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Priscilla

Elizabeth David's works

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I like biographies.  The trouble, as you point out, is time.  I would probably be interested in another Elizabeth David bio if the first one I read had been unsatisfying.  But the unread books pile up, forever...

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Priscilla, yes but of course it is vital to read all avaible information. I was merely questioning Wilfrid on the basis that I respect his opinion on reading material. And I have no problem with reading her work as "fiction" (indeed, I reading Norman Davie's "Europe" in such a vein at the moment. It's a rolicking roller coaster of a novel about a Continent and the people who knew it), I was just interested in what the work was being used for in this context. Actually, I read a lot of cookbooks in this manner, obviously only some can be read in this manner.

I suspect that the dark subtextural foreboding stuff was recognisible to most British people it that era. Strange how strongly that comes through in the writing, given I have never lived in even vaguely similar conditions. If you read British cookbooks published one hundred years earlier, you get almost the opposite feeling. Never ending feasts with nothing spared, the bountiful earth will never stop providing.

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I like biographies.  The trouble, as you point out, is time.  I would probably be interested in another Elizabeth David bio if the first one I read had been unsatisfying.  But the unread books pile up, forever...

Unread books piling up.  There's a cheery thought.  A thought that is constantly with me.

Even with Elizabeth David, I didn't even KNOW about Is there a Nutmeg in the House? until the other day.  I thought, had thought, thought for years, in fact, that I was DONE with Elizabeth David, except referencing recipes or idle revisitation.  And then, (tentatively, foolishly) looking for something else, somehow there's an Elizabeth David collection I do not have, have not read, on the screen.  What am I supposed to do, NOT read it?

The gods conspire, I swear.

Priscilla


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Priscilla, yes but of course it is vital to read all avaible information.
Hmmm well not EVERYBODY agrees, seems like.
Actually, I read a lot of cookbooks in this manner
I do, too.  Not, as you say, all cookbooks lend themselves to this treatment.  It would be interesting to note which cookbooks are useful anthropologically and which as fiction, and what crossover if any is apparent.  Hmmm.
I suspect that the dark subtextural foreboding stuff was recognisible to most British people it that era. Strange how strongly that comes through in the writing, given I have never lived in even vaguely similar conditions.

Me too, I mean, me either, never lived in such conditions, unless you count when I was young and busted flat, which is not the same I know.  HOWEVER that was when I happened to read Elizabeth David, it occurs to me.  Begins to address why one reads at all, doesn't it.  To get a window on some life not our own?  To investigate why people are the way they are?  To find that seemingly disparate situations can actually have shared characteristics?

There is a lot of meaning to be wrung from a putative cookbook.

Priscilla


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Towards the end of her writing career, E. David's public acclaim earned her the right to produce serious gastronomic scholarship. Steven Sullivan, who had baked for Chez Panisse and founded the Acme Bakery (Berkeley) in 1983, says that he learned his craft by working his way straight through her _English Bread and Yeast Cookery_, which had come out in America three years before. Considering the crucial differences between English and American flours, this was a considerable achievement.

E. David never suffered fools gladly and towards the end of her life became increasingly morose. One of the saddest occasions I remember was a TV interview, the only one she ever granted. Her condition was that it be conducted at her favorite table in Franco Taruschio's Walnut Tree in Abergavenny, Wales. (I was gratified to discover that it was my favorite table as well -- out in the pub area near the bar, not tucked away in the posh restaurant.) Mary and I settled down in front of the TV, awaiting words of wisdom.

Alas, she barely opened her mouth. The interviewer would ask a question and she would reply monosylabically, or with merely a grunt. The producer would have done the world a service if he had cut his losses and scrapped the program. I took a video copy, but I could never bring myself to look at it.

