Elizabeth Ries’ favorite food related memoirs

Twin Cities Live Co-Host, Elizabeth Ries is a lover of books. In addition to the many books she reads for her own pleasure, she hosts a monthly book club, often featuring books from Midwest authors. Cooking is Elizabeth’s passion, and she’s growing as much of her own food as possible in her backyard garden. As part of our Notable Community Reader Series, she shared some favorite food and farming related memoirs — just in time for June in Minnesota. 

My Life in France – Julia Child
The stories in this book were told by Julia Child to her husband’s grand-nephew just before her death at the age of 92. It’s fascinating to hear about her time learning to cook, her loving relationship with Paul and her ascension to food royalty.

Farm City – Novella Carpenter
This book pulls you in from the first line: “I have a farm on a dead-end street in the ghetto.” Say what?! Carpenter describes everything from gardening to butchering a pig in an urban food desert.

Born Round – Frank Bruni
I love the behind-the-scenes tales of a former New York Times food critic. From concealing his identity in restaurants to his very personal and painful struggles with his own body image and food, Bruni shares eye-opening and thoughtful stories.

Alice Waters and Chez Panisse – Thomas McNamee
“How we eat can change the world.” Alice Waters is, of course, a food revolutionary. This book chronicles her relationship with food, men and Chez Panisse.

Folks, This Ain’t Normal – Joel Salatin
Joel Salatin is opinionated, passionate and fascinating. Whether you agree with him or not, his book will have you wondering why our food and farming system is the way it is and if there’s a better way to feed ourselves.

The Sweet Life in Paris – David Lebowitz
This book is a vacation to Paris and a hilarious account of an American dealing with cultural differences. The book is peppered with recipes and makes you feel like you’re there with Lebowitz.

Blood, Bones and Butter – Gabrielle Hamilton
This book is positively riveting and had me counting the days until I could get to Hamilton’s NYC restaurant, Prune. The food there didn’t disappoint and neither will her story of complicated relationships and passion for food.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan
If you’ve never thought of your food choices as having an impact on anything other than your full belly, this book will rock your world. What is real food? How does what we’re eating affect the world? What can we do better? Michael Pollan tackes it all.

Diet for a New America – John Robbins
Full disclosure: I was a vegetarian for four years after reading this book. But whether you are an omnivore, a vegan or anything in between, I believe it’s important to know where your food comes from and to make an educated decision about what you choose to eat. John Robbins gives an unflinching description of factory farming in this must-read.

Elizabeth has been hosting Twin Cities Live since 2009.  A native of Minnesota, she received her B.A. in journalism and political science from UW-Madison and immediately jumped into TV news, anchoring the morning newscast at KDLH in Duluth and later WBAY in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Of TCL, Elizabeth says, “Working at TCL is the best way to get to know my hometown even better. We love showing the Twin Cities everything our incredible community has to offer.” Elizabeth enjoys reading, walking, and bike riding with her West Highland Terrier, Henry, who rides in a basket and receives quite a few stares when they’re out on the road together.