The Associated Press Stylebook
- The Associated Press
- © 2012
Before sitting down to review anything — food, a restaurant, movie, a play, music video, gallery art — your starter kit is this 400-plus-page guide to all things writing. Free world media use the AP Style Book. It is organized like a dictionary. While compiled for AP staffers, the writing advice will serve users for a lifetime. Recent editions of this text include internet usage and related terms. Most important to new writers —the briefing on media law. (If you are a free-swinging blogger, best you understand libel law before you sit down too....)
If you are reviewing or posing as a critic, and fit the vague category of a Citizen Journalist, know the most important writing rules, those relating to libel. Implant in your mind what this style book has to say about libel laws. Basic advice: all writers need editors. In lieu of such, this style book guide is your best friend. Ignore this source and you will be contributing to the bottomless bucket of Junk Journalism.
Memorize the differences in meanings of these words:
The reviewer writes about what he sees as the work of others, such as a chef or artist.
A critic sees the work of others but injects his opinion into written or spoken commentary.
Simple approach: Become a reporter, then a reviewer before attempting to be a critic.
reporter (ri port'ar) n... a person who reports, a person authorized to report legal or legislative proceedings (in court, reporter),
a person who gathers news for a newspaper, radio or television.
reviewer (-er) n. the act of reviewing, review, a person who reviews books, plays as for a newspaper. (Editor's Note: In your case as for reviewing food, restaurants, ambience as fact.)
critic (krit'ik) n... a person who forms opinions and judgments of people or things according to certain standards of values.
Order in print, online, as an app, or as a style-checking plugin from apstylebook.com.
Bonus 1: A Brief History of the Internet
There is good reason this tome should be a bonus to the AP Stylebook: Quirky Michael Hart opened the door for everyone wanting to write that great first novel that may never find a legit ink-on-paper publisher. Hart founded Project Gutenberg. He is generally given credit for inventing e-books, actually a process of putting content into a keeper package, "putting words to paper" as we once said. Hart's pioneering new use of the Internet dates to 1971. Simply put, Hart led the way to storing books on the Internet.
To explain the above "quirky" descriptive, here's a Hart stopper by blogger Mokarider..."instead of a 'historical' e-book, we have here a kind of lunatic, chaotic, vagually militant and highly subjective not-to-be-written paper somehow talking about the Internet." Makes me want to read it.
Hey, consider this a fun quick read over morning tea: wordcount 15,478 / 57 pages.
Afterwards,follow the authorative style of AP guildlines, then write your novel, your newspaper stories and avoid bloggerisms that tip your untrained status. Refine your writings as a "citizen journalist."
Get the ebook free from Project Gutenberg.
The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture
- Rebecca Spang
- Fifth Printing: 2001
Why are there restaurants? That's the first question to be answered by anyone intending to write about food first, restaurants second. Many years ago this detailed text drew attention of those deep into and on fringes of the culinary world. Book review scanners probably thought it was a cookbook with recipes for cooking, among other things, fried squid. The first sentence in the preface dispelled any such notions.
Centuries before a restaurant was a place to eat (and even several decades later), a restaurant was a thing to eat, a restorative broth. This book traces the emergence of the restaurant (as we know it) from a tiny cup of bouillon.
The next paragraph is sufficient reason to make The Invention of the Restaurant prescribed reading for everyone connected to the food and restaurant industry: "In the fifteenth century," writes Dr. Spang, a lecturer at Indiana University and University College in London. She began her research where it all began -- Paris. The text travels from Paris throughout our free world of (the author's descriptive) modern gastronomic culture. The price of this text is recouped by a single chapter ... some reviewers today in the eat-for-pay trade disparage their seat of research as a trough ... Private Appetites in a Public Space.
Without going into exacting detail, or having to wait for the movie, fledgling writers will be introduced to the first reviewer getting into the varied world of restaurant ambience. Antoine Joseph Nicolas Rosny, circa 1801, described people arriving in a public room with tables and expecting to be served kitchen-made food as the makings of a restaurant.
Editor's Note: As for finding Spang's work as prescribed research, you, hospitality students, are on your own. A half-dozen universities shelve the book. If there is a teaching arm of the National Restaurant Association, this book should be the starter course. In lieu thereof, call Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., 617-661-1616. Start your career library before you write your first review paragraph.
Bonus 2: Ancestral Appetites: Food in Prehistory
- Kristen J. Gremillion
- Cambridge University
- © 2011
This book explores the relationship between prehistoric people and their food - what they ate, why they ate it, and how researchers have pieced together the story of past foodways from material traces.
Ancestral Appetites has a subtitle taking the reader to food in prehistory. It was researched and published for college-level students studying anthropology. It has a place in this studied collection for the simple reason that its content needs exposure far beyond some stuffy classroom packed with skim-read mentalities waiting for a bell telling them to race to the escape door. Briefly put this deep dish food book is for folk such as I. The only major that ever interested me was graduate level rural sociology. Repeat: Rural. In my time agriculture students were heavy into the marketing and politics of farming. The publisher of a major southern newspaper suggested to me that "this new major…rural sociology" was being created as a major — a far departure from basic sociology.
He needed reporters to delve far beyond the riddle of the little spittle bug. His newspaper was in golden leaf country. The major money crop was tobacco. The enemy was a stem and leaf-eating spittle bug, first cousin to the equally evil boll weevil, enemy of all cotton farmers. All North Carolina farmers knew how to banish spittle and boll. They also knew how to create good food from ground to grandmothers…all of which brings me to my grandfather role.
As this is being composed, as this is being edited and pronounced ready for ink, my 12-year-old grandson has embraced a practical interest in food, practical being at the family stove top, frying pan at the ready, creating breakfast for his mother, father and sister. As he does in classroom assignments, he digs into book content beyond the hard covers. He asks questions.
For his thirteenth birthday, he asked me for a cookbook. To whet and whisk I gave him a paper bound, photocopy of my favorite, Old Timey Recipes, 68 pages of tested how-to by a long-deceased woman who included all the comfort foods plus a recipe for making moonshine. Also, there's one for home brew. He has promised to have his first beer with me. Much later, I want him to move beyond our watery domestics brewed in water-tower-sized tanks and brew his own. Catering to his inquisitive mind under his golden locks, I have purchased a copy of Dr. Gremillion's study that will take him back "several million years" of the professor's "evidence extracted from the material remains that provide for the only direct evidence of how people procured, prepared, presented, and consumed food in prehistoric times."
I want him to follow the writer's message that every meal he consumes tells an evolutionary tale about our beginnings. In the beginning we usually are known only by the title, hunter-gatherer. That has been sufficient as a quick flash meaning about the way humankind poached earth and water to consume. Researcher Germillion goes a huge social step beyond. One of her early-on chapters is headlined: Man the hunter, woman the gatherer. How politically correct for my grandson. At this moment in a repeated scan read, let me bring up a study approach: Evolution. Evolution, not in the bibical sense. In this context my grandson can see food evolve dating back those five million years sans debate and controversy. Follow the author who takes your mind from her prehistoric study times when, my best mental viewpoint, to grubbing soil, rock and fossil to address starvation. She researches by levels: Fossils, fire and cooking, foraging, to the human management of food through farming. The storyline takes readers to a time more familiar in most food study suggestions...her "better life through chemistry." To my grandson, you're on your own after Gremillion.
