In Search of Total Perfection, by Heston Blumenthal

In Search of Total Perfection, by Heston Blumenthal

Any man who sticks his head-chef into an MRI machine and feeds him chilli-infused oil to see which areas of the brain “light up” in response to capsaicin deserves my respect. When the same man puts several pieces of marinated chicken into the machine to see how deeply each different marinade penetrates, I am consumed with the urge to commit bigamy (sorry, Spouse, I love you and all, but you have never put chicken in an MRI machine for me).

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Like Water For Chocolate

Like Wtaer for Chocolate by Laura Esquival

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

This is one of my all-time favorite books. Originally written in Spanish as Como Agua Para Chocolate, it is a love story, recipe book, and ethnic soap opera all rolled into one.

The book tells the story of Tita, the youngest of the three de la Garza sisters, who is forbidden from marrying, since family tradition dictates that she must care for her mother – the domineering Mama Elena – to the end of her days (sound familiar?) Keep reading…

The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Mistress of SPices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Mistress of SPices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I must say that I avoided adding my thoughts on this book to the FTB blog until arm-twisted into doing so by three persuasive readers. Why? Well, just because a book features spices as an integral part of its name (and plot), doesn’t necessarily mean the book has anything to do with food.

However, several interesting email exchanges later, I am willing to concede that maybe – just maybe – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Mistress of Spices is not only about food and its ability to heal, but also about travel – physical and metaphysical. Keep reading…

A Cook’s Tour

A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain

A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain will do anything in his quest for the perfect meal, even it means traveling with gun-toting maniacs in Khmer Rouge territory in Cambodia, slaughtering a pig in Portugal, eating a beating cobra’s heart – even selling his soul to TV (in his own, albeit borrowed, words: “We’ve already established you’re a whore. Now we’re just haggling over the price.”) Keep reading…