SULLIVAN COLUMN: Three books for summer food reading
Summer’s full on now, leading us to seek refuge in cool spots. Whether you’re dangling your toes in the pool, catching the beach breeze under an umbrella or just lolling in a hammock on the porch, you need good summer reads.
“Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater.” In this condensed information age of the 140-character tweet, we probably only know Gail Simmons as a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and host of Bravo’s “Top Chef: Just Desserts.” Her memoir, however, gives us a chance for a delightful deep look. Follow Simmons from an untraditional Jewish family upbringing in Toronto to cooking school in New York, internship at Le Cirque and Vong, followed by an incredible couple of years as assistant to Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue’s renowned food critic. Accepting a job as special events manger under Georgette Farkas, marketing director for Daniel Boulud, was a move that probably propelled Simmons into her dream destination: Food & Wine Magazine, which would later become a Top Chef sponsor. Foodies will relish each step of Simmons’ career, and all the accompanying delicious details. Hardcover. Hyperion. $26.99.
“Uncorked: My Journey Through the Crazy World of Wine.” When a man who designed hotels, taught at the Parsons School of Design, and has his furniture and houseware designs on display at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum decides to open a wine shop in the then-ungentrified South Street Seaport area of New York, one might expect an adventure in the making. And Marco Pasanella delivers. A former columnist for The New York Times, Pasanella relays his story with a light touch, even when it seems that the worst might, and did, happen. It’s a light read with fascinating tales of the convolutions involved in obtaining the license, purchasing the product and hiring the staff, to name a few of the hurdles. Pour a cool glass of wine and enjoy. Hardcover. Clarkson Potter/Publishers. $24.
“Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen.” Here’s your summer racy read with plenty of juicy gossip to keep a foodie’s interest. Now New York editor of Grub Street at New York magazine, Alyssa Shelasky was all about the fast life until she fell for a hot celeb from Top Chef. And followed him to Washington where she knew no one. If you want to find out what happened, you have to buy the book. No spoiler here. Paperback. Three Rivers Press. $14.
Reach Marion Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.