Books·Holiday Gift Guide

8 books for the foodie on your list

Here are books about food that they will be sure to savour.

Looking to add some books on food to your holiday giving list? Here are eight books all about food that book lovers will be sure to eat up.

You can see the complete CBC Books gift guide here.

Curry by Naben Ruthnum

Naben Ruthnum's book Curry is part of Coach House Books' Exploded Views series. (Coach House Books)

What it's about: Who doesn't enjoy curry? According to cultural critic, book reviewer and author Naben Ruthnum, curry is a dish that doesn't quite exist, but has infinite, equally authentic variations. In Curry, Ruthnum pens an insightful long-form essay that connects the dots between the popular dish and how it functions as shorthand for brown identity in representing the food, culture and social perception of the South Asian diaspora.

Apron Strings by Jan Wong

Jan Wong is the author of the memoir Apron Strings. (Kelly Baker)

What it's about: In Apron Strings, Jan Wong and her son Sam embark on a tour of homecooking in France, Italy and China. While learning to cook dishes like spaghetti carbonara and scallion pancakes, Wong comes to terms with her son's growing independence and explores the unique bond between mother and son. 

I Hear She's a Real Bitch by Jen Agg

Restaurateur Jen Agg opens up about being the boss in a male-dominated industry in her memoir. (Nick Koza/Doubleday)

What it's about: This book with the provocative title is the memoir of Toronto-based restaurateur Jen Agg about being the female boss in a male-dominated industry. She's a star in the restaurant world, running the popular restaurants The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar and Rhum Corner. I Hear She's a Real Bitch, a finalist for the 2017 Toronto Book Awards, is an unvarnished look at Agg's standing as a key player in the restaurant industry.

Cooking with the Wolfman by David Wolfman

David Wolfman is a chef and the star of the APTN program Cooking with the Wolfman. (David Wolfman)

What it's about: Raised in Toronto, chef and author David Wolfman started cooking in his mother's kitchen when he was a child. His family is from Xaxli'p First Nation and his Nation's traditional food and the stories that go with them became the basis for the cuisine he's developed, which he calls "Indigenous fusion." Cooking with the Wolfman captures the author's love of food. 

The Ghost Orchard by Helen Humphreys

Helen Humphreys' book The Ghost Orchard explores the history of apples in North America. (Ayelet Tsabari/HarperCollins Canada)

What it's about: In The Ghost Orchard, Helen Humphreys embarks on a long-winding journey to learn about the surprising, hidden history of the apple in North America — one that is characterized by conflict, poetry and epic ocean crossings. Humphreys becomes interested in apple history after discovering that a tree of the Winter Pear Pearmain, considered the best-tasting apple in the world, grows at an abandoned cottage near her home.

The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty

Michael Twitty is a food historian and author of The Cooking Gene (HarperCollins/Johnathan M. Lewis)

What it's about: The Cooking Gene is U.S.-based historian and author Michael W. Twitty's look at how Americans of African descent have influenced the country's cuisine. Twitty explores his own African heritage and genealogy, African culinary traditions, along with America's complicated history to discuss race, politics and how food can connect with people of all cultures. 

The Greenhouse Cookbook by Emma Knight

Emma Knight is the co-founder of The Greenhouse Juice Company. (Nathan Legiehn)

What it's about: Emma Knight's The Greenhouse Cookbook touts the holistic benefits of cold-press juice and plant-based food recipes. Featuring more than 100 plant-based recipes, all gluten free, the main message is maintaining a healthy diet that features more plants, more often. 

The Comfort Food Diaries by Emily Nunn

Emily Nunn is a food writer and author of The Comfort Food Diaries (Simon & Schuster)

What it's about: U.S.-based food writer Emily Nunn searches for comfort in the face of loss through travel, home-cooked food and the company of friends and family after a breakup. The Comfort Food Diaries explores the cuisine of the American South — and how food is connected to our emotions.


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