Our Top 5 Food Books for Summer

Josh Schaffer
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For many people, the term “summer reading” probably doesn’t sit well. When school was winding down, you stared out the window at the promise of longer days, boundless potential, and zero responsibility. That is, until you were given a list of books that you absolutely had to read before September. Whomp whomp.


Hopefully those days have passed and you look forward to plunking down with a good book. Foodie culture has grown so diverse that it now encompasses almost every genre. That’s great news, because whether you have just a minute to check out a recipe, or hours to spare, The Savory has you covered with great summer reading.


Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong

It’s easy to be critical of the paleo diet. Hell, it’s easy to be critical of any diet fad really, but something is extra enjoyable about harping on paleo. This probably stems from its connection to CrossFit and its cultish obsession.

Saying that, I still find Michelle Tam’s Nom Nom Paleo web site wholly charming. It’s fun, easily approachable, and now a cookbook. With colorful, graphic novel-like images, and a playful nature, it’s easily digestible. Oh, and the recipes look great too.


Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole by Chad Robertson

If you ever find yourself in the ever-popular Mission district of San Francisco, set some time aside to hit up Tartine. Close your eyes and point to anything, you won’t be disappointed. Sonnets could be written about their croissants.

If you’re unable to make it West, check out their third book, Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole. Its title may sound like some alternative rock band, and in some ways, this may be their indie bread book with its focus on whole, sprouted, and heirloom grains. If you love gluten and are willing to put some extra care into what they make, this is a must-have.


L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi, with Tien Nguyen and Natasha Fan

You have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Roy Choi by now. Beyond just being a founding father of the food truck movement with his Kogi tacos, he is regularly featured on television and even had a cameo in Jon Favreau’s latest, “Chef.” Even Anthony Bourdain sings his praise.

This New York Times best seller is an easy read that helps dissect the patchwork of cultures and neighborhoods that influenced Choi’s upbringing and ultimately his cuisine. This book goes beyond Choi himself to speak about America’s ever-changing cultural landscape.


The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber

Call this the thinking person’s foodie book. Dan Barber is chef and co-owner of Blue Hill, which can be found in both Manhattan and Pocantico Hills, New York. He is at the forefront of the local, sustainability movement, and from this latest book, he’s looking to push things even further. Moving beyond free range, farm-to-table, and seasonal cuisine, Barber offers up examples of how to sustain our soil, fisheries, and more well into the foreseeable future.


Beer and Food by Mark Dredge

Finally we have another popular blogger turned author, Mark Dredge. On his site, Pencil & Spoon, Mark talks everything beer. From varieties and pairings to cooking, the man loves his beer and it shows.

For his book, Beer and Food, Mark really dives into the science behind pairing while offering up stories, recipes, and examples of numerous styles. If you have an affinity for ale, this is a must for you.

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