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Celebrity Chefs

Readers' Cafe

Anthony Bourdain Remembered
32 Yolks From My Mother's Table to Working the Line
Burn the Place
Buttermilk Graffiti
Cooking as Fast as I Can
Four Kitchens My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris
The French Chef in America Julia Child's Second Act
Killing It An Education
Life, on the Line A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat
My American Dream A Life of Love, Family, and Food
My Last Supper 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals  Portraits, Interviews, and Recipes
Nine Lives A Chef's Journey from Chaos to Control
Out of Line A Life of Playing with Fire
Save Me the Plums My Gourmet Memoir
Yes, Chef A Memoir
Anthony Bourdain Remembered

When Anthony Bourdain died in June 2018, the outpouring of love from his fans around the world was momentous. The tributes spoke to his legacy: That the world is much smaller than we imagine and people are more alike than they are different. As Bourdain once said, "If I'm an advocate of anything, it's to move ... Walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food."

Anthony Bourdain Remembered brings together memories and anecdotes from fans reminiscing about Bourdain's unique achievements and his enduring effect on their lives as well as comments from chefs, journalists, filmmakers, musicians, and writers inspired by Bourdain including Barack Obama, Eric Ripert, Jill Filipovic, Ken Burns, Questlove, and Jos?? Andr??s, among many others.

These remembrances give us a glimpse of Bourdain's widespread impact through his political and social commitments; his dedication to travel and eating well (and widely) ; and his love of the written word, along with his deep compassion, open-mindedness, and interest in lives different from his own.

32 Yolks: From My Mother's Table to Working the Line / Eric Ripert

In an industry where celebrity chefs are known as much for their salty talk and quick tempers as their food, Eric Ripert stands out. The winner of four James Beard Awards, co-owner and chef of a world-renowned restaurant, and recipient of countless Michelin stars, Ripert embodies elegance and culinary perfection. But before the accolades, before he even knew how to make a proper hollandaise sauce, Eric Ripert was a lonely young boy in the south of France whose life was falling apart.

Ripert's parents divorced when he was six, separating him from the father he idolized and replacing him with a cold, bullying stepfather who insisted that Ripert be sent away to boarding school. A few years later, Ripert's father died on a hiking trip. Through these tough times, the one thing that gave Ripert comfort was food. Told that boys had no place in the kitchen, Ripert would instead watch from the doorway as his mother rolled couscous by hand or his grandmother pressed out the buttery dough for the treat he loved above all others, tarte aux pommes. When an eccentric local chef took him under his wing, an eleven-year-old Ripert realized that food was more than just an escape: It was his calling. That passion would carry him through the drudgery of culinary school and into the high-pressure world of Paris's most elite restaurants, where Ripert discovered that learning to cook was the easy part - surviving the line was the battle.
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Burn the Place / Iliana Regan

Burn the Place is a galvanizing culinary memoir that chronicles Iliana Regan's journey from foraging on the family farm to opening her Michelin-starred restaurant, Elizabeth. Her story is alive with startling imagery, raw like that first bite of wild onion, and told with uncommon emotional power. It's a sure bet to be one of the most important new memoirs of 2019.

Regan grew up the youngest of four headstrong girls on a small farm in Northwest Indiana. Even when she was picking raspberries as a toddler still in diapers, Regan understood to pick only the ripe fruit and leave the rest for another day. In the family's leaf-strewn fields, the orange flutes of chanterelles seemed to beckon her while they eluded others.

Regan has always had an intense, almost otherworldly connection with food and earth. Connecting with people, however, has always been harder. As she learned to cook in the farmhouse, got her first job in a professional kitchen at age fifteen, taught herself cutting-edge cuisine while running her "new forager" underground supper club, and worked her way from front-of-house staff to running her own kitchen, Regan often felt that she "wasn't made for this world." She was a little girl who longed to be a boy, gay in an intolerant community, an alcoholic before she turned twenty, a woman in an industry dominated by men.

Burn the Place will introduce readers to an important new voice from the American culinary scene, an underrepresented perspective from the professional kitchen, and a young star chef whose prose is as memorable and deserving of praise as her food.

Buttermilk Graffiti / Edward Lee

American food is the story of mash-ups. Immigrants arrive, cultures collide, and out of the push-pull come exciting new dishes and flavors. But that surprising first bite is only the beginning. What about the people behind the food? What about the traditions? What about the memories? For two years, Edward Lee, as gifted a writer as he is a chef, traveled the highways and byways of America to seek out foods that open a window onto a whole other way of cooking, of eating, of living--a way that's unique and quintessentially American. Lee visits a Cambodian couple in Lowell, Massachusetts, re-creating the flavors of their lost home land while helping to inject new vibrancy into a fading mill town. He travels, like so many music lovers, to Clarksdale, Mississippi, birthplace of the blues and now home to America's best kibbeh and other Lebanese specialties. He learns how to make the mysterious fermented butter called smen from a young Moroccan immigrant living in Westport, Connecticut, then treats her to her first taste of New Haven white clam pizza--an iconic American dish created by an immigrant of a previous generation. And a beignet from Caf? du Monde, as potent as Proust's madeleine, inspires a time-traveling narrative from New 0rleans's original Creole culture to the author's first job working the breakfast shift at a coffee shop in a dicey New York neighborhood. With his compelling voice and unique perspective--as a Korean-born, Brooklyn-bred chef who found his soul in Kentucky--Edward Lee offers sixteen vibrant chapters in the fascinating and ever-evolving story of American cuisine. And forty recipes, created by Lee and inspired by the people he met around the country, bring these stories right into our own kitchens.

