Hungry? Grab a Snack and Dig Into These Delicious Food Memoirs (Exclusive)

Former Emeril Lagasse producer Karen Katz, author of 'Getting Sauced' shares her favorite food memoirs in advance of her upcoming book

PEOPLE favorite food memoirs
PEOPLE favorite food memoirs

Settling down on a lazy Sunday with a nice glass of wine and a good memoir about someone else who loves food as much as I do is my idea of a guilty pleasure. Okay, maybe I’ve got a bowl of potato chips within reach too—the kinds with ridges; they’ve got some heft. I love writers that can transport me out of my world and into theirs, as they make my mouth salivate and my stomach growl with descriptive imagery of melted chocolate pouring over pastry puffs filled with dulce de leche ice cream.

<p>Morgan James Publishing</p> 'Getting Sauced' by Karen S. Katz

Morgan James Publishing

'Getting Sauced' by Karen S. Katz

For me, when looking for a great read, here’s what it all boils down to: hefty portions of mouthwatering food, exotic travel, quick wit and good storytelling—with a few recipes thrown in for good measure. They are always the perfect blend for what I’m craving. These are a few of my favorites.

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'Tender at the Bone' by Ruth Reichl

<p>Random House</p> 'Tender at the Bone; by Ruth Reichl

Random House

'Tender at the Bone; by Ruth Reichl

My culinary voyeurism began early with Ruth Reichl’s candid and touching Tender at the Bone. It had all the right ingredients—for starters, she has a clear passion for food. She followed that up with a dollop of unforgettable characters, a wonderful coming-of-age story as the main course and finished it off with a dash of self-deprecating humor. I love everything she writes and I’m looking forward to reading her latest book, The Paris Novel.

'The Gastronomical Me' by M.F.K. Fisher

<p>North Point Press; Edition Unstated</p> 'The Gastronomical Me' by M.F.K. Fisher

North Point Press; Edition Unstated

'The Gastronomical Me' by M.F.K. Fisher

Trying to expand my memoir net, I thought it only right to go back to some classics. And no one does it better than M.F.K. Fisher. The Gastronomical Me was her exuberant embrace of French cuisine written against the backdrop of a mounting war. As the years went by, whether she was Considering the Oyster or pondering How to Cook a Wolf, her articles and books embraced a passion for eating, drinking and enjoying what we eat with all of our senses. She paved the way for so many culinary writers to come.

'Kitchen Confidential' by Anthony Bourdain

<p>Ecco; Updated edition</p> 'Kitchen Confidential' by Anthony Bourdain

Ecco; Updated edition

'Kitchen Confidential' by Anthony Bourdain

Of course, you can’t be a fan of food memoirs without reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, the classic behind-the-scenes skewering of the restaurant world. His bad boy antics set in the dank, hot kitchens of hell makes one wonder how anyone survives even one service. Thanks to him, I’ll never order fish on a Monday ever again.

'On the Noodle Road' by Jen Liu-Liu

<p>Riverhead Books</p> 'On the Noodle Road' bu Jen Lin-Liu

Riverhead Books

'On the Noodle Road' bu Jen Lin-Liu

Combining food with travel is a double treat for me. I couldn’t put down On the Noodle Road by Jen Lin-Liu. It starts with a simple question—who really invented the noodle? I loved tagging along the Silk Road as she makes her way in and out of private kitchens, eating her way from China to Italy to find out. I’m not sure there was a definitive answer, but I think I put on weight just reading the book.

'Pasta-Pane-Vino,' 'Rice-Noodle-Fish,' and 'Grape-Olive-Pig' by Matt Goulding

<p>Harper</p> 'Rice, Noodle, Fish' by Matt Goulding


'Rice, Noodle, Fish' by Matt Goulding

I’m also a big fan of Matt Goulding’s books Rice-Noodle-Fish, Pasta-Pane-Vino and Grape-Olive-Pig. He immerses himself into different food cultures and the pictures beg you to lick the pages. He does a beautiful job combining these travel guides with great storytelling. Every time I finish one of his books I find myself searching Expedia for cheap flights.

'Taste: My Life Through Food' by Stanley Tucci

<p>Gallery Books</p> 'Taste' by Stanley Tucci

Gallery Books

'Taste' by Stanley Tucci

Who doesn’t love Stanley Tucci? His book, Taste: My Life Through Food is as charming as his onscreen persona. Having spent every night of his childhood around a classic Italian-American table, his love of food is served hot on every page. Whether he’s experiencing something delicious or ruminating about a burnt disaster, his wry humor makes it all worthwhile.

DIRT—Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking by Bill Buford

<p>Vintage</p> 'Dirt' by Bill Buford


'Dirt' by Bill Buford

Bill Buford’s DIRT—Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking is the ultimate journey for anyone who has ever fantasized about chucking it all to cook in France. Personally, I’d rather chuck it all to go eat in France, but I give him kudos for doing it the hard way.

Karen Katz is an executive producer and writer and the author of the forthcoming memoir, Getting Sauced: How I Learned Everything I Know About Food From Working in TV (June 4). Throughout her career, she has collaborated with such figures in the culinary realm as Emeril Lagasse, Julia Child, Bobby Flay, Jacque Pepin and Buddy Valastro across networks including Food Network, Discovery Networks, BBC and more. Her memoir is available for preorder now, wherever books are sold.

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