Read It & Eat Owner One of Chicago's 'Influential Food Stars'

Esther Dairiam

Observing that the city "enjoys an embarrassment of riches when it comes to our celebrated culinary scene," Chicago Woman magazine showcased "10 of the city's influential food stars to find out what drives them."

Among the women featured was Esther Dairiam, owner of Read It and Eat bookstore, who said: "Many people read a cookbook cover-to-cover--like a novel.... While people may read cookbooks in the same way, they buy them for different reasons. We have professionals who buy books written by other chefs to learn techniques and gain inspiration. Other people buy cookbooks to add to their entertaining repertoire or who are learning how to cook. Then we have collectors who buy cookbooks simply because it appealed to them when they saw it and they may never cook from it--I've been known to do that sometimes.

"Whatever the reason, the beauty of a cookbook is that--in addition to providing the reader with a collection of recipes--it also opens them up to another culture and insight into a different way of life."

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