Michael W. Twitty is a food blogger and teacher who is known for his expertise on food in the African American tradition. In this, his first book he explores his genealogy and family tree for the history of African American food traditions. He includes commentary from historians and his own travels across the south to explore the kinds of plants brought from Africa that have become a staple of soul food today.
No one has transformed the way Americans think about food—its place in our individual and collective lives, and as a conveyer of our values—than Alice Waters. The founder of iconic Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California, and the driving force behind the Edible Schoolyard program that has introduced tens of thousands of schoolchildren across America to the art of growing and cooking food, Waters has now written her long-awaited memoir. In Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook (Clarkson Potter, $27) she describes her roots in New Jersey, her coming of age during the political tumult of the 1960s, and her ongoing crusade to make locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, and “slow food” the mainstays of a new American cuisine. Throw in a few spicy love affairs, her passion for books, and a life spent intersecting with presidents and movie moguls, and you’ve got a book that is a satisfying and delicious full-course meal.
You don't have to watch Top Chef to enjoy this book by Indian-American cook Padma Lakshmi. From her early childhood in India while her single mother was working in the U.S., to her latchkey teenage years in California, Lakshmi writes openly about her life from the serious car accident that left her scarred, her modeling in Italy, her tumultuous relationship with Salman Rushdie, her painful and misunderstood endometriosis, and years later, her unexpected pregnancy and the question of who is the child's biological father.