E. David is yet another example of a writer who should survive in her work, not in the exposé of disparaging biographical detail. Her books are entities in themselves; immersed in their riches, I feel no more need of such irrelevant trivia than when I listen to a Chopin etude.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

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Reading E.D.'s book, "English Bread and Yeast Cookery," created a defining moment in my life.  It was then that I became so fascinated with bread that I decided to become a professional bread baker (this was in the early-80s). Her recipes are obtuse, as bread recipes should actually be, defining principles rather than recipes.  From her I learned to start the dough with a slurry a night or two ahead, and to use the least amount of commercial yeast possible (1/4 tsp per two-pound loaf) and why this is important.  I also learned to toast the flours before adding them to any mix, and what combination of flours to experiment with, and my shortcut for maintaining freshness by an extra day or two -- one tablespoon cider vinegar per two pounds of dough.  She also explained how to shape out the bread dough, and this may be highly surprising to novice bread bakers.  When this book went out of print, as it was for a decade or so, I simply could not believe this.  Then it came back, from an ambitious publisher, and met the remainder rack within a year.  Many folks I know agree that this is the best breadmaking book ever published.  As for the rest of her books, love them all.

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E. David is yet another example of a writer who should survive in her work, not in the exposé of disparaging biographical detail. Her books are entities in themselves; immersed in their riches, I feel no more need of such irrelevant trivia than when I listen to a Chopin etude.

I understand. I feel this way about MFK Fisher as well. One is tempted towards the biography as if it were an opportunity for encountering new work by the author. But instead of a new book by that author, it's just a bloody book about the author. And what I really wanted was the language, the sensibilities, the experience of reading the work. To get all Derrida on yo' ass, Adam, the author does not exist as an entity behind the work. For the moving finger having writ has moved on and what I wanted was the tracings, not the skinny finger with its nail chewed and with a crescent of grime.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Reading E.D.'s book, "English Bread and Yeast Cookery," created a defining moment in my life.  It was then that I became so fascinated with bread that I decided to become a professional bread baker (this was in the early-80s). Her recipes are obtuse, as bread recipes should actually be, defining principles rather than recipes.  From her I learned to start the dough with a slurry a night or two ahead, and to use the least amount of commercial yeast possible (1/4 tsp per two-pound loaf) and why this is important.  I also learned to toast the flours before adding them to any mix, and what combination of flours to experiment with, and my shortcut for maintaining freshness by an extra day or two -- one tablespoon cider vinegar per two pounds of dough.  She also explained how to shape out the bread dough, and this may be highly surprising to novice bread bakers.  When this book went out of print, as it was for a decade or so, I simply could not believe this.  Then it came back, from an ambitious publisher, and met the remainder rack within a year.  Many folks I know agree that this is the best breadmaking book ever published.  As for the rest of her books, love them all.

Pitter, I am so heartened to read all this.  I thought English Bread and Yeast Cookery was absolutely mind-blowing, life-changing, all that you describe.  

I mean, the yeast discussion alone!  (Not to discount the rest.)  That'll chasten a person, the relatively massive amounts of commercial yeast called for in conventional recipes, and Elizabeth David's discussion of how and more importantly why we oughtn't thoughtlessly adhere.  And her sources in every section, so well and sensibly integrated into the text, with full citations, and still, all the deep scholarship not diluting the pure joy one bit.

I had my copy before the reissue, and was thrilled to give reissues as gifts when I could, but still, remainderment was its fate.  And with all the cookery books being sold, too.  Just tragic.

Does EBaYC continue to affect your professional baking life, beyond what you've noted above?

Priscilla


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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John, I am not a member of Baker's Dozen.  What is that?  I had to give up baking bread professionally after 10 years because I ruined my arms.  

Thanks Priscilla, for your kind words. What is EBayC?

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As suggested earlier in this thread, Elizabeth David had a huge influence on Alice Waters and her philosophy and culinary style at Chez Panisse.  (Waters's other shaping influence was Richard Olney, who was close to Elizabeth David).

But let's not forget the impact that David had on the general standard of cookery and eating here in Britain.  For a long time it was pretty grim, especially outside London.  Olive oil?  A small, expensive dusty bottle on the chemist's shelf.  Garlic?  Brown and smelly, if you could find it.  Rocket?  Sneak some seeds in from Italy and try to grow it yourself.  Bread was mostly soggy white stuff.  Anchovies, if you could find them, came in tins and were often rancid. 

