For eons women have been cooking and feeding people, their own families and other people. Here is a selection of books by and about women who cook.
Penelope Casas was one of the modern food experts on Spanish cuisine. Greek-American, with a passion for the food of Spain, she delineated it from Mexican and South American cuisine. This is her last book which has recipes that are easy and attainable for the most challenged of home cooks.
Marcella Hazan is credited with introducing traditional Italian food and cooking to the English-speaking world. Her formal training was in science at the University of Ferrara, and not in food preparation, which did not stop her from becoming a teacher and writer reknowned for classic Italian cooking. Her cookbooks can found here.
Julia Child changed the way Americans think about food and cooking by teaching French cooking. Noel Riley Fitch's biography is concise, well-researched, and delightful.
A large format cookbook which combines secular and religious history, with the customs and recipes of, what was, the Aleppian Jewish community in Syria. Numerous photographs (color and black and white) throughout the book.
Based in Los Angeles, master baker Margarita Manzke, owner of République, shows everyone how to make all kinds of goodies--from the simple to the complex.
Alice Waters, Chez Panisse founder, writes of her early life, including her bourgeois formative years in Van Nuys. She takes the reader through her political and sensory awakenings at UC Berkeley and Paris market stands and boulangeries. A memoir written with a measure of humility that is surprising for a foundational American cook, but much like her food: best ingredients, carefully and lovingly prepared for people she cares for deeply.
Alicia Maher's award-winning book features traditional Salvadoran recipes and techniques, which has a recipe for Quesadilla Salvadoreña or Salvadoran sweet quesadilla cake.
Leah Chase, better known as Dooky Chase, opened her restaurant in New Orleans in 1940, and even though she passed in 2019 at the age of 96, the restaurant is alive. Here are recipes from the Queen of Creole cuisine.
The biography of Rosa Lewis, the real-life Duchess of Duke Street, upon whom the PBS television program was based.
A collection of essays that pay tribute to cookbook writer, master chef and outspoken activist. She brought proper attention to good Southern cooking.
Adam Federman presents the life of Patience Gray, an important figure in modern food writing. Independent, iconoclastic, a type of earth mother who eschewed modern consumerism, she and her partner, the sculptor Norman Mommens, led a rugged life on the island of Naxos. LAPL owns these books by Gray: Honey from a weed : fasting and feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades, and Apulia; A Catalan cookery book : a collection of impossible recipes; Plats du jour
Claudia Roden is an authority on the foods of the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Italy. She brings insight, history and thorough research on the regions and foods of Spain. This is a massive work.
M. F. K. Fisher (Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher) was known for her clarity of writing, which conveyed her sensual delight in food. In 1929 she and her husband arrrived in Dijon France, where she tasted real French food, and the rest is culinary history found in her books.
The Gullah and Geechee people were isolated slaves having worked on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. “This Lowcountry community represents the most direct living link to the traditional culture, language, and foodways of their West African ancestors.” 89-year-old Emily Meggett was born on Eidsto island, has lived there her entire life, and is "a respected elder of the Gullah community." She presents her special recipes and comments about food and life.
The Queen of Cakes, also pies, desserts and other treats, presents favorite recipes. The book has all of Heatter's clear instructions, with illustrations by Alice Oehr. Everyone should know how to bake something, and with this book, everyone can.
Through her writing Elizabeth David changed attitudes about food and cooking in England. This is a compilation of her best articles with some recipes. Pages 167-168, "Untraditional Christmas Food" presents a luxurious alternative to any home cook who feels overwhelmed by holiday pressure.
The latest edition of America's essential cookbook is a must for those who know how to cook, and for those who need some help. Basics are covered, older recipes have been revised, and there are numerous new recipes. Who y'a gonna ask for help in the kitchen? Whether you are in a desperate situation and need first-aid cooking help, or looking for something new to cook, this is the book you want.
It is not necessary to cook to delight in this spectacularly beautiful and informative cookbook from the knowledgable Fuchsia Dunlop, English writer and Chinese food expert. She explores the culture and food traditions of the Jiangnan region. "Jiangnan spans the eastern coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu, the city of Shanghai and that part of southern Anhui province known as Huizhou," and is known "as the land of fish and rice." Dunlop's thorough presentation of this region's food will be of particular interest to those who love Chinese cuisine.
