I love to cook, especially in the late summer. Fresh fruit and vegetables overflow their bins at the grocery stores, inviting cooks to create delicious meals out of all of the amazing produce. This time of year, I find myself listening to stories about food while preparing dinner for my family or dicing vegetables for my latest batch of pickled onions.
Out of all of the books about food that I’ve enjoyed listening to, several stand out in my mind. Their unique takes on the world of food inspire me to learn and create better dishes while also giving me space to just enjoy the authors’ life stories.
Black, White, and the Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant by Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano | Narrated by the Authors
Business partners Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano both came from boroughs of New York City, and together they teamed up to turn a former bus station in Savannah into a restaurant. The memoir is formatted into paragraphs from each of their perspectives. On the audiobook, Bailey and Morisano each read their sections, creating the feeling that you are sitting in on a conversation between the two of them.
KosherSoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew by Michael W. Twitty | Narrated by the Author
I loved Michael W. Twitty’s The Cooking Gene, where he examines the cuisines from the communities of his heritage. In KosherSoul, Twitty returns with another intimate look at his identity and cuisine. This time, he examines the distinct culinary cultures of two different parts of his identity as an African American Jewish man. Twitty performs the audiobook himself, adding another personal touch to the experience of this book.
High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America by Jessica B. Harris | Narrated by the Author
Now a brilliant show on Netflix, High on the Hog looks at the history of African American cuisine throughout history. Author Jessica B. Harris looks at the complex facets of the food she loves and her exploration of its origins. Harris’ deep passion for food comes across in her narration, creating an incredible listening experience.
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan | Narrated by the Author
I love Michael Pollan’s work, especially his books about food. My favorite book of his is Cooked, in which he describes how cooking innovations impacted the foods that people eat. He performs the audiobook beautifully, giving listeners an added depth to his writing.
My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme | Narrated by Kimberly Farr
The first time I read My Life in France, I felt as if I had discovered a whole new way of thinking about food. Julia Child shares the story about how she fell in love with French cuisine while living in Paris right after World War II. She describes her experiences attending cooking school and starting to write her classic cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Kimberly Farr performs the memoir so well, adding just the right amount of emotional depth to Child’s story.
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci | Narrated by Author
In his memoir, Stanley Tucci describes his life through the foods he ate and the memories he created over great Italian food. He performs Taste, adding his skill as an actor and his personal touch to the audiobook experience. Plus, he shares so many excellent recipes, you won’t know where to start.
Our Harlem: Seven Days of Cooking, Music and Soul at the Red Rooster by Marcus Samuelsson | Narrated by the Author
In this Audible Original, chef Marcus Samuelsson shares a week in his life in Harlem working at his restaurant the Red Rooster. In addition to his discussion of the food he creates, Samuelsson adds in other elements of Harlem culture, especially music, that tie this entire audiobook together in such a brilliant way.
Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl | Narrated by the Author
The last editor of Gourmet Magazine and memoirist Ruth Reichl shares her experience as the Editor-in-Chief at Gourmet, how she became the editor, and what it was like when the magazine shut down for good. This audiobook is the perfect blend between New York magazine and food culture. Reichl performs the audiobook in such a warm and inviting way. It’s the perfect audiobook to sit back and relax with while peeling potatoes or breaking down a chicken.
Whatever audiobook you choose, great food adventures await! For even more food book recommendations, check out 8 Audiobooks for Fall-Loving Foodies and 5 of the Best Audiobooks About Food and Cuisine.