Amateur Gourmet posted a great NY restaurant story (this is adam at his best, playing The Common Man, with boyfriend Craig, in the cynical city), and it reminded me that, having posted about two current books (Swanson, Lebowitz), that I wanted to note a few more that are just out or on their way and worth looking for.

The Amateur Gourmet: How to Shop, Chop and Table Hop Like a Pro (Almost).  Whether or not a compelling blogger can bring his or her voice to the extended form of a book is always a question.  I read an early copy of this and Adam pulls it off perfectly, due at the end of summer, but there are galleys floating around.

The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, from samurai to supermarket.  Washington journalist Trevor Corson, whose last book was The Secret Life of Lobsters, dives into the sushi world and returns with great stories, characters and information. May 29.

My favorite Indian restaurant in NYC is Devi, which does very high end very refined food. Its co-exec chef, the exuberant Suvir Saran (here’s his blog) has a second book on the way, American Masala: 125 Classics from My Home Kitchen. Fall.  I bought his first, Indian Home Cooking, excellent, and look forward to this one.

Knife Skills Illustrated: A User’s Manual. Peter Hertzman writes everything you need to know about knives and how to use them in this beautifully illustrated primer. Fall.

Next on my own reading list is The Last Chinese Chef (just out, anyone read it yet?) by Nicole Mones and I’m eager to get into the galleys copy I was sent of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Learning, and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School, due in the fall.  Go to cooking school and write a book about it?  Now there’s an idea!  Only in this one, the author, Kathleen Flinn, happens to fall in love.  Where were the love and the tears at the CIA?  Damn, I missed that class!


20 Wonderful responses to “Books on the Horizon”

  • sorcha

    Michael, this entry isn’t showing in the main column – you have to click on the link to it in the righthand column to get to it.

    That said, I think your wife might have been a bit put out if you had, in fact, fallen in love with anything other than cuisine at the CIA.

  • Shannon

    These are going on my wish list too! I didn’t see a book I wouldn’t want from this list.

  • t-scape

    I will look out for Knife Skills Illustrated…my knife skills have improved only slightly over time, going from woefully inadequate to just inadequate.

    (wondering if there’s a Knife Skills for Dummies out there…)

  • Skawt


    I recommend reading First Aid for Dummies first. 😉

  • Pete Wung

    I just started reading the Last Chinese Chef. So far so good. I am still reading.

  • Don Luis

    It’s not a new book, but I highly recommend “Charcuterie” by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. The only thing that could have made it better is to title it “Salumi”. I don’t even know how to pronounce “Charcuterie”. I personally do not think the French have advanced the art. Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.

    I’m trying the Italian sausage next.

  • Natalie Sztern

    I just came off michael’s book Reach of a chef (great reading and I even learned a word or two) and ran right into Juliette Rossant’s book Superchef, which highlights some important chefs of our time, or so i thought. friday she calls todd english ‘a liar’ (my quote) because in all she wrote of him she never knew his french cooking background?! So does he or doesn’t he?

  • kristin

    I am reading “The Last Chinese Chef” right now. Really good. Read Marco Pierre White’s book “Devil in the Kitchen.” It was interesting and lastly I have a copy of Madhar Jaffrey’s book “Climbing the Mango Trees.” and I am really enjoying that too.

  • Luisa

    I read Nicole’s book back in my old job and loved it. Made me hungrier and hungrier for Chinese food with every page. Lovely.

  • can call me "Chef" Suzy

    re: Where were the love and the tears at the CIA?

    I wouldn’t know nuthin’ ’bout the CIA (I’m a Cordon Bleu girl myself) but there surely was alot of a lovin’ and a’suckin’ up at my branch of the CB — much of it between the (male)Chef Instructors and (girl)students.

    Now I’m not sayin’ that it was all consummated, or even requited — but if’n you were cute enough (in Chef’s eyes) it sure didn’t hurt your grades!

  • can call me "Chef" Suzy

    BTW: Has anyone read “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry”?

    Is it worth $16.47?

    Oh, and Michael: Damn! I sure wish I had thought of that one too – but what I found at “The World’s Most Famous Cooking School” — I wouldn’t exactly call it L-O-V-E %^O

  • Pete Wung


    Just got done with the Last Chinese Chef. Loved it. I reviewed it on Amazon.

  • ruhlman

    am reading the sharper your knife now, it’s good and engaging, but a little girlie for me–too much romance and tears, but will appeal to others for exactly same reason–tuscun sun goes to cooking school.

  • Jeannie

    Just read sharper your knife…a friend got a copy for me since I’m a foodie. Loved the behind the scenes stuff at the Cordon bleu, really easy read…

  • Anna

    A friend at a bookstore lent me a galley of Sharper Your Knife because I’m starting at Cordon Bleu in Paris this fall. I LOVED it. It is very funny, touching and I read it straight through in two days. It has recipes in each chapter and I am making the lamb and white beans recipe from the “silence of the lamb” chapter this weekend. I am reading The Soul of a Chef next.

  • N. Duoba

    Reply to Don Luis (May 26, 2007 at 06:52 AM):
    Your cursory reading is all off: Ms. Rossant was tweaking Todd’s nose (the subject of the second chapter of her book, Super Chef) because of course he had never studied or worked in France according to the extensive life story he recounted to her — though he was claiming so for the new hotel restaurant. Re-read the article ” FOOD FLICKS: Todd English Fakes French ‘Riche'” ( and watch the video. Oh, and read the book, Super Chef, for that chapter on Todd!