On the Shelf

Herbarium

By Caz Hildebrand

Herbarium by Caz Hildebrand is a stylishly illustrated encyclopedia of herbs from around the world. This book is a visual feast that explores the histories, associations, and uses of over more than 100 herbs. Each entry features a specially commissioned illustration with accompanying text that includes botanical and common names, place of origin, growing conditions, and medicinal and cooking uses. While informative, the book’s strength is in the illustrations. The premise from the start, according to the author, was to illustrate the herbs in a set of elements that created beautiful patterns, using contemporary style inspired by Modernist design. Did you know that honeysuckle, historically used to treat hiccups, can be used in tea to boost the immune system and soothe headaches?

Ten Restaurants that Changed America

By Paul Freedman

Ten Restaurants that Changed America by Paul Freedman is an original take on the history of dining out in America as told through descriptions of 10 legendary restaurants. The unique stories of each of these restaurants begins with Delmonico’s, which opened in New York in 1830, and concludes with California’s Chez Panisse, which remains influential in the revival of the farm-to-table movement. The book is illustrated with menus, cartoons, and vintage photos. Each restaurant’s story presents an interesting picture of American cultural history as shaped by immigrants, entrepreneurs, chefs, and impresarios.

Acorns & Cattails: A Modern Foraging Cookbook of Forest, Farm & Field

By Rob Connoley

Rob Connoley, a semifinalist for the James Beard Award’s best Southwestern chef, writes a fascinating book for chefs and cooks who seek a deeper connection with their food and their food sources. Acorns & Cattails: A Modern Foraging Cookbook of Forest, Farm & Field features more than 100 recipes with stunning photographs. The book affords the reader and any home cook the opportunity to explore the basics of wild plant harvesting and foraging. Humorous anecdotes from Connoley’s years of remote gathering, as well as interesting profiles of “fellow foragers,” enhance the story of food and its origins.