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Culinary: Fiction

Updated: December 10, 2020

These novels about chefs, restaurateurs, and foodies will delight the senses.

Bone in the throat
Bourdain, Anthony.
Before Kitchen Confidential made him a star, Bourdain wrote this salty caper about a chef who gets tangled up with the mob.

The Book of Salt
Truong, Monique T. D.

The story of Binh (which may or may not be his real name), a young man who flees Saigon in disgrace and comes to Paris, where he becomes Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas's cook.

Crawfish dreams
Rawles, Nancy, 1958-
At 67, Camille Broussard has let go of most of the dreams she had for her life, for her seven children, or for the Watts community she calls home, and now, only wants to cook her way to a comfortable retirement. But as she begins the endeavor, all of her old "crawfish dreams" come rushing back to the surface.

Abu-Jaber, Diana.
The chef at a Lebanese restaurant in West Los Angeles falls for a haunted Iraqi-born professor in this romantic and powerful book.

High bonnet : a novel of epicurean adventures
Jones, Idwal.
Call Number: Ed.b
The "high bonnet" in question here is the chef's toque, and our hero is Jean, an ambitious youth who is determined to rise to the status of master chef. Originally released in 1945, this clever and humorous novel was recently republished as part of the Modern Library Food series.

The hundred-foot journey : a novel
Morais, Richard C., 1960-
Chef Hassan Haji tells readers the story of his journey as a chef from Bombay to London to Paris, and of his quest for the elusive third Michelin star.

In the kitchen : a novel
Ali, Monica, 1967-
Gabriel Lightfoot dreams of opening his own restaurant and escaping the grim, rundown kitchen at the Imperial Hotel forever. But when a Ukranian night porter is found dead in the hotel basement, his plans are threatened.

Liquor : a novel
Brite, Poppy Z.
Lifelong friends, lovers, and Ninth Ward natives Rickey and G-Man get a once-in-a-lifetime shot at opening their first restaurant in Brite's love letter to the city of New Orleans, its food, and its cooks.

Pomegranate soup : a novel
Mehran, Marsha, 1977-
After fleeing the Iranian Revolution, three sisters settle in County Mayo, Ireland, to open the Babylon Cafe. Rosewater and Soda Bread continues the story of Marjan, Bahar and Layla Aminpour, and both books include recipes for classic Persian dishes.

Reckless appetites : a culinary romance
Deval, Jacqueline.
The daughter of a famous French chef turns to the cookbooks of famous writers for help in wooing the man of her dreams.

Secrets of the Tsil Café : a novel with recipes
Averill, Thomas Fox, 1949-
Call Number: Ed.a
Wes Hingler negotiates the rocky terrain between his feuding chef parents and their rival kitchens.

The stars dispose
Roessner, Michaela.
A luminous tale about the intertwined lives of the Medicis and the family who cooks for them.