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The Man Who Ate Everythingby Jeffrey Steingarten
Synopses & Reviews
When Jeffrey Steingarten was appointed food critic for Vogue, he systematically set out to overcome his distaste for such things as kimchi, lard, Greek cuisine, and blue food. He succeeded at all but the last: Steingarten is "fairly sure that God meant the color blue mainly for food that has gone bad." In this impassioned, mouth-watering, and outrageously funny book, Steingarten devotes the same Zen-like discipline and gluttonous curiosity to practically everything that anyone anywhere has ever called "dinner."
Follow Steingarten as he jets off to sample choucroute in Alsace, hand-massaged beef in Japan, and the mother of all ice creams in Sicily. Sweat with him as he tries to re-create the perfect sourdough, bottle his own mineral water, and drop excess poundage at a luxury spa. Join him as he mounts a heroic — and hilarious — defense of salt, sugar, and fat (though he has some nice things to say about Olestra). Stuffed with offbeat erudition and recipes so good they ought to be illegal, The Man Who Ate Everything is a gift for anyone who loves food.
"What a relief that his own dietary resolve is so flimsy — its frequent rueful collapse prompting month-long obsessions with choucroute, barbecue, and Milky Way Swirl Cake; intense periods of detective work into various condiments (with his wife a kind of wry Watson); and delightful exposés like 'Salad the Silent Killer.' Whatever he's scrutinizing — and no sardine is safe — this is a superb, omnivorous collection from an obvious man of taste." Entertainment Weekly
"[O]bsessional, witty and authoritative...His brisk and self-mockingly pedantic disquisitions on the edible are unrivaled in the completeness of their basic research....The best thing about Mr. Steingarten is how hard he works to get to the bottom of things." Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal
"It was to indulge his obsession that in 1989 Steingarten gave up a career as a lawyer and became the food critic at Vogue. The Man Who Ate Everything is a wonderful book, comprising a selection of his brilliant essays from the magazine and elsewhere." Alexander Chancellor, The New York Times Book Review
"There's little on the subject of food about which he doesn't have strong views, and much of what he was thinking in the last half-dozen years appears in The Man Who Ate Everything....Steingarten's storytelling, full of exaggeration, is really a culinary psychoanalysis. He goes off on any old tear but, like a good analyst, manages to come back to a point now and again....Someone has to obsess over these things, and it might as well be someone as intelligent and entertaining as Steingarten." Sheryl Julian, The Boston Globe
"[S]erves up 40 obsessional, witty and authoritative essays....His brisk and self-mockingly pedantic disquisitions on the edible are unrivaled in the completeness of their basic research." Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal
"He has a voice like no one else's: corrosively funny and skeptical (of food fads, dieters, and "healthy" foods), and passionate (about researching ingredients and recipes). When I read him I forget how much I'm learning — even on subjects I've spent a great deal of time thinking and reading about — because I'm having such a good time." Corby Kummer, Atlantic Unbound
"A book worth celebrating...so expertly seasoned, so full of flavorsome surprises that if it were a meal even Mr. Steingarten would have difficulty finding fault with it." New Yorker
"Jeffrey Steingarten is...a witty, down-to-earth, culinary train-spotter and the kind of person you'd like to invite home to supper....He is that rare form of enthusiast you come across once in a decade, who can make odd facts utterly fascinating....This is a wonderful book — at turns funny, mouth-watering, and revelatory...." Isabel Best, Literary Review
With the sensuous lyricism of an M. F. K. Fisher, the unabashed iconoclasm of an H. L. Mencken, and the mania for research of a Louis Pasteur, Jeffrey Steingarten, the food critic for Vogue, conducts his readers on a mouthwatering and outrageously funny survey of practically everything that anyone anywhere has ever called "dinner".
Follow him as he jets off to sample choucroute in Alsace, hand-massaged beef in Japan, and the mother of all ice creams in Sicily. Sweat with him as he tries to recreate the perfect sourdough and drop excess poundage at a luxury spa. Stuffed with erudition and recipes so good they ought to be illegal, The Man Who Ate Everything is a gift for anyone who loves food.
About the Author
Jeffrey Steingarten trained to become a food writer at Harvard College, Harvard Law School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Lampoon. For the past eight years he has been the internationally feared and acclaimed food critic of Vogue magazine. Recently he has also become the food correspondent for the online magazine Slate. For essays in this collection, Mr. Steingarten has won countless awards from the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. On Bastille Day, 1994, the French Republic made him a Chevalier in the Order of Merit for his writing on French gastronomy. As a man who ate everything, Chevalier Steingarten has no favorite food, color, or song. His preferred eating destinations, however, are Memphis, Paris, Alba, Chengdu — and his loft in New York City.
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