BBC documentary, Mississippi:Tales of the Last River Rat by Kenny Salwey

Source: via Fulcrum on Pinterest


In Tales of a River Rat, famed storyteller and self-described hermit Kenny Salwey informs and entertains readers as he weaves his life story on the Mississippi River. Salwey knows the river ecosystem with an intimacy unavailable to most. Here he shares his love of and knowledge about the mighty river in an accessible manner sure to appeal to all ages.

Kenny Salwey is the last of a breed of men whose lifestyle has all but disappeared in this fast-paced, high-tech digital world. For thirty years, this weathered woodsman eked out a living on the Mississippi River, running a trapline, hiring out as a river guide, digging and selling roots and herbs, and eating the food he hunted and fished. Today, Salwey is a master storyteller, environmental educator, keynote speaker, nature writer, and advocate for the Upper Mississippi River.


Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Bob Spitz (Author)

It’s rare for someone to emerge in America who can change our attitudes, our beliefs, and our very culture. It’s even rarer when that someone is a middle-aged, six-foot three-inch woman whose first exposure to an unsuspecting public is cooking an omelet on a hot plate on a local TV station.  And yet, that’s exactly what Julia Child did.  The warble-voiced doyenne of television cookery became an iconic cult figure and joyous rule-breaker as she touched off the food revolution that has gripped America for more than fifty years.

Now, in Bob Spitz’s definitive, wonderfully affectionate biography, the Julia we know and love comes vividly — and surprisingly — to life.  In Dearie, Spitz employs the same skill he brought to his best-selling, critically acclaimed book The Beatles, providing a clear-eyed portrait of one of the most fascinating and influential Americans of our time — a woman known to all, yet known by only a few.

At its heart, Dearie is a story about a woman’s search for her own unique expression.  Julia Child was a directionless, gawky young woman who ran off halfway around the world to join a spy agency during World War II.  She eventually settled in Paris, where she learned to cook and collaborated on the writing of what would become Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a book that changed the food culture of America.   She was already fifty when The French Chef went on the air —  at a time in our history when women weren’t making those leaps.  Julia became the first educational TV star, virtually launching PBS as we know it today; her marriage to Paul Child formed a decades-long love story that was romantic, touching, and quite extraordinary.

A fearless, ambitious, supremely confident woman, Julia took on all the pretensions that embellished tony French cuisine and fricasseed them to a fare-thee-well, paving the way for everything that has happened since in American cooking, from TV dinners and Big Macs to sea urchin foam and the Food Channel.  Julia Child’s story, however, is more than the tale of a talented woman and her sumptuous craft.  It is also a saga of America’s coming of age and growing sophistication, from the Depression Era to the turbulent sixties and the excesses of the eighties to the greening of the American kitchen.  Julia had an effect on and was equally affected by the baby boom, the sexual revolution, and the start of the women’s liberation movement.

On the centenary of her birth, Julia finally gets the biography she richly deserves.  An in-depth, intimate narrative, full of fresh information and insights, Dearie is an entertaining, all-out adventure story of one of our most fascinating and beloved figures.


Here is the James Beard Foundation’s ultimate summer reading list, “Fourteen Great Reads for Food Lovers,” — a collected list of memoirs, history, and fiction for foodies — were selected by an array of culinary experts from the James Beard Foundation Book Awards Committee, “Fourteen Great Reads for Food Lovers” is to dive into during the 14 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

 Fourteen Great Reads for Food Lovers:

  1. The Art of Eating by M. F. K. Fisher (John Wiley & Sons)
  1. Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris by A.J. Liebling (North Point Press)
  1. Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton (Random House) - Listen to an interview with the author
  1. Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press) - Listen to an interview with the author
  1. A Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester (Picador)
  1. An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler (Scribner)
  1. The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer Lee (Twelve)
  1. Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford (Vintage)
  1. Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin (Vintage)
  1. The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten (Vintage)
  1. Oranges by John McPhee (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  1. The Oysters of Locmariaquer by Eleanor Clark (Ecco Press)
  1. Simple Cooking by John Thorne (North Point Press)
  1. The Tummy Trilogy by Calvin Trillin (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux)


