something to food about


I was drawn to the cover of this book for a couple of reasons.  As a child I was fascinated with this 16th century painting:


Giuseppe Arcimboldo – Rudolf II of Habsburg as Vertumnus (From Google Art Project)

Does anyone else remember this painting from their old set of Childcrafts?

I am getting off task here.   The second reason I was drawn to this book was because the author is Questlove.   I love his quiet sense of humor on Jimmy Fallon and I love his foodie heart.   (Unfortunately, he closed his NYC fried chicken restaurant, Hybrid, in 2013.)   I also am envious of his creative soul.   (For an insightful interview with Questlove by Terri Gross on “Fresh Air,” click here.)

This book is beyond beautiful.

foraging in the back yard

Foraging in the back yard by Kyoko Hamada

The photography by Kyoko Hamada is beyond creative.


LudoBird; La Tour Eiffel by Kyoko Hamada

The narrative of the book, in a question/answer type interview format, is beyond insightful.  Questlove along with Ben Greenman shows the creative process and lives of ten chefs.


Guimauve (French for marshmallow), white powdered sugar on blue cafeteria tray by Kyoko Hamada

With an introduction by Anthony Bourdain, this book is definitely somethingtofoodabout.

Food is “ideas married to the senses.”   Questlove explains that food combines words, memory, music…a moment in time.   This epiphany comes after meeting Jiro Ono and eating at Sukiyabashi Jiro.   That singular meal becomes the catalyst for this book and for his exploration into the creative energy of Nathan Myhrvold, Daniel Humm, Michael Solomonov, Ludo Lefebvre, Dave Beran, Jess Grifiths, Donald Link, Dominique Crenn, Daniel Patterson and Ryan Roadhouse.

Be assured that this is not another famous person seeking self-proclaimed foodie status.  It is by an individual who wants to share and connect—“sharing in the experience with people is what food, culture, music and art is all about.”  Questlove approaches his subjects with reverence and a genuine desire to learn something.  His interviews with these famous rock star chefs are not without a bit of humor, sometimes self-deprecating.  Many times, however, his questions are even more insightful than the answers that are given.

I agree with Bourdain from his introduction—Questlove may well be the “Most Interesting Man Alive” and he brings his inquisitive nature to truly delving into what is behind culture, food and the creative drive.


I received a complimentary copy of this book  from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions, exclamations, gushing and rants are my own.



For my other Blogging for Books reviews, click here.

6 comments to something to food about

  • Mae

    Very interesting subject matter! Did you see the film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” or Chef’s Table on Netflix? Sounds like quite a bit of overlap with the book.

    I’m a fan of Arcimboldo too, though I didn’t have that childhood item.

    best… mae at

  • I have seen Jiro. What an inspiring life and film. This book is in the same vein.

  • kitchenriffs

    Haven’t heard about this book! Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention — sounds fascinating. And yes, I do remember that Giuseppe Arcimboldo picture, although I’m not sure where I’ve seen it. Fun post! Thanks.

  • I saw him do a few interviews about this book and thought that it sounded amazing. Now I am convinced that it is even better than it sounds. 😉 Great review!