Cooking as Fast as I Can / Cat Cora

Remarkably candid, compulsively readable, renowned chef Cat Cora's no-holds-barred memoir on Southern life, Greek heritage, same sex marriage, and the meals that have shaped her memories.Before she became a celebrated chef, Cathy Cora was just a girl from Jackson, Mississippi, where days were slow and every meal was made from scratch. Her passion for the kitchen started in her home, where she spent her days internalizing the dishes that would form the cornerstone of her cooking philosophy incorporating her Greek heritage and Southern upbringing - from crispy fried chicken and honey-drenched biscuits to spanakopita. But outside the kitchen, Cat's life was volatile. In Cooking as Fast as I Can, Cat Cora reveals, for the first time, coming-of-age experiences from early childhood sexual abuse to the realities of life as a lesbian in the deep South.

Four Kitchens: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris / Lauren Shockey

At the French Culinary Institute, Lauren Shockey learned to salt food properly, cook fearlessly over high heat, and knock back beers like a pro. But she also discovered that her real culinary education wouldn't begin until she actually worked in a restaurant. After a somewhat disappointing apprenticeship in the French provinces, Shockey hatched a plan for her dream year: to apprentice in four high-end restaurants around the world. She started in her hometown of New York City under the famed chef Wylie Dufresne at the molecular gastronomy hotspot wd-50, then traveled to Vietnam, Israel, and back to France. From the ribald kitchen humor to fiery-tempered workers to tasks ranging from the mundane (mincing cases of shallots) to the extraordinary (cooking seafood on the line), Shockey shows us what really happens behind the scenes in haute cuisine, and includes original recipes integrating the techniques and flavors she learned along the way.

The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act / Alex Prud'homme

Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, her great-nephew and My Life in France coauthor vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America's first lady of French food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as My Life in France, The French Chef in America uncovers Julia Child beyond her "French chef" persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.

Killing It: An Education / Camas Davis

Camas Davis was at an unhappy crossroads. A longtime magazine writer and editor in the food world, she'd returned to her home state of Oregon with her boyfriend from New York City to take an appealing job at a Portland lifestyle magazine. But neither job nor boyfriend delivered on her dreams, and in the span of a year, Davis was unemployed, on her own, with nothing to fall back on. Disillusioned by the years she'd spent mediating the lives of others for a living, she had no idea what to do next. She did know one thing: She no longer wanted to write about the real thing; she wanted to be the real thing.

So when a friend told her about Kate Hill, an American woman living in Gascony, France who ran a cooking school and took in strays in exchange for painting fences and making beds, it sounded like just what she needed. She discovered a forgotten credit card that had just enough credit on it to buy a plane ticket and took it as kismet. Upon her arrival, Kate introduced her to the Chapolard brothers, a family of Gascon pig farmers and butchers, who were willing to take Camas under their wing, inviting her to work alongside them in their slaughterhouse and cutting room. In the process, the Chapolards inducted her into their way of life, which prizes pleasure, compassion, community, and authenticity above all else.

So begins Camas Davis's funny, heartfelt, searching memoir of her unexpected journey to become a successful and enlightened butcher. It's a story that takes her from an eye-opening stint in rural France where deep artisanal craft and whole animal gastronomy thrives despite the rise of mass scale agribusiness, back to a Portland in the throes of a food revolution, where it suddenly seems possible to translate much of this old-world craft into a new world setting. Camas faces hardships and heartaches along the way, but in the end, Killing It is about what it means to pursue the real thing and to dedicate your life to it.

Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat / Grant Achatz

In 2007, chef Grant Achatz seemingly had it made. He had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine in 2002, received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award in 2003, and in 2005 he and Nick Kokonas opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, positioned firmly in the world's culinary spotlight, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma-tongue cancer. The prognosis was grim, and doctors agreed the only course of action was to remove the cancerous tissue, which included his entire tongue.

My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food / Lidia Bastianich

From the best-selling cookbook author, beloved and award-winning television personality, and hugely successful restaurateur--a heartwarming, emotional, revelatory memoir told with all her hallmark warmth and gusto.

