Foodie Favorites for Fans of 'The Bear'

By Brenna Murphy

Check out these books about food, cooking, and restaurants.

  • Recipe for Persuasion: A Novel

    2020 by Dev, Sonali

    Chef Ashna Raje reluctantly goes on a reality-show competition to try to save her family restaurant. Loosely inspired by Austen's Persuasion, this is a skillfully crafted, lovely second-chance romance that includes a complex mother-daughter storyline that adds depth and nuance. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Yes, Chef: A Memoir

    2012 by Samuelsson, Marcus

    Celebrity and awarding-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson takes readers on his personal journey as a transracial adoptee falling in love with cooking and pursuing a job as a chef. Through humor, warmth, and mouthwatering descriptions of food, readers will enjoy a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes of a James Beard award-winning restaurant. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Marrying the Ketchups: A Novel

    2022 by Close, Jennifer

    Complicated family dynamics run parallel with the everyday operations of a Chicago restaurant in this book. A wide cast of characters, engaging storylines, and the friction between progress and tradition make this a great choice for anyone who loves the beautiful chaos that can be found in restaurant kitchens everywhere. Suggested by Paul.

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  • With the Fire on High

    2019 by Acevedo, Elizabeth

    Emoni is a high school senior with a lot on her plate–literally! Cooking is her passion and her dream career. This is a heartfelt read about teen parenthood, complicated families, and growing up, with a dash of romance. Suggested by Brenna.

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  • The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South

    2017 by Twitty, Michael W.

    This book is a different type of memoir, one that is not a straight narrative of the author's life. Instead, it's a fascinating recounting of how food shaped where he is now and it goes beyond the author's life to trace his ancestry. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder: A Baker Street Mystery

    2022 by Burns, V. M.

    A charming, funny, foodie cozy mystery in which Maddy Montgomery must run her great-aunt Octavia's bakery while trying to prove her innocence when the town's mayor is murdered unexpectedly. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • A Proposal They Can't Refuse

    2022 by Caña, Natalie

    A foodie-related fake relationship rom/com that turns hot and heavy when meddlesome octogenarian matchmakers blackmail former childhood friends into an engagement. File this under smoldering in Chicagoland. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Delicious! A Novel

    2014 by Reichl, Ruth

    Vivid food descriptions and a coming-of-age novel can be the perfect pairing. This book has much for anyone to chew on as it features a cast of likable characters, the New York restaurant scene, a bit of mystery, and yes, a lot of food. Suggested by Paul

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  • Let's Make Dumplings! A Comic Book Cookbook

    2021 by Amano, Hugh

    Part comic, part cookbook, entirely fun! The gorgeous illustrations and helpful instructions will inspire you to make your own dumplings at home. Suggested by Brenna.

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  • A Dash of Salt and Pepper

    2022 by Jackson, Kosoko

    When struggling restaurateur Logan O'Hare hires business school grad Xavier Reynolds as his prep chef, they’re immediately clashing in the kitchen. Xavier can’t wait to earn enough money to leave town for a prestigious fellowship program, but the attraction is there and this banter-filled LGBTQIA rom/com has the right ingredients for a charming opposites-attract love story. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Body and Soul Food

    2021 by Collette, Abby

    If you have a taste for culinary cozies, be sure to add this first installment in the Books and Biscuits series to your reading menu. Twins Keaton and Koby make a terrific sleuthing team and their combined bookstore/soul food cafe is the ideal backdrop for a baffling whodunit. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

    2021 by Zauner, Michelle

    A stunning memoir about a mother-daughter relationship and the way food connects the author to her Korean heritage. Have the tissues close by for this emotional exploration of grief and loss. Suggested by Brenna.

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