Side Dish: Food lover’s favorite companion and handy reference _lowres


“The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion, 2nd Edition” by Ron Herbst and Sharon Tyler Herbst

Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., $29.99

854-page hardcover

It seems fitting that I write about the latest — and “deluxe” — edition of Barron’s authoritative “The New Food Lover’s Companion” today. The reference volume, which first appeared in print in 1990, has helped me with culinary terms since my first byline on Oct. 3, 1991, as a staff member of what was then called the Food section.

That byline came the day after our afternoon newspaper, the State-Times, closed. While a news reporter for the State-Times, I had occasionally reviewed cookbooks for the Food section, but I didn’t have an extensive food background. I found myself referring to “The Food Lover’s Companion” quite often as I learned about good food, preparation methods and cooking tips. I still pull out the reference book on a regular basis.

This latest version is much fancier and quite a bit larger than my first dog-eared Barron’s, with many more entries, glossaries and line art, sidebars and even golden-edged pages. But, it remains a must-have for anyone who wants to know more about cooking terms.

I’m sure it will continue to help me as I enter a new phase in my lengthy and varied newspaper career. I will be cutting back on work and spending more time for myself, not having to set the alarm clock. However, I also want to continue serving our wonderful readers. Consequently, I will still contribute to the EatPlayLive section every week, but will be working from home.

And, I’m counting on our readers, home cooks, chefs and community leaders to let me know about their cooking, entertaining, favorite recipes and fine work. I’ll be taking a few weeks off, but will soon be back with my columns and stories of the great foodies in our area.

E-mail your ideas to and or write us at The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s food editor.