‘Poilâne and the Poilâne family have revolutionized the way we think about bread,” writes Alice Waters in her foreword to Apollonia Poilâne’s cookbook, out now from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Poilâne: The Secrets of the World-Famous Bread Bakery marks the first time the recipes of the celebrated Parisian bakery, founded in 1932 by Apollonia’s grandfather, have been made public. After her parents were tragically killed in an accident, the 18-year-old Apollonia took over the family business in 2002, earning a degree from Harvard a few years later while simultaneously running the company, which celebrates its 88th anniversary in 2020. Here, the baker and C.E.O. shares her favorite books on food and drink.
Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks, by Ina Garten
I love Ina’s approach to cooking, which I would say is taking things seriously but with a light heart and a smile. Growing up, I received a similar education from my parents and my neighbor, with all of whom I took cooking classes. They taught me how not to be afraid of the kitchen. A thoughtful approach, reading and planning ahead, understanding the building blocks of cuisines, and giving it your best try were the rules of thumb.
Modernist Bread, by Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya
As a passionate baker, I acknowledge my appreciation of the magic of bread. However, I also studied science in high school and economics in college, and I need a scientific approach to my art. When I learned about Nathan’s next adventure, I saw the opportunity for us bakers to have someone approach our craft with a more scientific eye to enrich our passionate souls, which I appreciated.
The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices, by Lior Lev Sercarz
I met Lior in 2007, and we have been companions in good foods and spices since then. I turn to his book as a reference for historical and culinary knowledge on spices, but also as inspiration on how to cook with them.
The Life of Tea: A Journey to the World’s Finest Teas, by Michael Freeman and Timothy d’Offay
I am a tea drinker and a passionate traveler. On a rainy weekend day or evening, sipping a cup of tea with Tim’s book is a deep dive into a literary adventure. I read it to feed my interest in and deepen my knowledge of tea as much as to escape.