Last year’s winner in the piglet Tournament of Cookbooks on food52 was Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood and with good reason. The book inspires the use of various whole grains in baking for added flavor and different textures, and I’ve been enjoying baking from it lately. It was also just listed among the finalists for this year's IACP Cookbook Awards. Boyce apprenticed as a pastry chef with Sherry Yard at Spago and then worked with Nancy Silverton at Campanile in Los Angeles. She later left professional baking to start a family and became interested in adding whole grains to what she prepared at home. After many experiments and eventually coming to appreciate what’s unique about each type of whole grain, she arrived at a collection of nutritious recipes resulting in Good to the Grain. These days, she and her husband are focused on growing a wholesale pastry business which produces recipes similar to those in the book for local cafes in Portland, Oregan. I had to ask, what are you reading?
I've been reading Novella Carpenter's Farm City. Last summer I saw her speak and was captivated and moved by her often hysterical and touching stories of cultivating a farm and eventually a community on land that she didn't own. Her story was quite inspiring and I found myself putting the book down so that it would last longer and longer.
My staple cookbook that is always on my nightstand is Lindsey Shere's classic Chez Panisse Desserts. I like to find inspiration by just opening up the book and reading the page I turn to. Her flavor combinations are simple and clean, something that I admire and strive for in my own pastries.
Next up on my list of must-reads is Gabrielle Hamilton's memoir Blood, Bones and Butter.
Thank you for participating, Kim. Check back to see who answers the question next time and what other books are recommended.
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