A growing list of cooking/gardening/thinking mentors, and links to some great sites.
Apart from family, friends and former students (and I’m lucky to have family and friends that love to cook and eat together and former students who can cook their way merrily around the world), here are the people whose writings and examples I turn to frequently these days, in alphabetical order:
Rick Bayless Okay, so I watched him on Top Chef Masters (it’s my daughter’s fault) and found him exacting and charming. He’s so passionate about Mexican food and really enjoys himself in the kitchen. Mexican Kitchen and Mexican Everyday.
Penelope Casas–Cookbook writer. She does for Spanish food what Roden does for the Middle East. The Foods and Wines of Spain.
The Gardeners and Framers of Terre Vivante. Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning.
Giorgio Locatelli Italian chef. Made in Italy: Food and Stories From the book cover: “Italians just want to welcome people by sharing what they have, however simple, in abundance. An Italian’s role in life s to feed people. A lot. We can’t help it.”
Copeland Marks and Mintari Soeharjo wrote the book that helped me learn to cook Indonesian food. The Indonesian Kitchen.
Claudia Roden Indispensible food historian & teacher, primarily of the foods of the Middle East and Mediterranean, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
Plus I read Gastronomica Magazine.
Additional Foodie Blogs and Websites I Visit Regularly
A Cooking Life (from Vermont)
GARDENING (not as many books–I rely on just a couple)
Gordon Hayward (although he doesn’t write about vegetable gardening, his books on flower gardening and landscaping remind me to consider the aesthetics, the geometry of my gardening space, the relationships between form, color, scale, perspective.
Susan McClure, The Herb Gardener.
Diane Anthony ‘s The Ornamental Vegetable Garden is fun to look at for design ideas, but not for gardening techniques.
Blogs and Websites
Allen Becker (Montreal Based)
I have so many teachers–these are a few who have inspired me along this part of my journey.
Kiera McPhee and her School of Sustainable Living Arts: Well before I left higher ed to explore the world of community-based learning, Kiera had made just that trek and with her colleagues have modeled the inspiring learning parties. Their motto is: “Bringing local folks, local knowledge and local resources together for hands-on learning experiences.” Exactly. If you’re ever up in British Columbia, say hi from me and do check out what they’re doing and how they’ve tried to save the University of British Columbia Farm and local independent businesses in their neighborhood.
Nancy White and her gazillion experiments with online community via Full Circle Associates and how she models living a joyful life, even with chickens in a city. She’s the full package.
Laura Blankenship, who also recently left higher ed to start her own consultancy. She’s a remarkably generous blogger, insightful thinker and leader in the edtech field. Plus she loves to cook. I’ve learned a lot from my collaborations with her and inspiring cohorts Barbara Sawhill, Leslie Madsen-Brooks and Martha Burtis (also so important to my thinking in the world of formal learning).
Alan Levine (aka cogdog) for exploring everything from cameras to marathons to the far corners of the earth to any kind of cooking you want to try. That and the fact that he is incredible–generous and creative–teaching and learning online. He’s amazing.
Bryan Peterson Understanding Photography Field Guide