Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
I know you don’t like to read. Sometime after middle school you gave that up, didn’t you. Whatever, slacker. To bring back the glory days of your eduukation, I’ve decided to tell you what to read. Nothing on this list will be a waste of your time and whether you choose to skim it, study it, use it, or just look at the pictures, I’m sure you’ll be quite satisfied with the results.
In no particular order…
1. PDT Cocktail Book: This book is a handy cocktail reference book to keep on hand. It houses a lot of obscure ingredients that you probably don’t have (but probably should) but it’s also chock full of delicious recipes that only use three or four ingredients, many of which you probably do have (Or definitely should have). If you buy one cocktail book, make it this one.
2. The Oxford Companion to Beer: Why, you ask, do I need a thousand page reference book on beer? Who cares about the isomerization of alpha acids in hops and melanoidin formation in the malting process? Me, for one. And you should too. Like that guy on that show from your childhood used to say, “the more you know…”
3. Ad Hoc at Home: This should be your cookbook of choice. From the ever impressive Thomas Keller, this is a refreshingly delicious cookbook that doesn’t require an anti-griddle, liquid nitrogen or a sous vide machine to make your food taste good. If you like food and you want to cook, this is the only book you need. You’ll impress even your harshest critic (me).
4. Momofuku Cookbook: You’ll never cook out of this one. When was the last time you made bacon stock for your ramen? Right. But this is a great read. David Chang talks a lot about the process of opening and working in a restaurant. He talks about his life and his path, and he does so in a way that makes it interesting. He swears a lot and writes like a real person.
5. Blood, Bones and Butter: This book by Gabrielle Hamilton, is probably the most entertaining and well written thing I’ve ever read. A story of her journey through the depths of the restaurant industry to the eventual opening of her own restaurant, this is a must read. It’s a novel, or biography, or whatever that’s called. It’s not a cookbook. Read this book.