Sunday, October 24, 2010

Joan Nathan, What Are You Reading?

I always enjoy seeing Joan Nathan appear in Martha Stewart cooking segments, and during a show last spring she prepared a delicious-looking chicken pandora with sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Joan has authored ten cookbooks including the James Beard and IACP/Julia Child Cookbook of the Year award-winning Jewish Cooking in America. She is also a regular contributor to The New York Times, Food Arts Magazine, and Tablet Magazine. Her most recent book is Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France. I received a review copy of this book which tells the story of how Jewish cooking is thriving in France with both traditional dishes and new, contemporary approaches. Quiches, Kugels and Couscous was recently the pick of the week of all books reviewed by Publishers Weekly. Joan will be in Austin, Texas on November 14 for a brunch event as part of the Austin Jewish Book Fair 2010. Although she's been busy with her new book, I knew she would have an interesting answer when I asked what are you reading?

Just recently I was revisiting Lynne Rossetto Kasper's extraordinary book the The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food in which she discusses the role of doctors in Bologna introducing foods in the Middle Ages. This book is a real masterpiece of writing, researching, and recipes.

I’ve also spent time with Amanda Hesser's The Essential New York Times Cookbook in which she carefully scrutinized the past to get to the present.

Another book I looked at recently was the Community Cookbook from Woonsocket, RI. Written during the second World War by older women when all the men were at war, it is my go to book for old Jewish recipes. In this case I was looking for old cholent (the sabbath covered stew) recipes.

Thank you for participating, Joan. Check back to see who answers the question next time and what other books are recommended.

Previous WAYR posts:
Jaden Hair
Michael Ruhlman
Monica Bhide
Michael Natkin
Sara Roahen
Andrea Nguyen
David Lebovitz
Rick Bayless
Tara Austen Weaver
Mollie Katzen
Deborah Madison
Soup Peddler
Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan
Robb Walsh
Kim Severson
David Leite
Dan Lepard
Carolyn Jung


  1. Thanks for posting this, Lisa. I'm looking forward to meeting Joan in November! I wonder if this Community Cookbook from Woonsocket is sold in stores? I looked it up in Amazon but came up empty.

  2. Jodi: The Community Cookbook must be difficult to find. When googling, I only found a copyright reference but no actual books.

  3. A nice selection! I love Joan Nathan's books...



  4. I'll have to check those books out next time Im in America.
    *kisses* HH

  5. I love Joan Nathan, and I think it's so cool that Austin has a Jewish Book Fair!

  6. I'd be very interested in her Jewish cooking cookbook since I know pretty much nothing about Jewish cuisine.

    I'd also be interested in the Northern Italian cookbook, mainly because my family hails from Northern Italy.

  7. I always love your what are you reading posts, Lisa!
    Those small church and community cookbooks are really difficult to almost have to have inherited them!

  8. The NY Times Cookbook is already on my wish list - but The Splendid Table sounds really interesting too!

  9. Of course, I now want every single one of these cookbooks. Bad idea for me and my finances. Aack. Thank you for the lovely post, however! xo

  10. Owhhhh, I love reading lists, so interesting, especially when they're cookbooks :) I love The Splendid Table too, excellent one.

  11. I love finding out what other cooks are reading. That NY Times cookbook is on my list!

  12. I'll have to look for the first book right now...I LOVE Lynne Rossetto Kasper!!! I listen to her show every week!

  13. Can't wait to get a copy of the New York Times cookbook. I always look forward to the paper's weekly food section to see what's cookin'.

  14. I just got Joan's cookbook and it is fantastic! Both that and the NYT cookbook are some of my new favorites because they're actually fun to curl up with and read.

  15. Great! I also got a copy of her latest cookbook for review and just made 3 recipes today and we all fell in love! And I dug up and stole - er borrowed - my mom's old 1960s synagogue sisterhood cookbook and, like Joan, I love it and find the old recipes fabulous!


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