For further information on the James Beard Foundation and its “Beard on Books” and “Enlightened Eaters” literary series, go to

books paula


Books of the Year

 Outstanding books by outstanding writers  make great and lasting gifts to fill the stockings under the Xmas tree or place under the Hannuka menora... or just to please a friend.


modernist cuisine bookClick to listen to an interview with Chris Young on FOOD & WINE TALK WSFG

Here's the recipe for the most astonishing cookbook of our time: Take one multimillionaire computer genius, a team of 36 researchers, chefs and editors and a laboratory specially built for cooking experiments. After nearly four years of obsessive research, assemble 2,400 pages of results into a 47-pound, six-volume collection that costs $625 and requires four pounds of ink to print.

To call inventor Nathan Myhrvold's "Modernist Cuisine: The Art & Science of Cooking," on sale next month, a "cookbook" is akin to calling James Joyce's "Ulysses" "a story."

The book is a large-scale investigation into the math, science and physics behind cooking tasks from making juicy and crisp beer-can chicken to coating a foie-gras bonbon in sour cherry gel. There is precedent in this genre—science writer Harold McGee has published popular books explaining kitchen science, and chefs Thomas Keller and Ferran Adrià have written about sous vide and other techniques of avant-garde gastronomy—but nothing reaches the scope and magnitude of Mr. Myhrvold's book. While it will likely appeal to professional chefs, within its pages are insights that even the humblest home cooks can use to improve their meals. The book puts traditional cooking wisdom under scientific scrutiny, destroying old assumptions and creating new  cooking approaches.   Click to read more  

sorcerers apprentice


Books of the Month

Outstanding books by outstanding writers  

Bourbon: The Evolution of Kentucky Whiskey,
by Sam K. Cecil (Turner Publishing, $19.95)

Bourbon doesn't have to be made in Kentucky, but there's no question that's the first state anyone thinks of when this distinctly American whiskey is mentioned. And no one knows more about the history of bourbon in the Bluegrass State than Sam K. Cecil, who began his career in the whiskey business in 1937. He later joined the legendary Bill Samuels at the old Samuels Distillery (later to become world-famous as Maker's Mark) in Loretto, KY, from which he retired in 1980 as VP of Production and Plant Manager.

Cecil's new book is a well-researched volume that spans the entire history of Kentucky's most famous spirit, from the earliest pioneers, to the era of Prohibition, to the household names of today. A fascinating book to delve into, if only to be made wistfully aware of all the Kentucky distilleries and bourbon brands that are no longer around. —David Gadd

michael bookMichael’s Genuine Food—Down to Earth Cooking For People Who Love to Eat.
by Michael Schwartz and Joann Cianciulli
When Michael Schwartz opened Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami's Design District In 2007 it instantly became "the" place to go.  Other than the fact that chef Schwartz was already well known from his work at other restaurants and had a following, as its name indicates, Michael's Genuine is about unpretentious food, sustainable practices, and an atmosphere friendly to both environment and community.

It was followed In 2009, by a Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Grand Cayman… and  now Michael Schwartz is sharing some of his recipes in his first book, Michael's Genuine Food—Down to Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat.

 Michael is a strong believer in letting the ingredients and season dictate the dish in his Farm to Table cuisine.

A self taught chef who beat out some culinary stars from New Orleans, Atlanta and Palm Beach when you he the James Beard Award as Best Chef of the South, says “the secret to good food is……..good food.”  

His book is indeed going for the warmth and robustness of home cooking, along with its guiltiest, least sophisticated pleasures: deviled eggs, caramelized onion dip, thick cut potato chips, and a gorgeous braised chicken.  

An honest, genuine book for everyone.



what i eat around the world in 80 dietsWHAT I EAT: Around the World in 80 Diets

By Peter Menzel  and Faith d’Aluisio

Click here to listen to an interview with the authors on FOOD & WINE TALK

A stunning photographic collection featuring portraits of 80 people from 30 countries and the food they eat in one day.