- sign up for Dr. Gremillion's classes at The Ohio State University
- continue to read food labels
- demand answers when you ask questions
Attention Ken Burns: Meet Five Centuries of Food...
Two most important things to sustain humankind are sex and food. The first is repeatedly beaten to death by all media. In a literate sense Dr. Germillion has provided a detailed five-part location script for a Ken Burns documentary. Download Amazon.com for a deeper pitch and meaning with this 196-pager telling us how humanity has survived sufficiently to reach today's level of living.
Food Lover's Companion: Comprehensive Definitions of Nearly 6,000 Food,
Drink and Culinary Terms
- Sharon Tyler Herbst
- @copy; 2001
Dusty book shelves are loaded with food guides. Many still in use date back a hundred years. They become keepers, mostly for reasoned nostalgia and sentimental purposes. Grandparents never toss away recipe books, few if any having sefinitive value. Existing food guides have dated definitions. And then around the mid-1990s non-cook and writer Sharon Tyler Herbst was encouraged to finalize what has become the ultimate food dictionary.
Her husband Ron first suggested this work that took 12 years to reach ink-and-paper. It has become a must for every cook, both in the home kitchen and commercial kitchen. Anyone planning a food writing career at any level today needs this pound-and-a-half reference supreme. Note numerical placement of this food guide in this 96-count syllabus: No. 3. Anyone with just a flirting interest in food will find this volume a steady read. Anyone with a commercial interest in food should consider the book their primary information source. Author Sharon Tyler Herbst should have a chair in her honor in every American culinary institute and university hospitality program. Her research over the final 12 years of her life, composed in 770 pages, should be a full semester credit course in university-level studies.
What have we learned from this tome? Herbst included a few of her "acquired taste" nominations. Here's an expanded list, some sans her endorsement as such, to will tweak student curiosity. Buy the book for her descriptives: Poi, oxalic acid, bitter cassava, offal, calf's foot jelly, wormwood, variety meats, tripe and Vegemite. Oh, for full treatment on the latter, consider Marmite, also uppercase. For deep study, try to find those in your Funk & Wagnalls.
Curtain line: Once graduating from reporter to reviewer status, you are not obligated to suffer acquired tastes.
Quentin Crewe's International Pocket Food Book
- Quentin Crewe
- © 1980, Reprinted 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988
Consider yourself lucky to locate a of copy of this, the ultimate food guide, much more a guide as opposed to the titled book. Copies dated from the1980s and before are rare.
Simply put, this is a menu decoder for travelers. Generally it is a dream book for everyone intendingto visit every cuisine in the world. The Crewe research supports the contention that people really travel to far away places to experience the food rather than the touristy ruins of some ancient nation and culture. Quentin Crewe was known to world travelers long before being discovered by restaurant reporters and reviewers.
Crewe was a general writer and journalist who found himself in the curious position of having become an expert eater. (That juicy description is from his publisher, but apropo when judging his research.) He was always asked to write about food in the way an actor might be cast as the butler. He has written books about Japan, but not about food. He did contribute to Mitchell Beazley's Great Chefs of France , that work in days prior to American chefs getting much media attention. He was a writer for Queen and Vogue magazines. In his prime Crewe found time to run a dairy farm and a small hotel with an excellent restaurant in Cheshire, England . The book notes he was "married more than once" and had five children.
His guide fits into vest pockets, a least it did when men wore such. Today, it still goes well with a Brooks Brothers jacket, or a back pack, depending.
Entries are in alphabetical order by cuisine; nations beginning with Africa, then Arab food for what we, today, call Middle Eastern, and on through in order, Turkey , USSR , the United States at the end. Note use of USSR for Russia . That dates my well-thumbed copy. Still, Crewe's work has long been my favorite during travels to UK and Europe. It is a quick read for deadline writing. If reading for pleasure, there is something of a continuity that makes it worthy for my Top 12 Starter's Kit.
Mariani's COAST-TO-COAST Dining Guide
- John F. Mariani
- @copy 1986;
This dated guide sets the ethical style and authoritative reporting format for composing a dining guide covering the vast expanse of a nation such as the United States . The textbook aspect of this guide provides restaurant information for more than 40 major markets with as many writing styles for study. What Mariani did was to compact into one volume descriptives of food and ambience for each restaurant entry without using a meaningless, ill-defined star-rating system. Neither did he go for the vox populi approach of rating restaurants by numbers. He left it to each writer's narrative to convey the message.
The journalist value of of this guide is Mariani's ability to cover a nation the size of the United States , truly a coast-to-coast dining adventure from Boston-New York City-Florida to a Pacific coast Rt. 101 from San Diego north to Seattle.
A comparison: The acclaimed Guide Michelin originally covered one country, France, a nation about the size of Texas. Consider Mariani's approach and one has a textbook for anyone preparing to write about food and restaurants as a career.
While dated, this 1985 edition reflects 40 writing styles of the nation's prominent restaurant reviewers and critics, each reporting from a different major city.
Despite being out of date, the good read part for any food writing student is Mariani's dining variety between covers. There are 866 pages between those soft covers.
Example: Mariani booked Tom Fitzmorris to cover his city, New Orleans, even then in the mid-1980s this country's most important culinary stop between the coasts. Fitzmorris1 probably had the most interesting city assignment of all in Mariani's collection. He had the innovative Brennan family to write about and, by my standards, the country's most important restaurant, Commander's Palace. Important? For students of restaurants and the industry, Commander's is the ultimate success and survival story when it comes to culinary arts. The big wind, Katrina, closed Commander's down for months. It has reopened to continued acclaim. As this syllabus takes shape, New Orleans and the Gulf coast faces another survival test, the BP oil rig explosion and spill endangering wild life, fishing and oyster beds. To cover his assignment, Fitzmorris included among his faves, Cafe du Monde, another one-stop education.
Bonus 3: Eating Out, Fearless Dining in Ethnic Restaurants
In Bad Taste: The MSG Symptom Complex
- George R. Schwartz, M.D.
- Health Press, Santa Fe, NM
- © 1988
A movie script backgrounder: Before getting into the Schwartz text, it must be noted that a movie potential is in the foreword by Arthur D. Colman, M. D. As a Harvard College trained psychiatrist, and today a clinical professor at U. C. Medical Center, San Francisco, he dared to concern himself with the negatives of MSG. In 1978 he published a three-paragraph account of his MSG studies in The New England Journal of Medicine. He detailed two casehistories relating to individuals developing physical and psychiatric symptoms when they ate foods containing Monosodium Glutamate.
The Journal, probably the nation's most authoritative medical publication, was immediately hit with the wrath of, Colman writes, "an antagonistic letter from the 'Glutamate Association.'" The outfit questioned Colman's credentials and The Journal's right to print it. Colman relates a later development when a Harvard Medical School classmate surfaced for what Colman thought was to be a casual old school breakfast. Breakfast quickly terminated when conversation turned sour with an offer of funding to do "research on other allergic phenomena" beyond MSG.
