Read It & Eat

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My goal of reporting on every cookbook-only store in the USA has now come to my own backyard.  I don’t think a cookbook store has been in Chicago for at least a decade, maybe even two, until less than a year ago.  READ IT & EAT opened on North Halsted in Lincoln Park to the joy of cookbook collectors and food lovers everywhere.

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Owner Esther S. Dairiam, a former management consultant, was visiting Paris in 2012 when she entered the Librairie Gourmande, a culinary bookstore.  An idea was sparked to open her own bookstore, and after two years of research, what she came up with is what you will see here.  Come inside and take a look.  Be forewarned – you will not want to leave without buying a book or donning an apron for a cooking class.

My eyes didn’t even know where to look first, at the kitchen or the cookbooks.  Let’s start with the kitchen.  It’s rather stunning to say the least. There are demonstrations, tastings, and cooking classes.  A cookbook club meets monthly to discuss books and recipes while enjoying a meal together.

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Don’t you want to sit here and take a class?  There was a bread class that had ended about an hour before my daughter Kristina and I arrived, but you would never know it by how clean the kitchen appeared.  Not a crumb to be found.

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If you can pull yourself away from the kitchen, turn around and look at the cookbooks!  Beautiful shiny white bookcases in every category imaginable, plus many of the popular and new publications on tables and displays.

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I had to find the Scandinavian books, and also found a favorite on display.  Kristina bought two fabulous Nordic cookbooks.

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There are cozy chairs where you can sit and read to decide which books you wish to buy.  I’m sure there will be many!

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I found a couple books to buy, both of which will be on future blogs.  Kristina and I didn’t want to leave, but Kristina needed to get to a James Beard Awards event, which happened to be at this time.  Reluctantly, we left this lovely environment, but we’ll be back.

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Since this Sunday is Mother’s Day, I think everyone should take the following advice from Read It & Eat:

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Be sure and check out their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram pages too.  There is so much to do and eat here!  Be sure to come for a visit next time you are in Chicago. There is something delicious for everyone. Tell me first and I just might meet you there!

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6 Responses to Read It & Eat

  1. Kim Marsden May 4, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    Oh, my! What a delightful place! Would love to don an apron with you for one of their cooking classes! I am sure you will enjoy hours of culinary discoveries every time you are in Chicago visiting this food-lovers get away. I will look forward to reading about it on your future blogs. Enjoy my friend and thanks for sharing!

    • Debbie May 4, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      A friend has already messaged me and wants to go soon. We might even try to work in a cooking class!

  2. Scott Ewing May 6, 2016 at 7:29 am #

    Perhaps they will invite you Debbie to conduct a cooking class or demonstration, or to speak on your love of all things cookbook related! I know it would be interesting to all of us!

    • Debbie May 6, 2016 at 8:02 am #

      What a sweet thing to say! Thank you, Scott!

  3. Susan Coari June 1, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

    This is definitely an amazing space if you want to read, learn, observe, participate or talk about cooking, entertaining, food prep, entertaining, etc, etc, etc! The experts at Read it and Eat are knowledgable and entertaining. I have purchased many books and taken several classes at this amazing shop and definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to immerse themselves in a quality, friendly environment where food is king.

    • Debbie June 1, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

      Thanks for writing, Susan. I agree!

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