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The Toastee Food Issue Library: Books and Literary Inspirations

The stories of the foodies, activists, creators, and community shakers in this issue inspire us! But what are some of their inspirations?

We present the Toastee Library, where we share favorite books and literary inspirations from all of our contributors. From cookbooks to history to adventure, each recommendation touches on the central piece of how food, no matter where you are, brings us all together!

The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak

“This is my favorite cookbook. I’m an avid baker, and all of her recipes are delicious!”

- Ally Chapman, The Femme Vine

Simple by Yottam Ottolenghi

Bright recipes that are short on time, ingredients, or effort but never on flavor.

Recommend by Shana Weisberg, Studio Sensibilité.

Drinking French by David Lebovitz

“For books about drinks, I recommend Drinking French by David Lebovitz (in English). It’s by an American chef living in Paris.”

- Shana Weisberg, Studio Sensibilité

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

A story about family, food, grief, and endurance by rockstar Japanese Breakfast (Michelle Zauner).

Recommended by Amy Truong and Lani Gobaleza of PARU tea.

You can check out Michelle’s essay by the same title in The New Yorker.

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

A book about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home. A sensation in Japan and around the world.

Recommended by Amy Truong and Lani Gobaleza of PARU tea.

Fika by IKEA

“It doesn’t have any words. It doesn't show any instructions. It just shows you a birdseye view of the ingredients and what the food looks like completed in a visually satisfying manner.”

- Lillian Yang, The Chef Charette

“She’s a famous food blogger who’s built this extensive food community and cookbook based on her tiny cubicle kitchen in New York City. There are so many great recipes that are very simple, easy to understand, and have a sense of character.”

- Lillian Yang, The Chef Charette

A Social History of Tea by Jane Pettigrew

“She gives you all of these stories of how tea was introduced to the UK. I found it fascinating to learn about the price of tea when it first arrived in the UK and that there are these diaries of aristocratic women documenting tea in their households.”

- Isabelle Rosevear, Rosevear Tea

“It’s a book that’s a lot more interesting than it sounds. It’s written by a good friend of ours. It’s very well written, and Will himself is charming.”

- Adam Rosevear, Rosevear Tea

Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat

“The book taught me not to be afraid of using salt, which is such a flavor enhancer. It gives you a crash course on how to use good salt, fat or oil, acid, and heat. Her tips helped to take my cooking to the next level.”

- Sam McArdle, The Gangly Chef

The Happy Pear by David and Stephen Flynn

“I love what The Happy Pear twins do. My Cashew Cream Carbonara, Sam’s Berry Crumble, and other recipes are inspired by them.”

- Sam McArdle, The Gangly Chef

Davey Nutrition by Daniel Davey

“Daniel Davey is a nutritionist who’s worked with the Leinster Rugby Team and the Dublin football team. His recipes are really tasty and really healthy. On his blog, he maps out nutrition, calories, and portion sizes. He makes it easy for me to know what I’m eating.”

- Sam McArdle, The Gangly Chef

Tartine: A Classic Revisited by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson

“I love it! I love looking at it. I love attempting some of the recipes. I love how it’s formatted. It’s not organized step by step but structured like a story. The kitchen notes and tips are also really good.”

- Katherine Cruz, Baked With Kat

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

“I really like Michael Pollan and his perspective on food. He’s not prescriptive. There are no 'do’s and don’ts.' We have to be kind to ourselves and not so pure in everything. We need to just be better every day. I think it’s a great classic.”

- Erik Oberholtzer, Tender Greens co-founder, regenerative chef, social entrepreneur

“Alexandre Dumas was passionate about food. He was a huge gastronome. In most of his books, food takes place. It’s not just in the description. Any of his books are great.”

- Nicolas Démurgé, Executive Chef of Kristine’s in Princeton, NJ

Cooked by Michael Pollan

“I love how he explores how food makes us human through the 4 elements. It’s stories, science, history, and anthropology mixed together along with a few delicious recipes.”

- Elizabeth Harris, Toastee Mag

The Noma Guide to Fermentation by René Redzepi and David Zilber

“It’s a big book, but it’s not a dense book. I love how they easily explain the history and science behind each fermentation method. In their recipes, they provide a lot of pictures to help you along each stage of the fermentation process.”

- Elizabeth Harris, Toastee Mag

Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. By Laura Miller

YouTube star Laura Miller offers more than a hundred entirely vegan and mostly raw recipes for all people who want to eat deliciously.

Recommended by Emer O’Shea, Toastee Mag Co-Founder.

Let us know if you give any of these books a read and which books inspire you by tagging us @toasteemag and using #ToasteeLibrary.

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