Foodie Idols

Every foodie has to start their cookbook collection somewhere. I realize now that for me it started at the IUB my last year in college, as I painstakingly searched for something so that I could cash in a gift card. I ended up going home with one of my very first cookbooks that day, The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life, by Ellie Krieger of Food Netwook. Over time, my collection has grown, and at present state my collection of cookbooks sits at about 30–many gifted, some purchased. It’s gotten to the point where we need to make an Ikea trip for a taller standing bookcase (waiting for the rain to come back to Portland before I drag Ktams to an Ikea for hours!).

If you’re an emerging foodie–or you are just looking to branch out a bit from what you are normally cooking, a great place to start (especially if you don’t want to just jump in and buy a cookbook) is at your library; Most have a pretty good collection of cookbooks. No library access? Try the internet–I did a post last October of great food sites to start from. While you are figuring out who your Cooking Gods are–I’ll share mine!

My shortlist of people I dream about cooking for me:

Alton Brown

via Dash Recipes

Ahh were to start with my love for Dear AB. I think my crush on him started waaaaaay back when I was a kid watching some of his first episodes of Good Eats. I had never had an affinity towards the sciences, but it just made SO MUCH SENSE when the things I was learning in chem were applied to the art of cooking good food. To this day, when it comes to searching for something that requires a lot of prep and work on the cook’s part, Ktams and I run straight to the computer to see whether Alton’s done it first (which, by the way, he usually has!). I’m talking everything from pizza dough to home-brewed beer! He really has a way of making everything precise and easy to follow, and his cookbooks are quite good reads.

Some Books by Alton:

Good Eats: The Early Years
Good Eats 2: The Middle Years
Good Eats 3: The Later Years
I’m Just Here for the Food: Food+Heat=Cooking
I’m Just Here for More Food: FoodxMixing+Heat=
I’m Just Here for the Food: Version 2.0
Alton Brown’s Gear for Your Kitchen

Ellie Krieger

via NY Sun

Ellie and I found one another at the perfect time. I had just started coming around to the healthier side of life (no thanks to Ktams—without him who knows where I’d be—likely sustaining myself on cupcakes alone), and her cookbooks really have helped me gain a nice comfort level cooking more diverse meals on the weeknights. The key with cooking healthier food you see ::moves in closer and drops down to a whisper:: is TO SIMPLIFY–But that’s likely a topic for another post. Ellie’s books basically take things that have few ingredients to them and put them together, which sounds easy—but you’ve got to come up with good combinations first! That’s where I have grown to love her stuff. She gives me a lot of good “Duh” moments—like “Why didn’t I think of that? It’s delicious!”
Some Books by Ellie
The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life
So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week
Comfort Food Fix: Feel-Good Favorites Made Healthy
Small Changes, Big Results: A Wellness Plan with 65 Recipes for a Healthy, Balanced Life Full of Flavor
Ellie Krieger Vegetarian Meals
Weeknight Wonders

Rick Bayless

via Grub Street: San Francisco

I only found Rick about the time he won Top Chef Masters back in August of 2009. At that point I didn’t know he was actively doing his Mexico: One Plate at a Time series. Soon after, I had the opportunity of dining at his restaurant Frontera in downtown Chicago with Ktams and his family, and I was immediately in love with everything that came out of that kitchen. I then came into ownership of Mexican Everyday, as well as Fiesta at Rick’s: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends. I’ve grown in so many ways looking back on that food chapter of my life. An example: I used to not eat spicy food at all, and anything that I couldn’t pronounce scared me, and today I can’t go a week without cooking something from Rick’s recipe archives—and the more spice the happier I am! Chipotle Chilis in Adobo are a household staple, and we’ve gotten so frustrated with store bought corn tortillas we are halfway to making our own from scratch. Yes—we have come a long way, and much if not all of it is thanks to Mr. Bayless.

Some Books by Rick:
Fiesta at Rick’s: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends
Mexican Everyday
Authentic Mexican 20th Anniversary Ed: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico
Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks

Do you have any Foodie Idols or Cooking Gods you worship?

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