My inability to locate Dr. Schwartz in his old New Mexico stomping ground or get any information from his listed publisher makes Dr. Colman today's primary authority on dangers of MSG. A personal note; I once approached the glutamate group's offices in Atlanta. Entering, I announced myself as a reporter. Politely. When asked my purpose, I made the mistake of asking if there was any significance in the group's location, directly across the street from Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. I was instructed to depart.
Passing this research on to food writers is with some reservation. Personally I have been involved with the topic for decades. I am allergic to any use of MSG - monosodium glutamate, a chemical additive used in cooking. Simply put, MSG is a salt which tampers with your taste buds and harmful to many, depending...
Decades ago I gave up Campbell soups. In those days ingredients were not listed on labels. In reviewing Chinese foods in the 1960s, it was apparent that something was not agreeing with my body. And be assured that ethnicity was heavy handed in all wok cookery. Not until the mid-1980s did it become fashionable for Chinese eateries to do menu listings... NO MSG. In 1988 the first definitive research citing potential dangers of MSG appeared. It was this 120-page book. I quickly included warning references in my Newspapers In Education lectures. Later the Schwartz book was cited repeatedly in my college hospitality lectures. My warning position is that any food spiked with a chemical changing intended tastes of any food impairs accuracy when reviewing.
My advice: Do not tamper with those 10,000 taste buds 1 on your tongue. For so many years I had to make inquiries of servers: Does the cook use MSG? When they answered with a question, wanting to know what I was talking about, I suggested they go to the kitchen and see if there was a package of a commercial MSG, Accent, on the shelf. Replies varied.
If you reason that MSG might be up for discussion, click Google. There your choices number 528,000 "results," most of them negative for your consumption and reviewing. Pending some exacting update on MSG as the substance relates to my reviewing and any critique, I advise a detailed study of In Bad Taste, The MSG Syndrome. Copies are difficult to find.
Curtain line: Give up on the listed publisher. Search used book stacks. If adept at punching through Amazon's keyboard jungle, there may be a copy available.
Simply Truffles: Recipes and Stories That Capture the Essence of the Black Diamond
- Patricia Wells
- © 2011
When the textbook is written describing the studied career of a food writer and restaurant critic, the model will be Patricia Wells. She was a news beat reporter for The New York Times. Her bio steps note, in order, the broad term journalist, then author and culinary teacher. She and her husband balance their joint research and writing careers between Paris and Provence.
Besides her dozen-plus cookbooks, Ms. Wells produced the ultimate dream guides for visitors to Paris...her annual Food Lover's Guide to Paris. (See Bonus 96, Syllabus Book 74)
Oh, about the Wells treatment of what may be the ultimate food item in a reviewers career: Truffles. Chances are few newspaper food writers will ever have the opportunity or pleasures experienced by Ms. Wells in Simply Truffles. So, the rare black truffle is presented by the global restaurant and food writer for our time.
Before moving on, remind me to do a recall on Chef Jean Banchet's baked Truffle Brie enCroute, his Le Francais presentation. D.P.C.
Bonus 4: Uncle John's Original Bread Book
English Bread and Yeast Cookery
The Settlement Cook Book: The Way to a Man's Heart
About the subtitle: girl folk, that's the way it was in the 1940s. Home cooking was a housewife chore. Women in offices were there to get coffee for the male boss. Rosie the Riveters were just beginning to assert them selves. Gloria Marie Steinem was still on a Toledo playground and had yet to be invented. The word feminist was unknown priot to World War II. When Mrs. Kander penned this book women were forced to choose between marriage and a career. In Mrs. Kander's world...there would never be a woman heading a major corporation. There would never be a woman secretary of state. In the Kander era Hillary Clinton would be in her husband's kitchen baking cookies.
The Way to a Man's Heart? History...just like cook book way back when was two words in our pre-Google decades..
Bonus 5: Larousse Gastronomique
- Compiled by Librairie Larousse
- © 1938;
Suggested by culinary professional James B. Simpkins
Now that we've been advised by a good writer about bluffing our way in food discussions, i.e. pretending to know what the hell we're taking about when it comes to food, go for the pro --- hundreds of them.
Larousse Gastronomique is a one-volume, 1,300 pages of food history, eating, restaurants, cooking terms, techniques for the beginner to the kitchen pro. It is not a resource for want-to-be writers seeking style. It is a compact source for those fact checkers, also known as copy editors.
How does it fit on a food writer's shelf? Meet America's ultimate teaching chef, one who teaches from a cooking line, not with bam bam antics ... Charlie Trotter: "Just like a grammarian encouraging pupils to learn by looking up words in the dictionary, so to, do I point cooks in the direction of Larousse to understand culinary concepts."
Trotter hands his kitchen-load of interns the weighty English edition, six pounds of career resources to last a lifetime for serious culinarians intending to earn a living as informed food writers.
Bonus 6: Rumford Complete Cook Book
First Edition 1908; 41st Edition 1947
Why this entry? Comment pending
The Minimalist Cooks at Home: Recipes That Give You More Flavor from Fewer Ingredients in Less Time
If there is a recipe writer today with more pots boiling, it is Mark Bittman. As an authority on the recipe, his for more than a decade have been turned into a dozen (at least since noon yesterday) cookbooks. I started reading Bittman with this 2002 Minimalist.I became a Bittman Booster when he appeared in ink as a critic for The New York Times. Of all the Times's eat-for-pay reviewers there was something in the Bittman columns that took readers beyond what was on his dinner plate.
Bittman professes a love of eating in restaurants. He is impressed by great chefs. He has dined and researched international cuisines. And once he wrote: "I have become, in effect, a recipe hunter." His recipes are for the home cook. Unlike many of the star chefs, who, with their names on cookbooks best for tea table display...those calling for ingredients found only in three foreign countries away, Bittman tends to suggest ingredients sold in your nearestsupermarket.
For a cookbook collector such as this writer, one who doesn't do much more in a kitchen than boil water for tea, Bittman is a pleasant read.
The day this syllabus first took form, Mark Bittman was in the first name notes. But,not for his recipes or the resulting cookbooks. Mark Bittman is an op-ed columnist for The Times.
Bonus 7: How to Cook Everything, The Basics
Bonus 8: Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater
Well, here's another one of those big time talent changes. Like Mark Bittman, a beautiful food writer and restaurant critic some time back, Frank Bruni has been moved from the Times Dining section to the op-ed page...a one-pager. Food writing students should be reading Bittman and Bruni in depth.
Born Round is a personal story for Bruni.
The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference
- Barbara Ann Kipfer
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hungry Planet: WHat the World Eats
- Peter Menzel and Faith D'Alusinio
- Material World
When my food book collection was being assembled into syllabus form, Hungry Planet held dual appeal: A beginner's course visually presented for a writer to see what is out there as content; and as an inspiration to choose what has to be the most interesting subject matter for serious human interest studies. In recent years of this decade I have been toting this single heavy weight volumn to lectures and telling my classes... buy the book. It is a keeper, not just as a coffee table book, but for quick research. The selling point appears on the back cover: 30 Families - 24 Countries - 600 Meals - 1 Extraordinary Book.
