Icons of American Cooking

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Icons of American Cooking

Format:  Hardcover,

314 pages

Publisher: Greenwood Pub Group

Publish Date: Mar 2011

ISBN-13: 9780313381324

ISBN-10: 0313381321

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The following content was provided by the publisher.

Before 1946 and the advent of the first television cooking show, James Beard's "I Love to Eat," not many Americans were familiar with the finer aspects of French cuisine. Today, food in the United States has experienced multiple revolutions, having received--and embraced--influences from not only Europe, but cultures ranging from the Far East to Latin America. This expansion of America's appreciation for food is largely the result of a number of well-known food enthusiasts who forever changed how we eat.

"Icons of American Cooking" examines the giants of American food, cooking, and cuisine through 24 biographical profiles of contemporary figures, covering all regions, cooking styles, and ethnic origins. This book fills a gap by providing behind-the-scenes insights into the biggest names in American food, past and present.


Publisher: Greenwood Pub Group
Publish Date: Mar 2011
ISBN-13: 9780313381324
ISBN-10: 0313381321
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 314
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.9
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 7.0 x 10.0 x 1.0
Walmart No.: 9780313381324

Chapter outline

Series Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Lidia Bastianichp. 1
Mario Batalip. 13
James Beardp. 25
Anrhony Bourdainp. 37
Cecilia Chiangp. 49
Julia Childp. 61
Betty Crockerp. 79
Culinary Institute of Americap. 91
Fannie Farmer and Marion Cunninghamp. 107
M. F. K. Fisherp. 117
Mollie Katzenp. 131
Diana Kennedyp. 141
Edna Lewisp. 155
Joan Nathanp. 169
Jacques Ppinp. 183
Paul Prudhommep. 195
Rachael Rayp. 205
Ruth Reichlp. 217
Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Beckerp. 229
Martha Stewartp. 243
Charlie Trotterp. 257
Alice Watersp. 269
Chuck Williamsp. 283
Tim and Nina Zagatp. 295
About the Editors and Contributorsp. 307
Indexp. 309


Review by Library Journal (2011-07-01)

Part of the "Greenwood Icons" series, this volume takes a brief and basic look at 26 food standouts (the preface says 24, but two of the chapters cover two people). The series has three requirements for inclusion: "challenge the status quo, influence on millions, and impact history". While most of the topics are people, Geraci (associate director, Regional Oral History Office, Univ. of California, Berkeley) and Demers (senior editor, Potomac Bks.) also include brand icon Betty Crocker and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Chapters are arranged alphabetically.

Running approximately ten pages in length, each chapter generally follows a template that includes information on the topic's early life (or creation, in the case of Crocker), career path, challenges, and accomplishments. The 18 contributors, nearly all from the food industry, do a good job of outlining the basics in an accessible and easy-to-read fashion. The title, however, is a bit misleading as it implies the icons included would be American, but several are not, and the impact on American food ways is not always clear.

The work would be strengthened with a section specifically explaining why the icon was included in a book on American cooking, especially since this is an introductory text. The end of each chapter includes a list of further readings, and some feature a bibliography of the figure's work. Interspersed throughout are sidebars on a variety of subtopics. Photos and an index add value.

Bottom Line: This basic volume on some of the more influential entities in the food business today is accessible for high school students and undergraduates; a good option for large public libraries. The clear strength of the work is in the additional readings and the coverage of lesser-known topics such as Crocker, the CIA, and Chuck Williams of Williams-Sonoma.

-Lisa A. Ennis, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Lib.

(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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