YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsCookbooks


December 20, 1987 | JOAN DRAKE
Whether you're buying gifts for a culinary novice or an expert, an ideal present is as close as the nearest bookstore. The Times' Food staff looked at a sampling of the cookbooks released in time for this holiday season and offers the following reviews to assist last-minute shoppers. Some of these books get down to the basics, some deal with ethnic cuisines while still others are as much a feast for the eyes as for the appetite.
November 30, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila, Betty Hallock, Rene Lynch and Russ Parsons
Whether the cook on your holiday gift list is interested in reading about family and food in Soviet Russia or the preparation of classic French dishes such as jambon au foin ("ham in hay"), baking pies or making authentic pasta carbonara, this fall has been an excellent season for food and wine books. Los Angeles cooks and authors are heavily represented: Valerie Gordon's "Sweet: Inspired Ingredients, Unforgettable Desserts," Kevin West's "Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving," the long-awaited "The A.O.C.
April 21, 2012
1903: "The Landmarks Club Cook Book. " A collection of recipes edited by the sage of the Southwest, Charles Fletcher Lummis, that included more than 40 Mexican recipes, this first-of-its-kind effort was sold to help repair Southern California's crumbling missions. 1923: "Mexican Cookery for American Homes. " This uncredited pamphlet published by theGebhardt'sChili Powder Co. would be published in new editions for decades afterward and was the first widely released manual for American households.
November 13, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Amid this season's flurry of massive cookbooks from important chefs such as David Kinch (Manresa), Daniel Patterson (Coi), Daniel Boulud (Daniel) and more, comes this modest entry from former Chez Panisse chef David Tanis, “One Good Dish: The Pleasures of a Simple Meal” (Artisan, 2013, $25.95). I sat down with the book the other day and read his short, but sweet introduction. What he means by one good dish is "tasty, simple and real," i.e., something a home cook could make without devoting the entire weekend to one recipe.
December 8, 2011
If you are reading this story, there is a very good chance that someone you know is going to buy you a cookbook this holiday season. There's a good reason for that: You can have too many socks, sweaters, belts and slippers, but no one who has ever set foot in a kitchen has honestly said that he or she had too many cookbooks. That is certainly not to say that just any cookbook will do, however - though to noncooks it may seem that way. Of the hundreds of food books that were published this fall, which are the ones you really want to have in your library?
January 12, 2012 | By Russ Parsons, Los Angeles Times
At first glance, the story in the local paper seemed to have been written for me: "Decorating With Books. " My house is swamped with cookbooks, they're stacked on just about every horizontal surface and, yes, some are even arranged on shelves. So I thought it might be a kind of a "When life gives you lemons" thing - maybe this was going to become a trendy new style in home décor? Sadly, the story turned out to be about businesses that sell impressive-looking books - by the linear foot - to interior decorators to fill their clients' bookshelves.
December 23, 2012 | By Russ Parsons
For at least the last decade, one of the most-talked-about cookbooks has been one that hadn't yet been published. “When is Maricel's book coming out?” was a constant topic at gatherings of food writers. It seemed an unbeatable idea: a cookbook that covered the breadth of Latin American cooking, by an author, Maricel Presilla , who is not only an award-winning chef, but also knows how to do serious research (she has a doctorate in history). Finally, “Gran Cocina Latina” has arrived and it looks to be worth the wait.
February 28, 2013 | By Sarah St. Lifer
While our living room bookshelves might be getting lighter (every tome under the sun is available via tablet these days!), our kitchen shelves have been getting a bit heavier, thanks to the recent influx of indie cooking magazines. Long live print. Subscriptions typically cost less than a cookbook, but they're just as informative -- often detailing recipes with in-season ingredients and featuring a timely who's who of in-demand chefs.  Here are five indie cooking mag picks, but fair warning: You and your iPad might be spending less time together once the issues start surfacing in your mailbox.
March 20, 2013 | By Russ Parsons
There are cookbooks that you want to cook from and there are cookbooks that make you want to cook. They are not always the same. A perfect example is the twin new releases from Sime Books, translations of two fine Italian regional cookbooks. I defy anyone with a beating heart and a working kitchen to leaf through “Sicilia in Cucina” or “Venezia in Cucina” without immediately wanting to jump up and find something to cook. The dishes sound amazing and the photography is absolutely gorgeous (credited to Laurent Grandadam in Venice and Nino Bartuccio and Alessandro Saffo in Sicily)
August 25, 1994
Thank you for the article "Who's to Blame?" (Aug. 4). First of all, it was the only cookbook-related article in that day's Food Section which put cookbooks into their proper perspective, i.e., as sources for ideas, rather than blueprints for products. I've been cooking since I was a kid and I consider myself a pretty good cook; in your words, I have my "hands on knives and saucepans and ingredients." And as a person who enjoys cooking, I like to read recipes and I own a lot of cookbooks.
October 26, 2013 | By Chris Woolston
In cookbooks, health food stores and alternative health clinics, the word is getting out: Acid is the latest dietary villain. It's not necessarily the acid in foods like tomatoes and lemons that supposedly cause the trouble. Instead, a growing number of people claim that meats, wheat, soda, coffee, alcohol and processed foods of all sorts produce acid in the body after they've been digested. The acid, in turn, is said to fuel health problems including arthritis, obesity and cancer.
October 24, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
When 2 Chainz issued a cookbook , he focused on dishes that could be pulled off in the small confines of a tour bus. Boy George looked at macrobiotic cooking for his, while Coolio opted for comfort foods with a healthful twist (he termed it “Ghetto Gourmet”). Liberace's recipes were curated from his seven dining rooms. Enter Ja Rule, who found his inspiration for his new microwave cuisine cookbook during a recent stay behind bars. The rapper's recipes require a microwave, unshackled hands and not much else.
October 12, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
Two presidential campaigns and 40 years of marriage and child-rearing behind her, Ann Romney finds herself in a surprising place: atop the bestseller lists with her own agenda in first position. Romney's new cookbook, "The Romney Family Table," started as an effort to stitch together family recipes. But at a time when her husband Mitt's loss in the 2012 campaign was still raw, she began writing and "it just flowed out. " Critics have mocked the book as a study in domestic perfection served on Oscar de la Renta tableware, but Romney said she wanted to show that their life "wasn't always perfect" and that raising five boys could be more than a little frustrating.
October 10, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
With homespun recipes from “Mitt's meatloaf cakes” to "banana trash pudding," Ann Romney's new cookbook, "The Romney Family Table," has been a brisk seller since its recent debut, topping Amazon's list as the bestselling hardcover cookbook. That is good news for the Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the center's co-director, Dr. Howard L. Weiner, who has treated Romney since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998. After writing the cookbook this year, Romney announced that she would donate the proceeds to the center's research into the causes and treatment of neurological diseases -- including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
September 12, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
2 Chainz has a new album out. “B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time” is another bass-rattling set of bouncy tracks that Miley Cyrus, and the world, can twerk to, and strippers can earn enough tips to rival any salary. But that's not the best part of his new release. That fine distinction goes to the cookbook that the rapper, formerly known as Tity Boi, included in the deluxe edition of the album. Dubbed “#Meal Time” (see what he did there), the cookbook features incredibly mouthwatering recipes for 14 dishes that include pan-seared sea bass, herb-crusted lamb rib chops, crab cakes, fried chicken and teriyaki salmon.
June 17, 2013 | By Russ Parsons
When life hands you peaches, you make ... well, lots of different things, most of them delicious. But, if you're a member of David Mas Masumoto's family , one of those things is books. At this point, it's hard to decide whether the Fresno-area farmer is a peach grower who writes or a writer who grows peaches. He certainly has outstanding credentials in both fields. His peaches have earned him a national and even a international reputation. They have been featured by name on menus from Chez Panisse to Per Se. And he's even been able to persuade hundreds of fruit lovers to “adopt” some of his trees -- they pay an upfront fee and then dedicate two weekends to harvesting the fruit in the hot, sticky Valley summer.
December 20, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
Caution: Reading these cookbooks may be hazardous to your health. That's what the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine suggests in releasing its list of the five worst cookbooks of 2010. "They use some of the worst possible ingredients in terms of nutritional profiles," Susan Levin, nutrition education director for the nonprofit organization, says in a Hartford Courant story.  "They're using lots of heavy cream and butter and going all out in terms of fat and calories. " Gordon Ramsay’s "World Kitchen" tops the list.
May 28, 2013 | By Russ Parsons, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
With the release of HBO's “Behind the Candelabra,” Liberace is having a belated moment, hailed as a fabulous pianist and a fashion icon. One thing that has been overlooked so far is his career as a cookbook writer. [For the Record, 3:10 p.m. May 29: An earlier version of this post and its headline referred to Liberace as a gay pioneer. In fact, he never revealed his sexual orientation.] But not by me, because digging around in mounds of old cookbooks, I found a copy of his “Liberace Cooks!
May 3, 2013 | By Russ Parsons
Santa Monica author Anne Willan was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall of Fame on Friday night, highlighting the organization's annual awards ceremony . Willan, who moved to Southern California from her longtime home in France in 2007, is the author of more than two dozen cookbooks, including two that have become culinary bibles: "La Varenne Pratique" and "French Regional Cooking. " Willan's books have been published in 24 countries and translated into 18 languages.
Los Angeles Times Articles