A beautiful book with vibrant photographs of prepared foods and scenes in Lebanon. Main dishes include meat, poultry and fish, but the delectable array of vegetable dishes could convert any omnivore to a vegan. At the end of this comprehensive book is a selection of recipes from notable chefs and food writers
With the support of her family of friends, Risbridger wrote this autobiographical memoir and cookbook which saved her from despair over the loss of her beloved Tall Man, and gave her the resilience to move on with her life.
Lidia Bastianich is a successful restaurateur, televsion host of numerous cooking programs on PBS, and cookbook author. In this heartfelt autobiography and memoir, she recounts her family's history in post-World War II Pula, Istria, then part of Italy, and how they eventually came to America. Filled with joy and hope, Basitanich's life is the embodiment of what it means to be an immigrant and find a new life in the United States.
Diana Kennedy is one of the key experts on Mexican cuisines. Married to a journalist who was stationed in Mexico, Kennedy became an expert historian because of her love and fascination with Mexico, its people, culture and definitely the great variety of foods. She established the Diana Kennedy Center in Mexico to preserve the native foods, resources and cuisine.
What country or place is the origin of the noodle, aka pasta, and to which should credit be given--China or Italy, or does it matter? Jen Lin-Liu travels from east to west, starting in western China, moving through central Asia, Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy, and retraces selected parts of the Silk Route whose travelers became the great disseminators of products and ideas. She eats good food along the way, learns new cooking techniques, however as for the answer to the noodle's origin, she concludes that because of the travel and trade on the Silk Route, "The answer was lost in the steppes of Central Asia, the deserts of Iran, and the mountains and valleys of Asia Minor."
Joudie Kalla shares her family's heritage of great Palestinian home cooking, which has been passed on from her mother, her grandmother and all the women who cooked before. Throughout the book there are spectacular color photographs of people, places and food. Kalla includes a table of contents, an index, and for unique ingredients there is a list of U.S. suppliers.
Born into a life of privilege, Janet Ross grew up among prominent literary, political and social leaders during the Victorian era. She was an adventurer, author and agriculturalist, who promoted growing native produce in Tuscany. Her book, Leaves from our Tuscan kitchen, or, how to cook vegetables, is an important early book on food and cooking in this region.
We all know when something tastes good, but do we understand why? Samin Nosrat presents the four elements of superior flavor by exploring the science behind applying salt, fat, acid and heat to each dish we cook. Every recipe is delightfully illustrated and demonstrates how these elements improve the quality of the dish. Alongside stories of Samin’s childhood and her journey to becoming an award-winning chef, you’ll learn the techniques you need to master the elements of good cooking.
In 1961, Cecilia Chiang's restaurant, The Mandarin, introduced authentic northern Chinese cuisine to San Francisco. This book is part memoir and part cookbook with many family recipes and signature recipes from the restaurant, and the author's own story of growing up in Communist China and postwar Japan and becoming the accidental owner of a restaurant.
Shuk is a market place, and an Israeli market has fresh food products and spices that represent Persia, Yemen, Libya, Palestine, various Balkan countries and parts of North Africa. These ingredients contribute to marvelous recipes that shake up the palate and taste buds in an unexpected way. Part of the narrative description for each recipe includes information about the country or culture of origin. Full-page color photographs make you want to start cooking now.
Leah Chase was known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine, and was inducted into the James Beard Foundation. Her restaurant, Dooky Chase, was a gathering spot during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Cara Nicoletti loves food and its preparation, and she loves to read all kinds of books. As a butcher, pastry chef and omnivorous foodie she combines two passions in this homage to food and literatue, which has recipes plus vibrant illustrations by Marion Bolognesi.
A unique book that is the first cookbook devoted entirely to Juneteenth. It is lavishly illustrated with photographs, history and marvelous recipes.
By focusing on the different diets of six famous women Laura Shapiro looks into their lives and minds. Helen Gurley Brown, editor of Cosmopolitan, spent her life dieting. Eleanor Roosevelt wasn’t interested in fine dining, but she did want to support Americans during the Depression, so she served some of the least appealing meals ever in the White House, because they were frugal. Food preparation has been women’s work for a long time. Laura Shapiro makes it an expression of women’s lives and choices too.