It's much, much better now, both in availability of ingredients, restaurant quality, standards of home cookery.  Elizabeth David had a big role in the change, through her shop, through her influence on people like Terence Conran and through sales of her books.

I first encountered Elizabeth David's work while in hospital.  I was, very literally, dying of viral meningitis.  This happened when anti-virals like acylovir (zovirax) were experimental drugs and didn't work very well, and the doctors were not optimistic.  I was in isolation for several weeks and in a lot of pain and general despair for most of that time.

One day the "library trolley" came around, bearing lots of trashy novels and a copy of An Omelette and a Glass of Wine.  I read this cover to cover, I think three times; at the end of it I was resolved (1) to recover and live; (2) to read everything else this person had written; (3) to get back to cooking; (4) to go back to the UK.

All of these things happened, but they might not have -- at least not in the same way -- had it not been for Elizabeth David.

(I found the Chaney book, by the way, badly written and full of unwarranted psychological conclusions and implications about ED's character, sex life, etc.; the Artemis Cooper biography was thinner but less tendentious.)


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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QUOTE: "Elizabeth David had a huge influence on Alice Waters and her philosophy and culinary style at Chez Panisse.  (Waters's other shaping influence was Richard Olney, who was close to Elizabeth David)."

Richard Olney met Kermit Lynch, the Berkeley wine merchant, in 1974; that same year Lindsey Shere discovered his newly-published _Simple French Food_ through a James Beard column and showed it to Alice.

In 1994, the circle came together in _Lulu’s Provençal Table: the exuberant food and wine from the Domaine Tempier vineyard_, in which Olney presented the hearty, eminently practical Provençal dishes of Madame Peyraud, with a warm introduction by Alice Waters, who had made the project happen. The photographs are by Kermit Lynch’s wife, Gail Skoff.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

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I first encountered Elizabeth David's work while in hospital.  I was, very literally, dying of viral meningitis.  [...]

One day the "library trolley" came around, bearing lots of trashy novels and a copy of An Omelette and a Glass of Wine.  I read this cover to cover, I think three times; at the end of it I was resolved (1) to recover and live; (2) to read everything else this person had written; (3) to get back to cooking; (4) to go back to the UK.

Yes, yes, JD, but BESIDES all that, what did Elizabeth David ever do for you?

Your story is inspiring and astounding, but in a way not surprising (of course meaning in no way to discount your ordeal).  The literary presence of Elizabeth David is just that strong.  I can well wrap my mind around her works having contributed to saving somebody's life, if that is not too OTT a characterization.

(I found the Chaney book, by the way, badly written and full of unwarranted psychological conclusions and implications about ED's character, sex life, etc.; the Artemis Cooper biography was thinner but less tendentious.)

I would tend to agree with this assessment.  But I do not regret reading both.

Have you read Is There a Nutmeg in the House?

Priscilla


Priscilla

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Richard Olney met Kermit Lynch, the Berkeley wine merchant, in 1974; that same year Lindsey Shere discovered his newly-published _Simple French Food_ through a James Beard column and showed it to Alice.

In 1994, the circle came together in _Lulu?s Provençal Table: the exuberant food and wine from the Domaine Tempier vineyard_, in which Olney presented the hearty, eminently practical Provençal dishes of Madame Peyraud, with a warm introduction by Alice Waters, who had made the project happen.

Here's how the story appears in Olney's memoir, Reflexions (Brick Tower Press, 1999).

1955.  Olney meets Lucien Peyraud in Paris, at the Salon des Arts Ménagers, where Peyraud was presenting wines from the Domaine Tempier.  He orders each succeeding vintage from the Domaine.

1961.  Taking possession of his house in Solliès-Toucas, Olney visits the Peyraud family and "becomes a frequent guest at Domaine Tempier."

Around 1971, at about the same time Chez Panisse is founded, one of Waters's early partners gives her a copy of The French Menu Cookbook, Olney's first publication; this has a strong early influence on the restaurant.