In this fascinating study of people and their diets, 80 profiles are organized by the total number of calories each person puts away in a day. Featuring a Japanese sumo wrestler, a Massai herdswoman, world-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria, an American competitive eater, and more, these compulsively readable personal stories also include demographic particulars, including age, activity level, height, and weight. Essays from Harvard primatologist Richard Wrangham, journalist Michael Pollan, and others discuss the implications of our modern diets for our health and for the planet. This compelling blend of photography and investigative reportage expands our understanding of the complex relationships among individuals, culture, and food. (Publishers Weekly).

saltedSALTED, a Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes

By Mark Bitterman

Click here to listen to an interview with Mark Bitterman, selmelier and author of SALTED, a Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipeson FOOD & WINE TALK   

Bitterman explains that his love of salt began after eating a sublime steak at a relais on a trip to France. After learning about the cooking method and cut of meat, Bitterman concluded it was the "hefty nuggets of opalescent salt" that were responsible for his unforgettable meal, and he set out to meet the family of salt makers responsible. After opening an artisanal-product boutique with his wife, which includes a showcase of salts, Bitterman takes on the role of official "selmelier." In this entertaining and well-researched volume, he profiles 80 varieties of artisan salts, along with a quick reference guide to more than 150 salts for an easy-to-understand crash course on salt. The text-heavy though beautifully photographed title covers the history of salt and all things related. Recipes round out the work, and although pedestrian dishes such as hamburgers, potato chips, and sauerkraut are included, beginners may be intimidated by sophisticated selections like roasted marrowbones with sel gris; salt crust–roasted partridge with figs and chocolate-balsamic syrup; and jal jeer (an Indian lemonade). An informative and easy-to-follow "Cooking on Salt" chapter just may have the more adventurous home cooks and the DIY crowd running out for their very own Himalayan salt block.

(From Publishers Weekly Oct.) (c)



Robert Oliver
Me'a Kai: The \Food and Flavors of the South Pacific
To purchase the book, log on to:


The cuisines of the South Pacific island nations are noted for their sensational use of coconut cream, fresh fruit and the most delicate fish. Away from the big resort hotels, skilled local cooks make the most delicious meals, whose range would surprise most tourists. Two years ago, New Zealand-born chef Robert Oliver, who has had a stellar career in the United States restaurant industry, went back to Fiji, where he grew up, to rediscover the art of Pacific cooking. He travelled to Tonga, Niue, Tahiti, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands to track down the most skilled local cooks.

Adapting their recipes for modern kitchens, this outstanding, landmark book brings together a treasury of South Pacific cooking, arranged country by country, with 90-plus recipes and photos that capture the essence of the Pacific. And there's much more than just recipes. Along the way Robert pauses to tell fascinating stories from his encounters with both local cooks and food producers. Flipping through its pages is like going on holiday!


Robert Oliver is a New Zealand-born chef who has spent much of his highly successful careeer working in leading  restaurants, in the US and overseas. Raised in Fiji, he is deeply commmitted to sustainable food production and tourism in the South Pacific and wants to elevate the appreciation of the Pacific's local cuisines and produce. He worked on this innovative book, which was a two-year project, with New Zealand academic Dr Tracey Berno and photographer Shiri Nam.



book oyster cookbook


Kit Wohl

 The P & J Oyster Cookbook, 
  by Kit Wohl and Sunseri Family


Listen to New Orleans writer and photographer Kit WOHL on FOOD & WINE TALK


Anna Thomas

Love Soup, 160 All New Vegetarian Recipes from the author of the Vegetarian Epicure


book sushi trevor corson



Trevor Corson

The Story of Sushi: an Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice

Listen to Trevor Corson on FOOD & WINE TALK


book giuliano hazan


Giuliano Hazan and Joseph De Leo

Giuliano Hazan's  Thirty Minute Pasta: 100 Quick and Easy Recipes 

 Listen to Giuliano Hazan on FOOD & WINE TALK


book ellie krieger


Ellie Krieger

So Easy, Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week

 Listen to Ellie Krieger on FOOD & WINE TALK


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