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Book Excerpts

The most interesting food-focused book excerpts, from memoirs to histories to fiction.

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What It’s Like to Work a Shift in a 3-Degree Storage Facility

In her new book "Frostbite," Nicola Twilley takes a trip to an Americold warehouse, a key link in the country’s vast cold chain.

‘I’m in Love With Joey Chestnut’

Kim-Joy’s New Recipe-Filled Graphic Novel Is About More Than Cute Bakes

In "Turtle Bread," the "Great British Bake Off" alum’s first foray into fiction, a shy woman joins a baking club

Hunting for Mushrooms in the Forest of Memory

In an excerpt from "Fieldwork," Iliana Regan’s second memoir, the chef traces her family’s czarnina-making tradition back to the woods of Poland

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The Lost Soybeans of Okinawa

In an excerpt from "Eating to Extinction," author Dan Saladino visits Okinawa where one farmer is hoping to bring back one of the world’s rarest soybeans

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How the Pandemic Knocked Chefs Off Their Pedestal 

In an excerpt from his book "The Next Supper," Corey Mintz calls for a future in which workers are celebrated above chefs

How DoorDash and Postmates Make an Already Dangerous Job Worse

Why Barbecue Sauce Is Essential to Black Barbecue

In an excerpt from "Black Smoke," Adrian Miller explains why Black barbecue cooks take their secret sauce recipes to the grave

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Beyond the Nut Loaf

In an excerpt from "An Onion in My Pocket," chef Deborah Madison creates a four-course vegetarian menu at a time when vegetarian fine dining was still a foreign concept to many

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To Find Hope in American Cooking, James Beard Looked to the West Coast

In an excerpt from The Man Who Ate Too Much, the culinary icon returns to his hometown and begins to articulate his vision for American cuisine

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A Fool’s Choice

In an excerpt from her memoir "Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger," pastry chef Lisa Dononvan attempts to find some work-life balance at her first intense restaurant job

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The Freshest Boudin Noir in Lyon

In an excerpt from his new memoir, "Dirt," Bill Buford attends a countryside pig killing

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Desegregating McDonald’s

A 1963 civil rights protest at a drive-in in Pine Bluff, Arkansas was a momentous first step towards ending segregation at the franchise

The Real Problem With Paula Deen

Why was Paula Deen allowed to be the authority on Southern cooking for over a decade?

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Ms. Pac-Man’s Revenge

In an essay for the anthology "Women on Food," restaurant critic Soleil Ho wonders if gender has something to do with the lack of food in video games

Baking Through the Storm

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A Bartender Considers His Final Drink

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Constructing the Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World

How legendary restaurateur Joe Baum created Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center

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In Newfoundland, You Have to Ask for Noodles in Your Chow Mein

In "Chop Suey Nation," author Ann Hui explores the immigration stories behind Canada’s small-town Chinese restaurants

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The Making of Colonel Sanders

In "Drive-Thru Dreams," author Adam Chandler explores how KFC’s Harland David Sanders embodies the American dream

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Inside the Exceptionally Shady World of Truffle Fraud

In "The Truffle Underground," author Ryan Jacobs investigates how fake truffles have flooded the Italian food scene

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How the Portable Grill Turned Barbecue Into a Backyard Tradition Across America

In "Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America," author Jim Auchmutey explains the origins of home grilling

Ruth Reichl on Why Gourmet’s Website Was Doomed From the Start

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‘The Kitchen at Per Se Was a Clean Place but Hard and Heartless Too’

Kwame Onwuachi’s memoir, "Notes From a Young Black Chef," reveals kitchen abuse at Thomas Keller’s NYC restaurant

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Fried Chicken Is Common Ground

Editor Chris Ying introduces an essay from ‘You and I Eat the Same,’ his first book in collaboration with Rene Redzepi

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‘We All Were Driven by the Need to Feed an Island’

In an excerpt from his upcoming book, José Andrés reflects on his first weeks on the ground in Puerto Rico

Inside a Rice Whiskey Distillery in Thailand

Ban Brunch and Throw a Dinner Party Instead

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How Robert De Niro Convinced Nobu to Build a Restaurant Empire

An excerpt from Nobu: A Memoir

Chef Homaro Cantu In His Own Words

What It’s Like to Get Four Stars From the ‘New York Times’

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Inviting Discomfort to the Table

How food can be just as provocative as sex, an excerpt from Feed the Resistance