AboutRead It & Eat

Welcome to Read It & Eat, a culinary bookstore located in the heart of Lincoln Park. Established in 2015, Read It & Eat is dedicated to providing food lovers with exceptional culinary experiences through carefully selected books and events.


The book collection highlights selections on cooking and baking, organized by region, ingredient, technique, or specific diet; memoirs, travel, and food history; and beverages from coffee and tea to beer, wine, and cocktails. We carry over 3500 titles, available in the store and right here in our online shop.


We also regularly host events including author and chef signings, discussions, demonstrations, tastings, and hands-on cooking and baking classes with dedicated instructors.


Visit us today -- there’s something delicious for everyone!

our Team

  • Esther Dairiam Owner
    Esther Dairiam Owner
    Esther Dairiam, a Management Consultant for over 10 years, opened Read It & Eat in 2015. While she is not a culinary professional, nor a professional bookseller; she has a keen love for eating and enjoys culinary books.
    Today, she can be found at the store's kitchen in hope of getting first dibs on tasty treats prepared by the resident culinary instructor.
  • Madelaine Bullwinkel Chef Instructor
    Madelaine Bullwinkel Chef Instructor
    Madelaine Bullwinkel has been teaching French cooking skills in hands-on classes for almost 40 years, currently as the resident chef at the Alliance Francaise de Chicago. She brings a wealth of experience in the classroom and as a culinary tour guide for 20 years in Paris, the Limousin and Provence. Madelaine enjoys demystifying and simplifying French cuisine for the home cook.
    In 2001, The Chicago Tribune honored her with the Good Eating Award noting: ”The standards she has maintained have elevated culinary education in Chicago.”
  • Kelly Dull Pastry Chef Instructor
    Kelly Dull Pastry Chef Instructor
    Kelly Dull is a pastry chef with nearly 15 years in the food service industry. Originally from the Midwest, she received her Baking and Pastry Arts degree from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, and honed her skills in kitchens all over the country.
    Kelly enjoys helping others learn about the techniques and science behind baking. She likes to stay busy, and when she's not working she can be found reading, playing with her dogs, or cooking at home.
  • Christy Meyer Chef Instructor
    Christy Meyer Chef Instructor
    She spends time perfecting her recipes, studying the art of food styling, sharing a bit of her home with family and friends and her love of cooking by teaching others how to cook. Her goal as an instructor is to teach the basics of cooking, introduce new cuisines and techniques, and to encourage my students to become the Chefs they never knew they could be.
  • Emmett Mottl Bookmaster
    Emmett Mottl Bookmaster
    Emmett Mottl studied English Literature and realized that he could make a living out of sharing incredible stories with the world. He has a deep appreciation for regional street foods, and a particular place in his heart for Scandinavian cooking. Officially, he is the Collection Curator, but the self-appointed title of 'Bookmaster' has a nice ring to it.
    Emmett has a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and previously served as Editor in Chief of Illumination, a campus journal of the humanities. His experience includes directing the local Unicef Campus Initiative, an editorial internship with the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, as well as a term with the Chicago Humanities Festival. He can be found wherever the coffee is fresh and the cheese curds squeak.
  • Torrence O'Haire Sommelier
    Torrence O'Haire Sommelier
    Torrence O'Haire (C.S. - Court of Master Sommeliers; C.S.W (Wine), C.S.P. (Spirits) - Society of Wine Educators; C.S.S. - Sake Education Council) has spent 16 years in the hospitality industry, with experience as a restaurant chef, private chef, beverage manager, sommelier, restauranteur, patissier, wine director, food writer, and culinary professor.
    He holds academic degrees from Grand Valley State University, and relocated from Grand Rapids, MI to Chicago in the summer of 2016. He still writes professionally and teaches at Kendall College of Hospitality, while he moonlights as a restaurant & bar consultant. He loves M.F.K. Fisher, Italian wine, gardening, oreos, and board games.
  • Ronak Patel Chef Instructor
    Ronak Patel Chef Instructor
    Chef Ronak Patel gained a love of preparing and eating eclectic foods at a young age. His parents welcomed his company in the kitchen and introduced him to food from around the world. After first pursuing his interest in film at Columbia College, Ronak decided to pursue his initial love of cooking through attending Le Cordon Bleu Chicago. He joined the Read It & Eat team as a culinary instructor in January 2017.
    Today Ronak is the owner, chef, and instructor of his own private dining company, Chef Ronak, and has worked for numerous catering companies including Chef Daniel Private Dining, Creme Catering, and Gourmet Gorilla. His affection for local food and healthy eating shows in his additional work at the Peterson Garden Project Community Cooking School, Purple Asparagus, Sugar Beet Food Co-op in Oak Park, and Cook, Cork and Fork in Palatine.

Join The Team

If you're interested in joining us as a Bookseller, Culinary Instructor or Kitchen Assistant, please send us an email at info@readitandeatstore.com with your resume.