Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What are You Reading?

I am a voracious reader; with dyslexia and ADD, I still manage to read through stacks of books....I have wide interests and so the books that I read are all over the map as far as their content.  This week, the Oscars of the Culinary world were awarded....the James Beard awards.

If you are too young to remember him, James Beard was to American cooking what Julia Child was to French cooking in America.


Beard celebrated the simple, developing cuisine of our country, and when he died his home was turned into a gathering place in New York where foodies could show off their culinary talents and awards were given for best chefs, and best cookbooks.  Which brings me to my soap box

Not one of the winners on the Beard award list were on the Amazon or NYT advice bestseller list; what's sad about this is that the average home cook is missing out on some amazing information about areas in the food world, from Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking to Oaxaca al Gusto by Diana Kennedy, the award winners and the nominees are a treasure trove of usable information about how to cook and why it's important to try and eat sustainably.
So, what's on the Amazon bestseller list?

#1 is Gweneth Paltrow's book My Father's Daughter
#2 is Hungry Girl, 300 recipes under 300 calories
others on this list are
Guy Fieri and another book Why we Get Fat
and at #14 Recipes from the Chef Boyardee Family

If you are interested in who won the Beard awards for cookbooks, click here.
Rather than a popularity contest, the Beards are for scholarship and for excellence in writing and recipe success.  No Food Network stars on this list, and and no ridiculous diet books, either.

The focus on the other awards was decidedly sustainable with the best publication of the year being
Edible Communities.

With the myriad of information out there, it's important to choose the right book for the right moment; whether it's fiction, non-fiction, or cookbooks.  Buy quality, like the ingredients you buy, the book should inform you and teach you, rather than tell you how to combine cans and boxes to make dinner.

 I'll be back with some recipes later today, I hope you have a great one. 

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