As I was researching material for my articles on Slate.com about the joy of gay cooking, I was lucky to have knowledgeable people in my life who pointed me in the right direction, urging me read the writings of the originals. Among others, I want to thank Jon Roemer, publisher of Outpost19, Lukas Volger, publisher of Jarry Magazine, Bryan Lowder, my editor at Slate, and Noah Fecks, photographer extraordinaire and co-author of The Way We Ate, for sharing their knowledge of history with me.
Here is a list of the books that have informed and delighted me and reinforced my instinctive sense that being gay, along with one's cultural background and individuality, can and should have an impact on the way one approaches the fine art of cooking. But of course, nothing good ever happens without intelligence and humor. These trailblazers, –not all of them gay, by the way – have both, and I cherish having met them via their books.
Alice B. Toklas: The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook
James Beard: Delights and Prejudices
Craig Claiborne: A Feast Made for Laughter
Richard Olney: Reflexions
Lou Rand Hogan: The Gay Cookbook
Luke Barr: Provence, 1970
Bert Greene and Denis Vaughan: The Store Cookbook
Jeremiah Tower: California Dish
Simon Doonan: Gay Men Don't Get Fat
John Thorne: Mouth Wide Open: A Cook and His Appetite
Scott Haas: Back of the House
Elissa Altman: Poor Man's Feast
The list goes on...
But I want to mention my new favorite author, cultural critic and food writer Betty Fussell, whose way of understanding and communicating history in all its complex connections is a sheer pleasure to witness via her interviews, talks, and, of course, books.