Lidia's story begins with her upbringing in Pula, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito's communist regime. She enjoys a childhood surrounded by love and security--despite the family's poverty--learning everything about Italian cooking from her beloved grandmother, Nonna Rosa. When the communist regime begins investigating the family, they flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp waiting for visas to enter the United States--an experience that will shape Lidia for the rest of her life. At age 12, Lidia starts a new life in New York. She soon begins working in restaurants as a young teenager, the first step toward the creation of her own American dream. And she tells in great, vivid detail the fulfillment of that dream: her close-knit family, her dedication and endless passion for food that ultimately leads to multiple restaurants, many cookbooks, and twenty years on public television as the host of her own cooking show. An absolute must-have for the millions of Lidia fans.

My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals / Portraits, Interviews, and Recipes / Melanie Dunea

Annie Leibovitz meets Heat in this award-winning photographer's stunning celebration of world-famous chefs and their final meals.?Chefs have been playing the "My Last Supper" game among themselves for decades, if not centuries, but it had always been kept within the profession until now. Melanie Dunea came up with the ingenious idea to ask fifty of the world's famous chefs to let her in on this insider's game and tell her what their final meals would be. My Last Supper showcases their fascinating answers alongside stunning Vanity Fair-style portraits. Their responses are surprising, refreshing, and as distinct from each other as the chefs themselves. The portraits--gorgeous, intimate, and playful--are informed by their answers and reveal the passions and personalities of the most respected names in the business.

Nine Lives: A Chef's Journey from Chaos to Control / Brandon Baltzley

At twenty-six years old, Brandon Baltzley was poised for his star turn as the opening?chef?at Chicago's hotspot Tribute. People called him a prodigy-the Salvador Dali of cooking-and foodie blogs followed his every move. Instead, Brandon walked away from it all and entered rehab to deal with the alcohol and cocaine addiction that had enslaved him most of his adult life. Brandon grew up in the South with no father and an addict mother. At?nine, he was prepping vegetables in the back of a gay bar. From there, he went on to deep-frying with Paula Deen to cooking in an array of Michelin-starred restaurants, including Grant Achatz's world-renowned Alinea. In between, he was touring the country with his heavy metal band, Kylesa, and doing his first stint in rehab. Like Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Butter and Bones, Brandon's?Nine Lives?is about blazing a way out from a rough childhood through talent and an unbridled passion for the craft of cooking. A story that's still being written as Brandon works with Crux, the pop-up culinary collective he founded, and plans for the opening of his own restaurant,?Nine Lives?serves up a raw and riveting memoir about food, rock-and-roll, and redemption.

Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire / Barbara Lynch

Celebrated chef Barbara Lynch credits the defiant spirit of her upbringing in tough, poor "Southie," a neighborhood ruled by the notorious Whitey Bulger gang, with helping her bluff her way into her first professional cooking jobs; develop a distinct culinary style through instinct and sheer moxie; then dare to found an empire of restaurants ranging from a casual but elegant "clam shack" to Boston's epitome of modern haute cuisine.

One of seven children born to an overworked single mother, Lynch was raised in a housing project. She earned a daredevil reputation for boosting vehicles (even a city bus) , petty theft, drinking and doing drugs, and narrowly escaping arrest - haunted all the while by a painful buried trauma.

Out of Line describes Lynch's remarkable process of self-invention, including her encounters with colorful characters of the food world, and vividly evokes the magic of creation in the kitchen. It is also a love letter to South Boston and its vanishing culture, governed by Irish Catholic mothers and its own code of honor. Through her story, Lynch explores how the past - both what we strive to escape from and what we remain true to - can strengthen and expand who we are.

Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir / Ruth Reichl

When Cond?? Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America's oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone's boss. And yet . . . Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no?

This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl's leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media - the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down.

Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams - even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be.

Yes, Chef: A Memoir / Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson was only three years old when he, his mother, and his sister - all battling tuberculosis - walked seventy-five miles to a hospital in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Adaba. Tragically, his mother succumbed to the disease shortly after she arrived, but Marcus and his sister recovered, and one year later they were welcomed into a loving middle-class white family in Goteborg, Sweden. It was there that Marcus's new grandmother, Helga, sparked in him a lifelong passion for food and cooking with her pan-fried herring, her freshly baked bread, and her signature roast chicken. From a very early age, there was little question what Marcus was going to be when he grew up.

Yes, Chef chronicles Marcus Samuelsson's remarkable journey from Helga's humble kitchen to some of the most demanding and cutthroat restaurants in Switzerland and France, from his grueling stints on cruise ships to his arrival in New York City, where his outsize talent and ambition finally come together at Aquavit, earning him a coveted New York Times three-star rating at the age of twenty-four. But Samuelsson's career of "chasing flavors," as he calls it, had only just begun - in the intervening years, there have been White House state dinners, career crises, reality show triumphs and, most important, the opening of the beloved Red Rooster in Harlem.?

With disarming honesty and intimacy, Samuelsson also opens up about his failures - the price of ambition, in human terms - and recounts his emotional journey, as a grown man, to meet the father he never knew. Yes, Chef is a tale of personal discovery, unshakable determination, and the passionate, playful pursuit of flavors - one man's struggle to find a place for himself in the kitchen, and in the world.

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