Book reviews

The Sourdough school sweet baking

‘The Sourdough School’, published in 2018, was dubbed as the most important book of the year by some for its revelations around ‘gut friendly bread’. Its sequel, ‘The Sourdough School: Sweet Baking’ focuses on sweet recipes while laying down a foundation for understanding the relationship between the gut microbiome and physical & mental health.’

Not merely a recipe book, it is an introduction to thinking beyond the flour bag one picks up from the market. The book tells the story of how humans have evolved with symbiotic microbes at our core and how we can find our way back again. ‘Baking from this book isn’t just baking, it is an act of defiance and beautiful disruption’.

Cheese, Wine, and Bread

Discovering the Magic of Fermentation in England, Italy, and France

by Katie Quinn
William Morrow Cookbooks, April 2021

‘Open-hearted and buoyant, the book weaves together her hands-on experiences in Europe and introduces us to a rich cast of people who make, sell and care about these traditions.’

Jenny Linford, author of The Missing Ingredient

Delicious staples of a great meal, bread, cheese, and wine develop their complex flavors through a process known as fermentation. Katie Quinn spent months as an apprentice with some of Europe’s most acclaimed experts to study the art and science of fermentation. Visiting grain fields, vineyards, and dairies, Katie brings the stories and science of these foods to the table, explains the process of each craft, and introduces the people behind them.


Everything is under control

A Memoir with Recipes

by Phyllis Grant
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 2020

One of Esquire’s Best Cookbooks of 2020 and one of The Washington Post’s Best Food Books of 2020

In epigrammatic, nearly poetic diction, Grant… reminds us of how transformative the junctures where food and life collide can be
The New York Times Book Review

What a beautiful, rich, and poetic memoir this is… Like the best chefs, Phyllis Grant knows how to make a masterpiece from a few simple ingredients: truth, taste, poignancy, and love.’ Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls and Eat, Pray, Love .



4015 Days, Beginning to End

by Magnus Nilsson
Phaidon Press, 2020

A must-read.’ – Food & Wine ‘Insightful, provocative, heartwarming.’
– Minneapolis Star Tribune

Witty, candid, and insightful: Magnus Nilsson’s ode to his extraordinary restaurant, Fäviken In 2019, Magnus Nilsson closed Fäviken, his one-of-a-kind restaurant in remote Sweden – a difficult decision, as it was close to his heart and at the height of its success. Here is the Fäviken story: how it became a world-class destination, how the industry it was a part of has changed, and why Magnus eventually elected to pursue new projects.


In Bibi's Kitchen

The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean.

by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen
Ten Speed Press, October 2020

Grandmothers from eight eastern African countries welcome you into their kitchens to share flavorful recipes and stories of family, love, and tradition in this transporting cookbook- meets-travelogue.

‘Their food is alive with the flavours of mangoes, cinnamon, dates, and plantains and rich with the history of the continent that had been a culinary unknown for much too long.’ – Jessica B. Harris, food historian, journalist, and public speaker



The Golden Arches in Black America

by Marcia Chatelain – Liveright, 2020 – WINNER 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY

The ‘stunning’ (David W. Blight) untold history of how fast food became one of the greatest generators of black wealth in America.

Just as The Color of Law provided a vital understanding of redlining and racial segregation, Marcia Chatelain’s Franchise investigates the complex interrelationship between black communities and America’s largest, most popular fast-food chain. Taking us from the first McDonald’s drive-in in San Bernardino to the franchise on Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri, in the summer of 2014, Chatelain shows how fast food is a source of both power—economic and political – and despair for African Americans. As she contends, fast food is, more than ever before, a key battlefield in the fight for racial justice.


The Fate of Flood

What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World.

by Amanda Little – Harmony, 2019

Is the future of food looking bleak – or better than ever?

At a time when every day brings news of drought and famine, Amanda Little investigates what it will take to feed a hotter, hungrier, more crowded world.

She explores the past along with the present and discovers startling innovations: remote- control crops, vertical farms, robot weedkillers, lab-grown meat, 3D-printed meals, water networks run by supercomputers, cloud seeding and sensors that monitor the microclimate of individual plants. She meets the creative and controversial minds changing the face of modern food production, and tackles fears over genetic modification with hard facts.


Meat Planet

Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food

by Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft
University of California Press, 2019

In 2013, a Dutch scientist unveiled the world’s first laboratory-created hamburger. Since then, the idea of producing meat, not from live animals but from carefully cultured tissues, has spread like wildfire through the media.

Meanwhile, cultured meat researchers race against population growth and climate change in an effort to make sustainable protein. Meat Planet explores the quest to generate meat in the lab—a substance sometimes called “cultured meat”—and asks what it means to imagine that this is the future of food.



Recipes Arranged by Flavour, to Suit Your Mood and Appetite.

by Ed Smith – Quadrille Publishing, May 2021

Once again, Ed Smith has done something really smart. Cooking the flavors we are craving in any given moment, the resulting book feels so novel and fresh. Ed’s writing is thoughtful and conversational; his recipes confident and delicious.’ – Yotam Ottolenghi

6 Flavor Profiles. Over 100 recipes. Every craving covered.

Why do we choose to cook the things we do, when we do? Most of the time, it is simply so we can eat what we really fancy; a subconscious response to a constantly fluctuating state of mind and appetite that’s influenced by mood, season, weather, memory, occasion, outside events and internal feelings.


Good drinks

Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason.

by Julia Bainbridge

Ten Speed Press, October 2020

A serious and stylish look at sophisticated non-alcoholic beverages by a former Bon Appétit editor and James Beard Award nominee.

‘Julia Bainbridge resets our expectations for what a ‘drink’ can mean from now on.’ – Jim Meehan, author of Meehan’s Bartender Manual and The PDT Cocktail Book Named one of the best cookbooks of the year by Bon Appétit • Los Angeles Times • Wired • Esquire • Garden & Gun Blackberry-infused cold brew with almond milk and coconut cream. Smoky tea paired with tart cherry juice. A bittersweet, herbal take on the Pimm’s Cup. Writer Julia Bainbridge spent a summer driving across the U.S. going to bars, restaurants, and everything in between in pursuit of the question: Can you make an outstanding non-alcoholic drink’? The answer came back emphatically: ‘Yes.’