Hungry Planet is not preaching, but it does briefly explore Darfur's starving refugee camps. The world and writers need that story. Then, possibly, the extreme of our bountiful planet moving from a sad Africa, a family of four displays a week's supply of foodstuffs showing commercial labels, waters and beers. The chapter Bio Logic itemizes the cost of grains, starches, dairy, fruits, libations, even the condiments. What is in between is the study course. At first my intent was to use Hungry Planet as the star attraction, the Harry Potter or Dirty Harry as the grabber. Instead, to be professitorial, note the Associated Press Style Book is your starter for style and literacy in any writing career. But Hungry Planet is the reason for writing about food.
The Physiology of Taste
- Brillat Savarin
- North Point Press
When the day arrives that I am granted tenure with the privilege of selecting my own text for a full quarter, this is it. For this fast living world of today I would give any student an option to bow out, drop the course and take up Bob Dylan 101 (actually a catalogued offering at The Ohio State University). The exiting trigger would be the reading of the sub-title: Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy.
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
- Harold McGee
The subtitle using the word 'science' may give a slight pause for beginning writers, food not always linked to the field of test tubes and the laboratory world. Harold McGee specializes in the chemistry of food. When he puts his research on paper, the serious food and cooking world stands and salutes. McGee commands attention even when it comes to little facets of food. Example: He may never be given credit for it, but everyone these days thinks twice about wrapping cooked food in plastic. Once unwrapped to be eaten, the food tastes like plastic. From this vantage point, give credit to McGee writings for shaking up the bottled water industry. Only in the latter years of the last decade did we see bottlers reducing the plastic content in water bottles. The move to totally ban plastic water bottles is a lost cause. McGee is not fighting that battle, but his research started thought processes.
Real McGee fans find little brights in the 900 pages. Example: If writing about a food that includes mint as an ingredient, be McGee advised that the mint family is a huge one... more than 180 genera. Best about his mint research, it provides more of our familiar kitchen herbs than any other family. Page 401. If one thinks of a mint leaf in a Kentucky julep as the end of uses, step back one grade. McGee gives readers, nee students, a roster of herbs in the mint family. He provides (Page 403) the botanical names for thyme, basil, lavender, sage, rosemary, all to be useful in food writing. Not so common for keyboarding, horehound, perilla, hyssop, but may come in handy in a trivia game. Fun fact: When writing about sage as a seasoning for roasted squab, try getting this past a copy editor: use salvia officinalis.
The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book
- Alice B. Toklas
New to writing a cookbook? Writers and reporters will get a brief glance at the tender story behind Alice and her life with Gertrude Stein in Paris.
If not interested in a love story, then be happy with such goodies as page 151. Her instructions for prepairing roast squab reads thusly: "Place in the cavity salt and pepper. Cover squabs with thin slices of back fat and tie securely. Put them in a pre-heated 400 degree oven."
Back fat in Paris, fat back in Carolina.
Though never mentioned in this ink-on-pulp, it may be that Julia Child became a sincere advocate for cooking only with butter from her associations with Alice and Gertrude, Toklas never heard of the word oleo or margarine. Thankfully.
Believe it. Vegetable oil / margarine is not butter. Toklas rules.
Bonus 8: Paul Bocuse: The Complete Recipes
- Paul Bocose
- Editions Flammarion
University of California, Berkeley
Food and restaurant writers should never suffer writer's block. There is a solution, the monthly arrival of Wellness Letter, an adjunct between UC Berkeley's Wellness Foods and Wellness Kitchen. It is the wellspring of nutrition, fitness and self-care information... an up-to-date match fitting today's headlines... as if to say... here's your inspiration when an unkind editor expects a story on his deadline...
Of the dozen university-based health, nutrition and fitness newsletters considered for this syllabus, WellnessLetter, University of California, Berkeley, best fits the needs of a food reporter. It is a monthly subscription fact-loaded narrative touching on a score-plus talking points of current interest.
Example: About once each decade some fitness guru thinks he has discovered the bottle of youth. Water. Eight glasses daily, he announces not knowing such was advised about the time Ford marketed the Edsel. Credit: WellnessLetter in November, 2011.
Bonus 11: The Doctors Book of Food Remedies
- Selene Yeager and the editors of Prevention Magazine
- Rodale Books
Why? Content Pending.
The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink
- John F. Mariani
- Lebhar-Friedman Books
Dream beyond the conventual bam-bam chefs. There is foodie fare other than gorging food competitons or fading Hollywood fatties puffing ghost-written books on how they lost half a hundred pounds is six weeks... usually the second or third time around the guest circuit. Meet Mariani and Spitzer.
Media Studes: If holding this book in some quiet contemplative setting, you have in your hands one half of a food talk show waiting to happen. Think creatively. Writer John Mariani on the tube, on a restaurant-like set with this 380-page script, taking questions about rock fish muddle in some remote southern town. The caller is upset about Mariani's recipe that calls for shell fish...and the call board's red lights are all blinking.
Seated at the same restaurant-type table... Eliot Spitzer, former New York governor with a high test persona of both a prosecutor and provocateur. His script is an issues related website... www.foodmessalert.com... food recalls, salmonella scares today...food packers being closed for dirty products... the list is endless. Co-host Spitzer is the on-air prosecutor.
Meet Mariani. Food historian. Food writer, Restaurant reviewer and critic for three decades. Controversial? Yes. Here's a load of new content angles when it comes to food television.
Consider a use for these selective definitions...
Sex on the beach. A spiked drink far beyond watery beer favored by college students on spring breaks... a cocktail of vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry and orange juice popularized in the 1980s. And then we have one Mariani missed, possibly because he is of a more recent generation. Purple Jesus, favored from the 1940s to 1960s along the Atlantic coastal beaches from Virginia south to Florida, a plugged watermelon spiked with as much cheap Gordon's gin as possible.
Pupu or pu pu. It is a platter of Hawaiian appetizers, nuts, fruits, barbecued meats, coconut chips, at times served with a Sterno flame to heat the morsels. (This treat is being highlighted for writers who may not have copy editors familiar with the works of a Mariani or Sharon Tyler Herbst. (Simple explanation: Bible Belt copy editors will edit out pupu.)
Fluffernutter. It may never appear on a menu, but has study interest. Look it up... page 130.
Fish muddle. Do not call it fish boil. Muddle means mucho, in the south a muddle of fish is a mess of stuff. Fish muddle may be hard to find in restaurants, but it is a pot waiting to be found. Fish muddles are rites of passage in fish camps. Cooks mix their pot ingredients (look it up, page 127) with rather long simmering and boiling times. Mariani mentions cod, haddock, clams and scallops. Southern cooks stick with what they pull out of the water, one species at a time. But at the top of Mariani copy... diced salt pork. Cousin, salt pork is the key ingredient when cooking up a mess along North Carolina's Roanoke River when rock fish are in season. And another fish camp suggestion: stick with fin fish caught 75 feet away in midstream.
