We are all about going out to eat here at BITE, but some foodies are adventurous enough to try and re-create the restaurant magic in their own home kitchens. Others are just curious about the mind and the making of a chef, and hope that reading cookbooks and chefs’ memoirs will help them gain insight into our local geniuses. Whichever your desire, these books will help you get there.
by Brandon McGlamery
The culinary roots of the James Beard-nominated chef of Luma and Prato are exposed in this thoughtfully written and beautifully designed volume, which is available at those restaurants or online at lumaonpark.com or prato-wp.com. Pure eye candy.
The Ravenous Pig: Seasons of Florida
by James and Julie Petrakis
A love of local products and people shines through in dozens of recipes and stories from the chef-owners of the groundbreaking Winter Park gastropub. Here’s hoping their other place, Cask & Larder, gets the same treatment soon. Available at theravenouspig.com or at their restaurants.
Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan
by Hollis Wilder
(Stewart, Tabori and Chang)
The charming owner-operator of Sweet! By Good Golly Miss Holly proves that not all cupcakes are sweet; this book helps home cooks turn out adorably miniaturized versions of everyday favorites. Available in bookstores and online.
No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken
by Norman Van Aken
Anthony Bourdain’s cover blurb reads, “Norman Van Aken is the Jimmy Page of his profession – a man who was there at almost every important moment in its history.” Do you really need any more of a recommendation? Available in bookstores and online.
The Southern Cowboy Cookbook
by John Rivers
The genial local barbecue and fried-chicken expert with the golden touch shares tips for home cooks. Southern Cowboy is available in 4 Rivers Smokehouse restaurants or at 4rsmokehouse.com.
Field to Feast: Recipes Celebrating Florida Farmers, Chefs and Artisans
by Pam Brandon, Katie Farmand and Heather McPherson
(University Press of Florida)
This impressive book surveys 75 Florida farms and food producers and a couple of dozen chefs, covering the state in a comprehensive locavore manual. If you live and cook in Florida, there’s no reason not to buy this book immediately. Available in bookstores and online.