dinsdag 26 november 2013

Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance: The Turbulent Life and Fine Times of the Man Who Changed the Way We Eat - Thomas McNamee (Boek)



In the 1950s, America was a land of overdone roast beef and canned green beans—a gastronomic wasteland. Most restaurants relied on frozen, second-rate ingredients and served bogus “Continental” cuisine. Authentic French, Italian, and Chinese foods were virtually unknown. There was no such thing as food criticism at the time, and no such thing as a restaurant critic. Cooking at home wasn’t thought of as a source of pleasure. Guests didn’t chat around the kitchen. Professional equipment and cookware were used only in restaurants. One man changed all that.
From the bestselling author of Alice Waters and Chez Panisse comes the first biography of the passionate gastronome and troubled genius who became the most powerful force in the history of American food—the founding father of the American food revolution. From his first day in 1957 as the food editor of the New York Times, Craig Claiborne was going to take his readers where they had never been before. Claiborne extolled the pleasures of exotic cuisines from all around the world, and with his inspiration, restaurants of every ethnicity blossomed. So many things we take for granted now were introduced to us by Craig Claiborne—crème fraîche, arugula, balsamic vinegar, the Cuisinart, chef’s knives, even the salad spinner.

He would give Julia Child her first major book review. He brought Paul Bocuse, the Troisgros brothers, Paul Prudhomme, and Jacques Pépin to national acclaim. His $4,000 dinner for two in Paris was a front-page story in the Times and scandalized the world. And while he defended the true French nouvelle cuisine against bastardization, he also reveled in a well-made stew or a good hot dog. He made home cooks into stars—Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey, Diana Kennedy, and many others. And Craig Claiborne made dinner an event—whether dining out, delighting your friends, or simply cooking for your family. His own dinner parties were legendary.

Craig Claiborne was the perfect Mississippi gentleman, but his inner life was one of conflict and self-doubt. Constrained by his position to mask his sexuality, he was imprisoned in solitude, never able to find a stable and lasting love. Through Thomas McNamee’s painstaking research and eloquent storytelling, The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat unfolds a history that is largely unknown and also tells the full, deep story of a great man who until now has never been truly known at all.

About the Author
Tom McNamee is the author of Alice Waters and Chez Panisse. His writing has been published in The New Yorker, Life, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He lives in San Francisco.

From his first day on the job as the New York Times food critic, Craig Claiborne excited readers by introducing them to food worlds unknown, from initiating them in the standards of the finest French cuisine and the tantalizing joys of the then mostly unknown foods of India, China, Mexico, Spain, to extolling the pleasures of “exotic” ingredients like arugula, and praising “newfangled” tools like the Cuisinart, which once he’d given his stamp of approval became wildly popular. A good review of a restaurant guaranteed a full house for weeks, while a bad review might close a kitchen down.
Based on unprecedented access to Claiborne’s personal papers and interviews with a host of food world royalty, including Jacques Pepin, Gael Greene, and Alice Waters, Tom McNamee offers a lively and vivid account of Claiborne’s extraordinary adventure in food, from his own awakening in the bistros of Paris, to his legendary wine-soaked dinner parties, to his travels to colorful locals from Morocco to Saigon, and the infamous $4,000 dinner he shared in Paris with French chef Pierre Franey that made front-page news. More than an engrossing biography, this is the story of the country’s transition from enchantment with frozen TV dinners to a new consciousness of truly good cooking.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Man-Who-Changed-Way/dp/1439191506/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331731636&sr=1-1-fkmr0

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