Food stories - the birth of this blog

I just started reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. I have reached page 40 already and love the book. As I love his show. His passion for food comes through in every word he writes. And I love his humour which is wry, caustic and understated.

Another book which I loved was Chitrita Banerjee's 'Eating India'. It looks at food from various parts of India from the perspective of a Bengali food lover settled in the US. I had read her 'Goddesses of Bengal' before but 'Eating India' was at a different level. I lovingly read each page as Ms Banerjee told her stories on the world of food. I would read the book after dinner before I went to sleep and then feel incredibly hungry.

I could really relate to both Bourdain and Banerjee in their books. It is almost as if we were alter egos or like the twins (triplets) separated at birth of Manmohan Desai's Hindi films of the seventies.

In fact this blog owes its existence to people like them and some others like the ever so bouncy Jamie Oliver, the sincere and toiling Floyd, the capricious Ian Wright, the cherubic Kylie Kwong, the smiling and sinfully indulgent Nigella Lawson or the earnest guy who does 'Thirsty Traveller'. These shows which I picked up on the Discovery Travel and Living channel showed me the food or travel writing/ shows needn't be just about recipes or descriptions of places, restaurants, hotels. They can spin yarns and bring alive experiences.

Inspired by them I too have tried to write food stories on my blog... and have loved every moment of it.

An interesting book though not in the same league is Vir Sanghvi's 'Rude Food'. This too had some interesting stories but at times was a bit too la di da and definitely did not have the passion of Bourdain or Banerjee. It was informative but not passionate. I did not agree with his views on Calcutta rolls or Bengali luchis. Still worth a read.

Kainaz had bought me one of Jamie Oliver's books, "Jamie's Dinners". This hard cover must have cost a bomb and has some of the loveliest of food photos and captions ever. It is largely a recipe book but has witty and incisive asides. That's where I read about the concept of 'food trees' - how there are basic launch pads for various dishes. Our onion based gravies are a good example of this. I learnt how to make pesto from here. And Kainaz made a lovely cheese free pasta called 'Whore's Pasta' from his book which was refreshingly different.


k said…
Like jamie oliver, I too, am trying to figure out why the whore's pasta is called that. It's neither cheap, nor easy. Although, it does leave the cook exhausted!
Scarlett said…
Pls tell me where I can get good Chinese food in Calcutta. I mean the Bombay type, not the Tangra type.
This reminds me. I need to pick up some airplane reading....I'll take a look at Banerjee
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Scarlett...difficult to say. I belong to the tribe which looks for Calcutta like food at Bombay. Try Barbecue at Park Street. Plus there is a Mainland China there too