Foodie[^1] Yes, slang. Noah Webster made it legit. Mariani gives it currency. He's traced the origins to 1982 (page 131). A foodie is a person reading through this 96-book food syllabus. Foodies (plural) are intense when it comes to food, the growing, harvesting, cleaning and cooking, serving and savoring. A working foodie is a person who starts with the Associated Press Style Book and graduates to the Mariani College of Food and Drink, graduate level.
[^1] SpellCheck missed class the day foodie came to life...
Tip for the Mariani rewrite: Include a rather new word... locavore... although a collective of sorts and not a recipe, locavores use this book's content.
Bonus 12: The Food of a Younger Land
- Mark Kurlansky
- Riverhead Books
Bonus 13: A Century of America's Favorite Foods
- Sue Dawson
- Rodale Books
Star Bonus 1: Unforgettable: 100 Years of Timeless American Recipes
- Sue Dawson
- CQ Products
The Hamburger: A History
- Josh Ozersky
- Yale University Press
So, it works like this. Take a patty of ground beef (not pork), squeeze it or compress into a form to keep it from skidding around in a frying pan or slipping through a grill into the flames. Once cooked to a desired doneness, place between two slices of bread or in a bun. You have a hamburger. What you do beyond this primer stage defers to personal tastes. Ketchup and / or mustard is a matter of taste. Then we get into...onions, lettece, tomato. Then we have to recall R. David Thomas who pitched a hamburger with...ah...253 variations. But he was also dainty. He offered napkins. Grab a bunch. "Hot and juicy" was the invitation to take a pile of paper napkins.
There has to be a Hamburger Hall of Fame. There is one. Ozersky set out to do a history of hamburger that would be a good read and qualify for the imprint of a major American university. That is why this book fits well into this selection for writers and reporters. Ozersky has done the research for you.
In a way this book could qualify for the number one spot when writing about American food and tastes. A hamburger in all the forms is America‘s favorite nosh. Bet your boodle anything hamburger will be a more popular read than the Associated Press Style Book, your syllabus starter button for all the exacting career reasons.
Supporting reasons for including this hamburger tome: Josh Ozersky was a working restaurant critic for Newsday, a legitimate website, Slashfood, scribe for the New York Law Journal and remains fresh and topical today with his Time magazine columns. Be advised, Ozersky is the single reason for Time having one paid subscriber, the puncher on this keyboard from whence this syllabus takes form.
Taste Ozersky in Time: "Land O‘ Fakes. Butter may be the darling of the food world, but margarine is thriving - at least in tubs."
Ozersky when asked by Robin Davis on what makes a good food writer or restaurant critic: "I would say the most important things are a passion, an almost pathological love, of eating; and a passion, almost pathological love, of reading. The writing part takes care of itself."
Ozersky for sure: "First, let‘s get one thing straight. The hamburger is an American invention."
Why The Hamburger, this book? Ozersky the writer. Ozersky the reporter. Ozersky the reviewer. Ozersky the restaurant critic, in that order.
Bonus 14: Twain's Feast: Searching for America's Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens
- Andrew Beahrs
- Penguin Press HC
Why? Content Pending Upon Needing $600 (!) To Buy The Book on Amazon. Keyboard shopping for a better price suggested.
Bonus 15: Encyclopedia of Practical Gastronomy
- Ali-Bab ()Translation into English by Elizabeth Bensen)
- McGraw-Hill Book Companies
The original version of this was the Gastronomie Pratique, Etudes Culinaires, 1907, by Henri Babinski
Star Bonus 2: The Original Picayune Creole Cook Book
- Anonymous/Food Editors
- Times-Picayune Publishing Co.
NOTE: In buying copies, buy only years 1901-1947; avoid reprints.
For serious cookbook students this aging masterpiece is a success story when it comes to longevity. When Googled the story becomes confused in the longevity publishing story. Used cookbook peddlers over the decades keep using the descriptive reprint. That alone attests to the content longevity. The hundreds of recipes were pulled together beginning early in the 20th century by The Picayune newspaper, the survivor today known as the New OrleansTimes-Picayune. Picayune (piki-yoon) as used in early Big Easy meant a penny, a.k.a Spanish-American for something of little value. Class, go a monetary unit beyond, you have the farthing, a coin once used in the UK valued at a quarter of the British penny.
The Pic, a powerhouse daily newspaper for more than a hundred years, now is a three-days a week press run. Besides being home plate for some of the best food writing in the country. the many successful years saw innovations created by the newspaper that are common today. The Pic first set aside a staff to be the editorial department, that being a designated staff to write editorial opinion reflecting the owner's views.
The Times-Picayune prior to Katrina was one of America's great daily newspapers. For all the decades it was fully staffed it set standards for excellent journalism. One huge reason is the georgraphy and diverse cultures it serves... even today. Food in New Orleans has always been the platform for the readership. Think about being a food writer in New Orleans, a city where food and restaurants are the major industry.
The paper, being part of the deep south in a city where social graces and manners were important, created an early society section. Biggest of all, the Pic should be credited for a major slice of early journalism. Decades ago, 1896, staffer Elizabeth Mariwether was assigned to write an advice column, one intended to boost female readership. It must have worked. Using the byline Dorothy Dix, she became the longest running syndicated advice columnnist in newspaper history.
But the major contribution to journalism over the decades was to publish endless columns of recipes. They were created and tested by many female staffers. Once compiled in this hard cover cookbook (two words as in this early printing) it became the standard for cookbooks published by daily newspapers.
The Original Picayune Creole Cook Book recipe text covered years 1901 to 1947. Copies are still floating around as keepers. Advisory: Buy only ones dated 1947 and prior thereto. Pass on "reprint" copies. Enjoy the warm feeling. Enjoy New Orleans, still the most prominent American city when it comes to foods and wonderful restaurants for all cultures.
Enjoy a serving of three beignets.
Savor the coffee with chicory.
(Saved from the shredder: Credit: Dr. Murrell Lewis, book preservationist)
Savoring the Past: The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789
- Barbara Ketcham Wheaton
- Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
Think about this: There is a place for the advanced study of cookbooks. Rather than go into the details, best one click onto the repository where more than 20,000 books on cookery repose.
Savoring the Past on Amazon.com
Meet Barbara Ketcham Wheaton...
Wheaton fans are not there for the recipes or techniques, they like her fame factor for her opinions on other cookbooks. She is a great read when it comes to cookery history. She does not have a vast presentation of recipes in this cookbook. Put it this way. This is not Betty Crocker. She has fans in academia who appreciate good writing. Make that great writing in a content field that is lacking real grammarians
Bonus 16: Mary Meade's Sausage Cookbook
- Ruth Ellen Church
- Rand McNally
Writing as Mary Meade, Ruth Ellen Church was restaurant
critic and food editor for The Chicago Tribune for 38 years.
On 22 August 1991 she was found dead in her apartment.
apparently strangled by a burglar. Ms. Church, then 81,
was the first in the nation to write a wine column for a daily
newspaper. That column, eventually, was syndicated nationally.
She was a home economics graduate of Iowa State University
Bonus 17: The Potato Book
Ah, the humble spud...the author traces the
history of the potato. He was at one time a
biology teacher. His book is posted here for
the simple reason that, while not a newspaper
type, he selected the one vegetable most familiar
to readers of this syllabus. They need to know
this simple veg originated in South America,
not Idaho...or the state of Maine.
Romans takes readers from seed to a side on a steak platter. No recipes...however.
Bonus 18: Michael Symon's Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers
- Michael Symon with Douglas Trattner
- Clarkson Potter, Publisher
Consider this a promotion book for a television show, The Chew. The author, in the first person, opens thusly: "I am Michael Symon, and I love meat." While much of the text has been done before, this heavyweight, 2.3 pounds, is loaded with some of the finest color images on any cookbook shelf.
The book is a classic example of a puff cookbook. Yes, the writing is good journalism, so take it from there. Ask yourself: "How does this man have time to write such a book?" Answer: He has people, talented folk under the umbrella of his popular television show. He does five days a week with friends, all munching on camera which is unattractive to some viewers. And he is an industry (**) himself. Symon owns multiple restaurants and does not tag his name on the signs. The good plus for Symon: He knows what he talks about on television. He is a product of the Culinary Institute of America. He has been highly praised by his peers, the James Beard Foundation.
Michael Symon, the man, the chef, the television star, the Iron Chef is what every up-and-cooking fry cook dreams about. His book herein is suggested for the star value... sans any foolishness out there about the ills of enjoying meat. Ya know...PETA...People Eating Tasty Animals.
(**) Symon as an industry....his books: Michael Symon's Live To Cook; and his co-author credit for The CHEW, Food, Life, Fun.
The Wilder Shores of Gastronomy: 20 Years of the Best Food Writing from the Journal *Petits Propos Culinaires
- Alan Davidson and Helen Saberi, editors
- Ten Speed Press
Bonus 18: Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love
I reviewed this book for The Columbus Dispatch in 1994. This review says it all.
AUTHOR STIRS UP LOVE TALE SPICED WITH RECIPES
The two most important needs of humankind are sex and food. One gets old. Bob Shacochis' Domesticity is a workbook that uses the seductive power of food to extend the shelf life of both as kindred elements of the good life.
Writer-for-hire Shacochis, a nomadic sort, has compiled a delightful, quick read. With such a lousy title, I am afraid his 315 pages of pithy prose could end up on remote library shelves. For marketing purposes, I would rename it Making Love Between Courses.
With Domesticity, Shacochis compiled 18 years of food and love notes in the manner of a gastronomic tour; it has the literary continuity of John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley.
The story line: The writer has a long-running love affair with Miss F. as he collects his material. Shacochis and Miss F. move in together, camp, hotel, tour, and along the literary route find time to get married.
To make their prose stew - or love potion - they created small gardens for vegetables and herbs. That is to say, he gardened, he cooked, he stayed at home; while she managed a socially understood day-work schedule outside the home.
Their togetherness lasted through 16 household moves to follow his other writing pursuits (for Gentlemen's Quarterly magazine). While not putting down anything so mundane as domestic roots, the two made love between courses from the West Indies to Spokane, Wash., with detours as far-flung as Rome.
Food and love finally have come together in Florida, where the lovers have gone conventional. They now own a home, get utility bills on a regular basis and probably vote as permanent citizens.
Shacochis taught me a new word that describes my lifelong condition. He admits to suffering periodical bouts of kouxinaphobia: "a fear of kitchens." Noah Webster doesn't give it much notice, so it must be a little-known medical problem known only to writers. Perhaps kouxinaphobia is hereditary. My mother was a fine writer, and she feared not only kitchens but also every cooking utensil therein.
I loved the love story.
Being a lover of fine food, as well as how someone else prepares same, I should have written this book. Shacochis has a taste for chapter titles: "Pate Animal," "Love at First Bite," "The Walloping Gourmet," "Hunger at Bay" and best of all: "After Dark (Chocolate) My Sweet."
"Grouse, Grouse, Grouse" was appealing, even though it did touch on road-kill consumption. (The grouse flew into the side of his pickup and ended up being roasted.)
I think the writer/compiler wanted to go a step beyond Calvin Trillin and A.J. Liebling in food reporting. You be the judge. I think he's beyond already.
Oh, before I forget it, Domesticity has a bunch of recipes stirred into its chapters and frosting their ends. Most are geographical reference points to his travels.
Understand my reasoning for not reporting on his recipes: He offers "mussels chardonnay." Sounds tempting. But, for me, only in a restaurant. His first kitchen prep step: "Remove beards from mussels and wash mussels."
My kouxinaphobia is starting to act up.
-- Doral Chenoweth, The Columbus Dispatch (Published 13 February 1994. Used with permission)
A 1994 note: Doral Chenoweth, restaurant reviewer for The Dispatch, was inoculated last year with 355 restaurant meals. His continued advice to the wretched appears on his bumper sticker: HELP STAMP OUT HOMECOOKING.
The Grumpy Gourmet's Top 10 Reasons to Give Up Home Cooking
- TV star-pitchmen such as the Maytag repairman really do not exist when fuses blow.
- Martha Stewart's recipes really do not work in private home kitchens.
- Mrs. Paul's deep fried fish parts taste better than homemade battered fish sticks.
- Even Big Macs have taste after mom's long day of handling four kids and one sick cat.
- After so many days even Chef Boyardee wears out his welcome.
- Betty Crocker ran off with the mailman.
- I haven't trusted anything Chinese since Chung King was canned in Jackson, Ohio.
- Wobbly legs on TV tray.
- 911 operators have me on their do-not-respond list.
- Martha Stewart doesn't make house calls.
Mix love and food. Read the master, Bob Shacochis. He now teaches creative writing at Florida State University. This is a happy movie still waiting to be made.
Fast Food Nation The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Deep food history: In 1905 Upton Sinclair had labored in a bloody and brutal slaugherhouse and wrote the inside exposé called The Jungle. Reading Fast Food Nation one might assume the author garnered much of his inside inspiration while flipping hamburgers.This is the food book I always wanted to write. Upton Sinclair saved a nation when he exposed the filth and dangers in Chicago's meat packing plants. His apt title: The Jungle. Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring. Food history buffs circa 2000-plus should spend a weekend off-campus in the ink-print company of Carson and Sinclair. An aside: Activate absorption buttons. This Eric Schlosser work is as equally important to humankind as Carson's Silent Spring. Face it. We live and survive in a fast food culture, a condition not described in The Invention of The Restaurant. Schlosser has updated critical food issues for this new century of writers, reporters, reviewers and critics, in that order. Legitimate and tenured reviewers will experience their food being shoved out a drive-through window. They will be reintroduced to manufactured foods. Chemical cuisines. They will be writing about America's popular patties appearing hot and juicy, but never mention the patty may have been composed of compressed cattle flesh from hundreds of different carcasses. Visualize a bloody slaughterhouse scene and you may consider vegetarianism. Don't.
In my dreams I grant Schlosser tenure as dean of Grumpy Gourmet University. In lieu thereof, Schlosser should be lecturing every graduate hospitality class in America's top universities. Every culinary student intending to prepare and serve food in a public trough should slow read and annotate page margins.
