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France is in a rut, and so is French cuisine. Twenty-five years ago it was hard to have a bad meal in France; now, in some cities and towns, it is a challenge to find a good one. For the first time in the annals of modern cooking, the most influential chefs and the most talked-about restaurants in the world are not French. Within France, large segments of the wine industry are in crisis, cherished artisanal cheeses are threatened with extinction, and bistros and brasseries are disappearing at an alarming rate.
"Decline and Fall of the Culture of Gourmandism"
Ever since Darwin and The Descent of Man, the existence of humans has been attributed to our intelligence and adaptability. But in Catching Fire, renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham presents a startling alternative: our evolutionary success is the result of cooking. In a groundbreaking theory of our origins, Wrangham shows that the shift from raw to cooked foods was the key factor in human evolution.
"Fascinating book about early human development..."
In his lively, unprecedented close-up portrait of Ferran Adrià, award-winning food writer Colman Andrews traces this groundbreaking chef’s rise from resort hotel dishwasher to culinary deity, and the evolution of El Bulli from a German-owned beach bar into the establishment voted annually by an international jury to be “the world’s best restaurant”.
Since the introduction of dietary guidelines calling for reduced fat intake in the 1970s, a strange phenomenon has occurred: Americans have steadily, inexorably become heavier, less healthy, and more prone to diabetes than ever before. After putting more than two thousand of his at-risk patients on a wheat-free regimen and seeing extraordinary results, cardiologist William Davis has come to the disturbing conclusion that it is not fat, not sugar, not our sedentary lifestyle that is causing America’s obesity epidemic—it is wheat.
"The program works, but the listen is technical"
Terence McKenna hypothesizes that as the North African jungles receded, giving way to savannas and grasslands near the end of the most recent ice age, a branch of our arboreal primate ancestors left the forest canopy and began living in the open areas beyond. There they experimented with new varieties of foods as they adapted, physically and mentally, to the environment. Among the new foods found in this environment were psilocybin-containing mushrooms.
"A paradigm shifting experience"
Single, 30-something, and working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to 500 acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him.
"That's what organic farming is all about"
Eating is about more than satisfying our hunger. It's also about the environment, social justice, personal development, and sustainable living. Many Americans already know this. We're eating less red meat and more organically produced foods, and most restaurants offer vegetarian options. But do we really know the truth about mechanized animal farming and slaughterhouses, herbicide and pesticide use, and labels that promise "Certified Humane"?
"About all of us..."
The Bocuse d'Or is the real-life Top Chef, a biannual cooking competition in France featuring teams from 24 countries vying for the top honors. Named after Paul Bocuse, one of the greatest, most influential living chefs, the Bocuse d'Or has become the most sophisticated and closely watched cook-off in the world. Ironically, though American cuisine now rates among the best in the world, a U.S. team has never placed among the top three in the competition.
"Fascinating for Foodies"
Combining an insider's passion with down-to-earth humor, chef and food writer Patric Kuh traces the evolution of American high-style restaurants from the 1941 opening of Le Pavillon to the recent rise of less traditional restaurants, such as Le Cirque, Spago, and Danny Meyer's Union Square group. Kuh takes readers inside this high-stakes business, sharing little-known anecdotes, describing legendary cooks and bright new star chefs, and relating his own reminiscences.
Ruhlman propels himself and his readers through a score of kitchens and classrooms, from Asian and American regional cuisines to lunch cookery and even table waiting, in search of the elusive, unnamable elements of great cooking.
"Interesting subject, terrible presentation."
In 2007 chef Grant Achatz seemingly had it made. He had been named one of the best new chefs in America by Food & Wine in 2002, received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award in 2003, and in 2005 he and Nick Kokonas opened the conceptually radical restaurant Alinea, which was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine. Then, Achatz was diagnosed with stage IV squamous cell carcinoma - tongue cancer.
"Great Cook! Great Story!"
From the reinvention of French food through the fine dining revolution in America, Daniel Boulud has been witness to, and creator of, our contemporary food culture. A modern man with a classical foundation, he speaks with the authority that comes from a lifetime of experience, and no small amount of passion, about the vocation of creating and serving food.
"A great listen"
Over the past several years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of three thousand residents, has jump-started its economy and redefined its self-image through a local, self-sustaining food system unlike anything else in America.
"Trepidation turned to intruige"
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, writer Kathleen Flinn returned with no idea what to do next, until one day at a supermarket she watched a woman loading her cart with ultraprocessed foods. Flinn's "chefternal" instinct kicked in: she persuaded the stranger to reload with fresh foods, offering her simple recipes for healthy, easy meals.
"Great Motivater for Challenged Home Cooks"
The best-selling author of The End of Oil turns his attention to food and finds that the system we've entrusted with meeting one of our most basic needs is dramatically failing us. With his trademark comprehensive global approach, Paul Roberts investigates the startling truth about the modern food system.
In this revelatory work, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson shows how food affects our moral selves, our health, and the environment. It raises questions to make us conscious of the decisions behind every bite we take: What effect does eating animals have on our land, water, even global warming? What are the results of farming practices - debeaking chickens and separating calves from their mothers - on animals and humans? How does the health of animals affect the health of our planet and our bodies?
"If the author was not as arrogant...."
Our relationship with the ocean is undergoing a profound transformation. Just three decades ago nearly everything we ate from the sea was wild. Today rampant overfishing and an unprecedented biotech revolution have brought us to a point where wild and farmed fish occupy equal parts of a complex and confusing marketplace.
What if you can't afford nine-dollar tomatoes? That was the question award-winning journalist Tracie McMillan couldn't escape as she watched the debate about America's meals unfold, one that urges us to pay food's true cost-which is to say, pay more. So in 2009 McMillan embarked on a groundbreaking undercover journey to see what it takes to eat well in America. For nearly a year, she worked, ate, and lived alongside the working poor to examine how Americans eat when price matters.
"Interesting Story, Great Narration"
This book is all about the single most powerful move that humans can make to promote health, reduce obesity, lower the cost of health care, nurture our fragile environment, conserve our energy resources, feed the world’s steadily growing population, and greatly reduce the suffering of animals in factory farms all over the world. As Dr. T. Colin Campbell says, “It turns out that if we eat the way that promotes the best health for ourselves, we also promote the best health for the planet."
"Loaded with Information"