There's food writing, and then there's food ranting. Two of my latest reads deserve a healthy serving of your time, but maybe not for the same audience. Waiter Rant- by Steve Dublanica

An automatic best seller, this front of the house version of Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential gives us an inside look at the craziness that is a restaurant. Not to mention it will make you think twice about yourself as a customer...and especially how you tip. From stories about the regular customers, to the power struggle behind the manager, owner, and wait staff, you'll easily plow through several chapters in a sitting. Although the book reads like a sailor's diary on an angry day, if you can block out the four letter words, the content is gold. Finish the book and want more? Catch up on 'The Waiter' and his daily doings on the blog.

Cornbread Nation: Various Authors


Cornbread Nation is a series of books that are published on a seemingly yearly basis by the Southern Foodways Alliance. The Alliance goal is to educate, study, and spread the love of southern food and cooking. By taking the short stories from food writers on BBQ, cornbread, chitlins, and okra, you are transported below the Mason Dixon line no matter where you truly sit.  While some of the short stories are better reads than others, all truly convey what the Cornbread Nation is about. CN is more linguistically complex than Waiter Rant, and takes you on an in depth stroll through specifics of cuisine. If you're trying to decide which of the series to read, here are the themes:

  • Book 1: Southern Cooking
  • Book 2: BBQ
  • Book 3: Mountain South Appalachia
  • Book 4: New Orleans
  • Book 5: Food as body and social nourishment

What's on your night-stand?