Here are some recommended reads handpicked for you by Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg.
Benu provides a gorgeously illustrated presentation of the running order of one of Lee’s 33 course tasting menus, providing access to all the drama and pace of Benu’s kitchen and dining room. Forewords by Thomas Keller and David Chang are accompanied by additional short prose and photo essays by Lee, detailing the cultural influences, inspirations, and motivations behind his East meets West approach.
Often cited as one of the most innovative and influential rock musicians, guitar legend Jimi Hendrix had a short and turbulent life, succumbing early, as did many other rock icons of his generation, to pressures generated by the conflicts between their creative visions and the economic imperatives of the music industry. He died of an overdose in 1970 at the age of 27. This collaborative tribute to Hendrix, described by one of its creators as “not so much outright biography as speculative fantasy,” explores the excitement and the pitfalls of rock stardom sympathetically and perceptively.
Chef Christian F. Puglisi opened restaurant Relae in 2010 on a rough, run-down stretch of one of Copenhagen’s most crime-ridden streets. His goal was simple: to serve impeccable, intelligent, sustainable, and plant-centric food of the highest quality – in a setting that was devoid of the pretention and frills of conventional high-end restaurant dining. Relae, the book, is Puglisi’s much-anticipated debut: like his restaurants, the book is honest, unconventional, and challenges our expectations of what a cookbook should be.
Chris Salewicz, the bestselling author of Redemption Song, the classic biography of Joe Strummer, interviewed Marley in Jamaica in 1979. Now, for the first time, in this thorough, detailed account of Marley’s life and the world in which he grew up, Salewicz illuminates everything from the Rastafari religion and the musical scene in Jamaica to the spirit of the man himself. Interviews with dozens of people who knew Marley and have never spoken before are woven through the narrative as Salewicz seeks to explain why Marley has become such an enigmatic and heroic figure, loved by millions all over the world.
Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as “a minor masterpiece” when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they’re made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious. Now, for its twentieth anniversary, Harold McGee has prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment.
Thompson, the creator of Gonzo journalism, writes with his usual bravado, energy, and brutal honesty, and with a nuanced and incisive eye; as The New Yorker pointed out, “For all its uninhibited and sardonic humour, Thompson’s book is a thoughtful piece of work.” As illuminating now as when originally published in 1967, Hell’s Angels is a gripping portrait, and the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend.