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The Table Comes First

ebook / ISBN-13: 9780857382290

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 29th September 2011

Genre: Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure

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Our modern society is very particular about what constitutes good food: local, seasonal, organic produce that doesn’t overly impact on the environment. But throughout history every generation has believed that it alone knows the true value of food, and looked with distaste on the culinary practices of its predecessors. Not so long ago eating food from around the world was the mark of the cultural sophisticate.

In The Table Comes First Adam Gopnik envisions a new ‘physiology of taste’ which will enable us to dispense with this moralising attitude and concentrate on the pleasure principle: food is to be enjoyed, and to help us enjoy life in turn. Above all the dining table should be the heart of the family, the place where all real family begins.

To show this we are taken through the courses, from starters to desserts, from the establishment of the first restaurants in Paris in the early 19th century to the green movement of the present day, in a witty and erudite narrative interspersed with delightful anecdotes, ranging from making soufflés for Derrida (hint: the perfect soufflé is determined by the ineffable ‘zone’ between peaks and troughs) to hunting the lost recipe for ‘Steack Boston’.

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'In the tradition of A.J. Liebling and M.F.K. Fisher, Adam Gopnik understands how writing about food can produce a prescription for life well lived' Fay Maschler.
Fay Maschler
'A great read, and important: a treatise on the history of food anchored by the importance of eating, together, food that you like around a table' The Independent.
'Gopnik is a modern Brillat-Savarin ... His writing, although thought-provoking, is lucid and lovely' Literary Review.
Literary Review
'Like the Argentinian [Lionel Messi], Gopnik is always worth watching' Telegraph.
'It feeds the mind' The Times.
The Times
'The Table Comes First is a fascinating and sometimes moving reflection on its importance'The Glasgow Herald.
Glasgow Herald
'a sparkling collection of musings on life, liberty and the pursuit of gastronomic satisfaction ... What more can any reader ask than fine writing and intelligent argument from an author of strong opinions who is prepared to slaughter a whole herd of sacred cows and isn't afraid to get down and personal?' Jewish Chronicle.
Jewish Chronicle
'I need to read anything that Adam Gopnik writes and these essays on food, eating and - it follows - life are a particular feast. His acuity, grace, sensitive intelligence (in short, his brilliance) are, as ever, dazzlingly displayed and yet with the lightest of touches' Nigella Lawson.
Nigella Lawson