Dean Schlosser in a classroom could advocate restrictive laws against marketing food (cereal) pitches to children. In today's overloaded Internet world of flash point attention spans, the Schlosser Syllabus will include such dotcoms as deathwatch.biz and cerealkiller.org, both fictional at this writing. Schlosser delves into the real production side of fast food. In a blackboard jungle setting he teaches, reminds, sleepy attendees that all fast food is mechanically processed. Beef patties, for example, are stamped into forms of exacting ounces. Employees of the burger chain do not have to think beyond adjusting movements dictated by timed signals. Bells ring, whistles chirp, shift managers growl when the french fry nest is to be lifted from blistering oil. Think about all such movements. Fast food robots are not cooks. They're button pushers. Automated food is cheaper to produce and move from slaughtering pens to paper bag and out the drive-through window. Corporate profits prevail.
The Schlosser Syllabus has to touch on the profit niche of fountain squirts of cola soda. In 2000 any cola over ice cost the store about six cents. If a 12-ouncer on the check was a buck, well, now you know why Warren Buffett is a major investor in Coca-Cola stock. Sum and substance of all Schlosser classes end with this homily: You should know what you are putting in your body.
What have we learned from Schlosser's research? We've learned to compare today's stylistic writing of Eric Schlosser with sickening prose of Upton Sinclair. Sinclair in 1905 inked that oft-quoted bright about hog meat packers using everything in the pig to make sausage except the squeal. This is the Sinclair sentence that triggered a nation into legislative action: "There was never the least attention paid to what was cut up for sausage; there would come all the way back from Europe. Old sausage that had been rejected, and that was moldy and white - it would be dosed with borax and glycerine, and dumped into the hoppers, and made over again for home consumption."
Considering what Upton Sinclair meant to food legislation 105 years ago, we may credit much of today's nutritional and food handling legislation to Eric Schlosser.
Bonus 20: Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
- Brian Wansink, Ph.D.
- Bantam Books
Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and The Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine
Sip. Do not gulp.
This eve if sitting in a bistro enjoying a pour of a good California red wine, do a silent toast to George Taber. As a Time magazine reporter posted in Paris, he alone turned out to be the only pad-and-pencil reporter present when a batch of California wines were being blind tasted against the best of France. That was in 1976, a time when American wine consumers were still buying tank car wines in jugs and bottles without vintage dates. Vino in bamboo squat bottles had double appeal: They were cheap and the jugs had a second life in dorm rooms, most as candle holders.
As late as the 1960s and 1970s if a wine fancier in this country wanted something beyond jug wine, he selected a label from California or New York's Finger Lakes. In this country wine marketing had to make a sneaky entry. The Gallo brothers bottled a mix of lemonade and their cheap sweet port. At one time Thunderbird was the biggest seller in the country. The big attraction to Thunderbird: It was a quick cheap high.
And next came a couple of pseudo rubes, Bartles & Jaymes, playing the role of wine aficionados. They loaded pre-cable TV set with their folksy pitch straight from the Gallo empire.
This writer dates back to the days when the countryside had just four choices when it came to having a bottle of fermented grape juice: Mogen David for the Jewish faith, Virginia Dare Concord (sweet) for Protestants, a sweet wine made in-home as permitted by law, and the sometimes dangerous bootleg high-alcohol hooch masquerading as a wine.
The next major boost for vineyards came when bottled wine was not required to be sold only in state controlled liquor stores. All of above mentioned advances for American wines came about when that "noble experiment of Prohibition" was voted into oblivion, a dark period from Jan. 16, 1920 to Dec. 5, 1933.
Taber's tome is a historical reference covering the grim years when the Carrie Nations busted into saloons with clubs to kill off evil John Barleycorn. Religious-based outfits such as the Womens Christian Temperance Union locked arms with the equally militant Anti-Saloon League to make all alcoholic beverages illegal. While Taber is polite and never mentions the WCTU or the hatchet-swinging followers of the saintly Carrie Nation, you appreciate Taber's story that traces the decline and rebirth of wine in this country. That is part of his story. The big bang of this book is his chance visit to a wine merchant's tasting in a Parisian store. It was a judging using French judges deciding between the best of France against California pours.
How about that? California wines took home the win. Taber's story in Time was a sensation on this side of the Atlantic. California vintners ran with the chance to breathe life into their vintages. California wines that won in the blind tasting by top French wine experts: A 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon and a 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay.
While doubtful if any wine auction today has a case of the two, there is one bottle of each among the artifacts stashed away at the Smithsonian's National Museum of History.
When the Platter of Fame cites restaurant reviewers and critics, those who created an industry in the recent 110 years, George M. Taber will be found under the T's.
Why George M. Taber's Three-Pack on Wines?
Taber's trio on wines are not rating or scoring labels, vintners and commercial vineyards, but reporting on a major judging of French pours against California's best, then in 1976. His latest pair of wine-related topics are studies of both a production trend and what nations are out there for persons of fine tastes. The research and writing is the work of a highly skilled reporter, one with 21 years on Time magazine.
Bonus 21: To Cork or not To Cork: Tradition, Romance, Science, and the Battle for the Wine Bottle
- Geroge M. Taber
From Internet Sources: This is a look at the most hotly discussed issue in the wine business today... how should wineries seal the bottle? Cork has been used for nearly two millennia, but it is now being challenged as never before.
Bonus 22: In Search of Bacchus: Wanderings in the Wonderful World of Wine Touring
- Geroge M. Taber
From Internet Sources: The author looks at the twelve best wine tourism destinations around the world, including both the famous (Bordeaux) and the less well known (Central Otago, New Zealand).
Bonus 23: Patterns and Prospects of Common Market Trade
- Geroge M. Taber
- Peter Owen Publishers
Bonus 24: Ernest & Julio Our Story
- Bruce B.Henderon
- Times Books/Random House
Three months before the end of Prohibition in 1933, these two brothers, sons of Italian immigrants living in California, started their own winery. While the book is the detailed story of hardship, tragedy, financial problems and fierce competition, the most telling business story may be in the inside flaps of the hard cover. There are the labels... Thunderbird, Ripple, Gypsy Rose, Boone's Farm Apple Wine, Gallo's Spanada, Gallo Vermouth, Gallo Chianti, Gallo Vin Rose, Gallo Brandy... and a favorite for many, Gallo California Burgundy.
A point of personal privilege: It is time after decades of not ordering a Gallo wine while reviewing that I now call attention to an excellent find...the Gallo Family's Gallo of Sonoma Syrah, 2003. It was a gift from a friend, not a restaurant. My rating: Excellent.
-- Doral Chenoweth
Bonus 25: Ernest & Julio Our Story
- William Rice
- HarperCollins Publishers
Bonus 26: The American Guide to Wines
- Ruth Ellen Church
- Quadrangle Books
America's first syndicated wine columnist, praise The Chicago Tribune. A break through in food and wine writing. The author was among first to scrub Prohibition thinking and create recipes using wines. There are 200-plus pages of recipes calling for American wines. However, to fit her time, there is a guide for international wines followed by then rated American pours. This is a vintage book for collectors, out of print but available. Search the Internet.
