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book review

From Ruth Reichl’s magazine memoir to a cross-Canada survey of small-town Chinese restaurants, these new arrivals will inspire you to get cooking and eating

Save Me the Plums

Ruth Reichl revisits ‘the last golden age of magazine-making’

Ruth Reichl’s latest book, Save Me the Plums, chronicles her tenure as editor-in-chief of Gourmet, North America’s oldest epicurean magazine. In these memoirs, she allows a rare peek into the over-the-top glamour of Condé Nast’s magazine world from the perspective of someone who had been writing about food since the early seventies. Having discovered the allure of old-school Gourmet at the age of eight, Reichl guided it into a new era of culinary exploration, changing the way we consume – and think about – food.

Chop Suey Nation

Globe and Mail reporter Ann Hui’s memoir is an astonishing cultural and personal history

In her book Chop Suey Nation, Ann Hui, a Globe and Mail reporter, presents a fascinating blend of history, cultural commentary, road trip, personal narrative and mouth-watering food depictions. Hui and her husband set out across the wintry landscape of Canada in a toy-sized rental Fiat, starting on the treacherous Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia and ending on tiny Fogo Island in Newfoundland. Most resonant is Hui’s narration of her travels. Her prose is distinguished by subtlety and restraint.

Read an excerpt of Chop Suey Nation.


Yum and Yummer

Meet the self-published Canadian cookbook author who outsold Jamie and Ina

The first print run of cookbook author Greta Podleski’s latest book, Yum and Yummer, was 150,000 copies. It took five days to print and seven transport trucks to move the books from the printer to her warehouse. That was in the fall of 2017. Since then, her book has been reprinted twice, and has sold over 310,000 copies. In Canada, any book that sells more than 5,000 copies is considered a bestseller. Yum and Yummer (a play on the movie title Dumb and Dumber) was the top-selling cookbook of 2018 in Canada, even compared with new releases by Jamie Oliver, Ina Garten and Yotam Ottolenghi, and all books vegan, keto and Instant Pot.

Wildness: An Ode to Newfoundland and Labrador

Chef Jeremy Charles’s new cookbook is a celebration of the province’s food, culture and artisans


Newfoundland cuisine is intimately tied to the terroir. For celebrated chef Jeremy Charles, who co-owns Raymonds restaurant overlooking St. John’s harbour, the seasons and terroir have everything to do with his menu. Wildness: An Ode to Newfoundland and Labrador is a gorgeous hardcover book (with a $59.95 list price) that you’ll want to cook from, but may want to protect from kitchen splatters. Impassioned photographs shine a spotlight on a province alive with cod, shellfish, moose, game and wild edibles, with stories and essays about the people who help inspire Charles’s unique approach to modern coastal cuisine.

11 new cookbooks you’ll want on your shelf

Julie Van Rosendaal offers her recommendations for home cooks, starting with Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen by Kim Thuy. It’s the author’s first cookbook, and yet it’s also part memoir – it’s clear she’s not only a cook, but a celebrated writer. Her debut novel, Ru, won the Governor-General’s Award for French-language fiction in 2010, and Vi (2016) was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen introduces the reader to the women in Thuy’s family – her mother and five “aunt-mothers.”