1972, London.  Olney's brother James, who had met Elizabeth David, introduces Olney to David, who had previously received The French Menu Cookbook.  Olney:  "I went around to see her.  As she was pouring glasses of white wine, she said, 'I suppose you disapprove of putting ice into wine -- I always do ... I see that you like savory with broad beans -- I detest savory with broad beans...and you like basil -- I have no use for it...' I pronounced basil in the American manner with a broad a -- she was beside herself:  'You don't r-e-a-l-l-y pronounce it that way, do you?'  Our interviews continued in much the same way.  I tried desperately to maintain a serious countenance but, finally, was helpless with laughter; by the time she had stopped roughing me up, we were greate friends.  Simply being in Elizabeth's presence was magical.  She was witty and literate.  Her observations about people were often scathing, but only because they were so devastatingly accurate-- they were funny, never cruel.  She was generous and kind."  

1974.  Simple French Food is published and Olney comes to the US for the launch party and a series of cooking classes and demonstrations.  Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower contrive to meet him at Williams-Sonoma and invite him to Chez Panisse.

1975.  Waters comes to Solliès; Olney takes her to Domaine Tempier to meet the Peyrauds.  Olney:  "Lulu invited us to dinner, but we were to taste in the cellars in the afternoon.  After sampling all the new wines in the woord, we moved back through vintage after vintage.  Alice and I danced (that is to say, we whirled with wild abandon -- Alice assured me that we were dancing the tango) until we collapsed on the cellar floor.  Alice fell in love with the Peyraud family."

October 1976.  Friends of Kermit Lynch suggest to Lynch that Olney might be useful to him on a visit to France, since Lynch didn't speak French.  Lynch:  "His name, Richard Olney, meant nothing to me, but when I mentioned him to Alice Waters...her mouth dropped open.  'Richard Olney!  Don't even think about it.  Pack your bags and get on the plane.'  I remember waking up at Richard's hillside home in Provence the morning after my arrival."

1981.  The Académie Internationale du Vin organises a tour of Northern California and Oregon vineyards; Lulu, Lucien and Jean-Marie Peyraud travel with Olney to the US.  Alice Waters organises a dinner for Olney and the Peyrauds at Chez Panisse.  The book has a copy of the menu, bearing signatures of many food people from the California circle: Lynch, Joseph Swan, Lindsey Shere, Deborah Madison, Linda Guenzel, Dick Graff, Marion Cunningham...

1986.  Elizabeth David, who had not previously shown interest in visiting America, goes to San Francisco to stay with the wine merchant Gerald Asher.  Olney makes his first visit to the Bay Area; he stays with Jeremiah Tower "and lunched often with Elizabeth, either at Stars or at Chez Panisse."  Waters wishes to organise a lunch in David's honour, but Elizabeth begs her not to, so she names David guest of honour at a lunch given to celebrate the publication of Olney's Yquem.  Again, there is a menu signed by Tower, Paul Bertolli, Olney, David, ...

* * *

Truly an amazing circle.  And to think they accomplished it all without the aid of eGullet...


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Have you read Is There a Nutmeg in the House?

I discovered it, with great joy, at Books for Cooks (floreat!) late last year.  It has some lovely ice cream and sorbet recipes, previously unpublished.  Jill Norman, who was David's literary executor, seems to have done a good job with the editing.

I was sad to learn, a little over a year ago I think, that Norman finally got tired of storing David's remaining papers, and gave them most of them away or sold them to collectors.  Who knows what was lost?


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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_Reflexions_ is a remarkable book. John Thorne found it so disturbing that he spent a good part of one issue of _Simple Cooking_ coming to terms with it. At the time I wrote him as follows:

John, I wondered how you would respond to Richard Olney’s last will and testament. I could imagine his friends and associates gathered for the reading, each waiting anxiously to learn whether he had inherited a blessing or a curse. Now that it has been made public, the general reader can leaf through the index, looking up familiar names and listening for the gong or the raspberry.

The long-awaited memoir reminds me of the question with which Mort Sahl used to close his gigs at the hungry i: “Is there anyone here I haven’t offended?” Why is it that truly great writers so often feel the need to end their lives by settling scores and racking up points, not only against their rivals, but even their lesser contemporaries who would be forgotten save for a posthumous jab of the stiletto? Hemingway’s _A Moveable Feast_ is spoiled by this compulsion, which permeates an otherwise tasty banquet like a handful of bitter herbs.

