I just read a really good article about cookbook authors: "Soul Food: Cookbooks As Literature" by Maria Bustillos. Included for a detailed review: Alexandre Dumas for his Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine, Elizabeth David; Irma S. Rombauer, the original author of The Joy of Cooking; and Black Panther activist Bobby Seale for Barbeque'N with Bobby. She mentions others as she describes these favorites. She also singles out a few cookbook authors who provide a less interesting and appealing persona, notably Martha Stewart. Bustillos selects apt quotations and recipes to illustrate her descriptions of these authors, which makes this a very readable and enjoyable piece of writing.
In summing up her ideas on cookboos as literature, Bustillos writes: "Dumas, and Elizabeth David and Julia Child, Marcel Boulestin and Alice B. Toklas and Bobby Seale and so many others, have the eating of soup figured out and a good deal besides; as literary artists and beyond this, as artists of savoir faire, of life itself. Given that one must eat, how then to do it? Historians and philosophers as well as poets tend to come up short where advice on questions urgent and as homely as these is required."