written by a former columnist from the New York Times and the author of The New York Cookbook.


Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table

by Ruth Reichl

Restaurant critic Ruth Reichl (Gourmet Magazine and the New York Times) weaves this laugh-out-loud tale of how she came to love food. I have a friend who isn’t a foodie, but loves memoirs and autobiographies, and she loved this one.


The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food

by Judith Jones

I love how the author organized her family history around food. You will fall in love with her family: the great-grandfather that brought pastrami to America, her funny aunts and her father who closed his garment district restaurant in 1988. An enjoyable read.