Olney positively smacks his lips over MFK Fisher’s mistaken memory, an unspecified number of years later, of her nocturnal visit to him in 1970. Eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable. (It may even be that Olney is himself confusing two separate occasions.) Larry Adler, in his cheekily titled autobiography, _It Ain’t Necessarily So_, tells of an OSS mission in Berlin which he accompanied in 1945. His friend, a member of the unit, remembered it in elaborate detail as an heroic adventure; Adler’s memory was of a shameful failure in which the Brits behaved like arrogant Nazis. But the two men remained friends, taking great delight in an after-dinner double act in which they would entertain the guests with their conflicting narratives.

Surgeons, mathematicians, composers and painters may be allowed to divorce their professional competance from their personal shortcomings, but food writers are so intimately involved with our most essential activity that dehumanization is a fundamental flaw. It even goes beyond the intellectual poverty which you so perceptively identified in “Cuisine Mécanique”. There’s really no excuse for Olney’s hatchet job on Fisher’s intellect, palate and prose. (I suspect that Eda’s ready agreement may have been motivated by a desire to please and/or a fear of dismissal by association.)  The reader learns more about Olney than about Fisher, and the outcome does him no credit.

In fact, the reflection which is finally returned by the mirror is of a perfectionist who single-mindedly reduces every person, every situation, even every historical event, to its culinary significance. There is a lack of warmth, of compassion, and ultimately of perspective which sadly lowers one of the great talents of his generation to the status of a trainspotter. He would have been incapable of writing, or even comprehending, Paul Henderson’s humane summing up at the end of his perceptive appraisal of contemporary British cuisine, _Cornucopia_:

“It is a hard thing to say, but fine food is far from the most important thing in the world. It is not really a question of reaching perfection – that would be too much to ask – nor of lotus-eating, but of finding and maintaining a level of confidence in the food we eat day by day that enables us to get on with the rest of our lives."


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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I was sad to learn, a little over a year ago I think, that Norman finally got tired of storing David's remaining papers, and gave them most of them away or sold them to collectors.  Who knows what was lost?

Hmmm ponderously sad.  I do have some sympathy, from reading about Jill Norman's work on the unfinished Harvest of the Cold Months; the sheer volume of material must have been colossal.

One wonders if someone somewhere wouldn't have taken on the organizational and archival burden, though.

I remember reading an appreciation of Elizabeth David written by Gerald Asher after her death, perhaps published in one of the food mags, probably have the tearsheet tucked in a book somewhere.  A treat to read, with lovely details, as I recall, about her visits to California, cited in the Reflexions timeline.

Priscilla


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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I was sad to learn, a little over a year ago I think, that Norman finally got tired of storing David's remaining papers, and gave them most of them away or sold them to collectors.  Who knows what was lost?
Here's a response from the "inner circle", from a reliable source I know very well but shouldn't identify:

Jill Norman strenuously denies this and says it's libel. It was stated as true by Lisa Chaney, the first biographer of E. David and as Jill refused to help her with any of the private papers there was ill feeling between them.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

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I remember reading an appreciation of Elizabeth David written by Gerald Asher after her death, perhaps published in one of the food mags, probably have the tearsheet tucked in a book somewhere.  A treat to read, with lovely details, as I recall, about her visits to California, cited in the Reflexions timeline.

The last article in my paperback edition of Is There a Nutmeg in the House is Asher's obituary of Elizabeth David, published (I think) in the Times.  It is several pages long and answers to the description you give: trip to California, etc.

Could this be the piece you are thinking of?


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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I was going to stay out of this, thinking to myself that ED hasn't influenced me because I've only barely read her, but then I realized that this isn't true.

One night, home alone, I borrowed a copy of An Omelette and a Glass of Wine because I liked the sound of the title essay.  I read it, and then I had it for dinner.  Since then, it has become one of my favorite dinners alone--an occasional but sincere pleasure.

At some point I will read more ED;  in the meantime I must admit that I, too, am touched.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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In fact, the reflection which is finally returned by the mirror is of a perfectionist who single-mindedly reduces every person, every situation, even every historical event, to its culinary significance.

I have not done a systematic survey but this general tendency to carp and criticise does seem heavy in food writers.  There is a lot of it in Reflexions: MFK Fisher is slammed because she drinks a lot of sweet vermouth, and Julia Child gets her knocks for using phrases like "cookery bookery". The strange thing about Olney was that he seemed to permit others to use him mercilessly: they would show up as unannounced house guests, demand that he cook for them, etc., yet he didn't seem to complain at the time. James Beard orders him to cook caillettes for a book launch party, and he spends a day up to his elbows in ground meat and caul fat. One of his friends announces that he must be co-owner of the house in Solliès and Olney signs the papers.  A curious personality.

The Taste Of America (John and Karen Hess) has some good elements but seems to be soaked in the same vitriol that John Whiting describes. Food writers (Claiborne, Beard, etc.) are repeatedly criticised because they call for too much flour in sauces. Julia Child is slammed because of her television programme, "The French Chef": she is "neither French nor a chef." Thomas Keller is bad because he has been playful with with some famous French recipe (Sole Véronique, if I recall correctly) in a French Laundry menu.  Almost nobody is a good enough, learned enough cook.

Some food writers often start from a more generous perspective (John Thorne, for example, or Michael Ruhlman).  But most are less warm. Of course it is important to be able to criticise -- for example, John Thorne's penetrating critique of Paula Wolfert's work.  Yet there is criticism that seeks to understand, criticism that seeks to appreciate the best in something that is nonetheless flawed, and criticism that is simply poisonous.

Is this particularly strong in the tribe of food writers?


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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JD - May I be so presumptuous as to offer the opinion that you have a remarkably perceptive overview of food writing as a genre? What that means, as usual, is that I largely agree with you. :smile: (I'll probably discover at some point that you're one of the top pros posting under a pseudonym!)

John Thorne, yes, he's a wise man, a casually polished writer and a good friend. (There's a paean of praise to him on my own web site.)

John & Karen Hess -- no, they're not indulgent of others' shortcomings, but they are truly magnanimous in their praise of those they admire. Again, I am biased by friendship and feel that they have been the Cassandra and Jeremiah who have been outspokenly courageous in their exposure of the food industry's coopting and degrading of "gourmet" food for commercial purposes.

As the Hesses pointed out, many respected food writers cooperated enthusiastically and profitably. As I wrote in my obituary for Craig Claiborne in the Guardian:

"When confronted with the American food industry, Claiborne’s lofty standards took a nose-dive. Of the pre-cooked frozen foods which were just coming on the market, he wrote, '1958 is loaded with promise – especially for cooks on the run. The past twelve months initiated a trend that is sure to be developed more fully - the packaging of dishes with a so-called Continental touch that can be heated and brought to the table within minutes - to the awe and delight of guests with educated palates.'

"Such lapses in taste, continuing unabated, would come to embrace even the Big Mac with the accolade, 'on a par with Howard Johnson’s'. This dubious praise was given added irony by the fact that Pierre Franey had become the ubiquitous chain’s executive chef.

 

"In gourmet guise, his enthusiasm for pseudo-foods surfaced regularly in his cookbooks. The classic beurre blanc is traditionally assembled with meticulous care from shallots, white wine vinegar, seasoning and a pound of butter; Claiborne dispensed with both its difficulty and its delicacy by substituting a mere six tablespoons of butter, a cup of heavy cream, an egg yolk, two tablespoons of lemon juice - and Tabasco sauce! (He later recanted; the recipe résumée in his NYTimes Food Encyclopedia outlines the orthodox method.)

"With Claiborne’s assistance the word 'gourmet', like food itself, would ultimately be processed and packaged so as to lose not only its inherent character, but even its snob appeal. Inedible glop would be taken off the shelf, relabelled with the magic word, and sold for double the price. We are still eating the consequences."

So perhaps, JD, you can tar me with the same brush. :smile:(Some of the Claiborne quotes you'll no doubt recognize from _The Taste of America_.)


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

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