One Quick View of Carrie and You'd Give Up John Barleycorn...
Carrie Nation was six feet up, 175 pounds, with a stern countenance, and always armed with a hatchet. She made her name and fame chopping up saloons in the name of Jesus. She led the temperance movement early in the last century. She was a vandal with a Bible in one hand, that hatchet in the other.
Leading a band of women she would enter a saloon (Kansas, Missouri and Texas) chanting Bible passages while smashing bottles, back bars, furniture and fixtures. When she gained sufficient fame, she appeared in her own vaudeville act, eventually taking her show, as they say, on the road. That included the music halls of Great Britain.
In her fadiing days, she sold pictures of herself with a hatchet and Bible. She may have invented lecture fees. But, like all preachers for profit, she lost favor with followers. She had quirks. Suspicious that President McKinley was a secret drinker, she applauded his assassination in 1901. In 1911 she was buried in an unmarked grave in Belton, MO.
Quick Service Restaurants, Franchising and Multi-Unit Chain Management
- Edited by H. G. Parsa, PhD, FMP and Francis A. Kwansa, PhDGeorge M. Taber
- The Haworth Hospitality Press
Never open a restaurant on your credit cards. Never in this extensively researched trade work will you find such advice. While not a chapter with such a brutal tone, Editor Parsa is a fan of one compilation of restaurant troubles, something like suggested reading before taking out a bank loan or asking Aunt Gracie for cash to open a cafe: 101 Reasons Why Restaurants Close. Nor will the writers tell you how to boil water. But, mentioning water, there is a footnote on page 14, Threatened Natural Resources, touching on the Malthusian theory that growing world population tends to increase faster than our food supply.
Editors, Professors Parsa and Kwansa have assembled what may be the most comprehensive roster of food and hospitality experts - yes, experts based on food and hospitality business topics. The understated thrust of this collective is survival in an expanding world of consumption. How the most important thing for humankind in food tends to be the message.
Example: Start with the first of many contributors, Michael Olsen and Jinlin Zhao, academics in hospitality management. Before the first business plan for anything is put to paper, "The most important issue likely to emerge will be the available supply of potable water," Olsen and Zhao write, adding "fresh water scarcity will impact every region of the globe with Africa, Asia and South America being the hardest hit." That's heady stuff seldom found in classrooms today. This book throughout goes into such worldly background on a thousand related topics. So, best to start with water. The foodservice industry will be impacted because it is a large user of water.
As it should be, early chapters are devoted to operational issues called... Safe At the Plate, this reviewers suggested title if and when an updated paper back surfaces. Page 36... keywords the text notes: Sanitation, food safety, food safety inspections and training. Talk about great needs today when too many foodservice people are roaming and rotating in the business, this is the primer for industry consideration.
Parsa in lectures gives an upfront: Food is the driving force behind the migration of the human race to all parts of the world. This book appears to be the guide for control of all service, business, management and marketing. Generally speaking, everyone in foodservice considers himself an expert when the sign is up and the door is unlocked. If Uncle Potts had a family-accepted chili recipe, that is no reason to even consider getting into the restaurant business. Parsa and Kwansa have put together a roadmap for entering a complexbusiness... one eatery or a chain.
A wise observation: Cameron Mitchell, creator of one of this nation's best single restaurant concepts and many high-end themed establishments operating today as nationwide chains, said this about his career choice:
People go into a restaurant and sometimes say to themselves, they would like to open a restaurant. Never do they enter a supermarket and say they would like to be in the grocery business.
A wise observation: Roger D. Blackwell, when he was professor of marketing, Fisher College of Business, the Ohio State University, early on observed that some start-ups get their marketing information by "shopping others." At the beginning of this century he was lecturing about the growing use of emails to pitch a business. He was suggesting specialized e-marketing firms. He was ahead of his time. Ah, the Internet... Blackwell is a food issues talk show waiting to happen. This country's TV networks over dose on half hours of fry cooks, bitchy chefs, speed cookery, obscene eating competitions and hucksters peddling the latest recipe and diet book. A Blackwell persona on television dealing with food recalls, tainted food imports, business issues du jour would offer different content...and is needed. Parsa should be his second guest.
Bonus 27: Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers
- Irena Chalmers
- Beaufort Books, Inc.
Bonus 28: Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter
- Phoebe Damrosch
- Harper Paperbacks
Bonus 29: Restaurant Man
- Joe Bastianich
- Viking Books
Star Bonus 3: Under the Table: Saucy Tales from Culinary School
- Katherine Darling
- Atria Books
Ms. Darling departed a safe and cushy job with a literary agency to polish her mother-grown kitchen talents. She had visions of doing the fancy stuff after a stint at the noted French Culinary Institute. But, then this story. Instead of the sweet thoughts of food creativity she found a story in the rag-tag gaggle of wanna-be chefs. In spite of the educational distractions in the training kitchens, she managed to graduate at the top of her class. This is not a sexy 2003 edition of Coffee, Tea or Me? Darling does demonstrate that she can string together words expressing complete thoughts about a hard-edged career behind high traffic swinging doors.
Whether or not she stayed in a hot kitchen is unknown. We do know she is a professional writer having worked in the high echelons of fine food journalism, Saveur magazine. We do know she cooks and writes at home in her jammies. Consider her qualified to be a part of this collection.
(Jammies is from one of the trade references related to Katherine Darling.)
Bonus 30: The Waiting Game: The Essential Guide for Wait Staff and Managers
- Mike Kirkham, Peggy Weiss, and Bill Crawford
- Ten Speed Press
The serious side for a professional wait staff. Content Pending
Your intro to the business you will be writing about... the business side of restaurants...
As with any trade or business there are dozens of periodicals covering the topic. When it comes to restaurants there are several good monthly magazines. In the case of restaurants -- food service -- the industry changes almost daily. Therefore, Nation's Restaurant News best fits the breaking news factor for both student writers and engaged operators in the business of preparing foods for table delivery.
Weekly editions, large traboid-sized pages, not only cover operations, finance and marketing. but are heavy with food and beverage trends. Introduce yourself to the commercial food trade... click onto the website.
Fresh Fabricant: The New York Times Dining Section
Cookbooks are forever — However...
- Where do you go for daily doses of food / restaurant news?
- Other than Wednesday's issue of the New York Times' Dining section, our choices are:
The Florence Fabricant Food Studies
In the New York Times' Wednesday Dining is a starting point for all serious foodies. She's one of the most experienced food writers in the nation and her name is on a full dozen cookbooks. The Times wisely gives her a full broadsheet page some weeks, titled "Front Burner." Most weeks it's filled with six-to-eight news bits, each with a teaser to get attention — to sip, to serve, to sear, to go, to fill — and possibly everyone's favorite: to savor. Florence's column at times includes her "Off The Menu" collection of bar changes, openings and re-openings, and what's taking place in the restaurant scene. She has the city covered.
The second reason you should read Fabricant is one of her best books: The New York Restaurant Cookbook. The Great Potato Book is another great work, which you should buy and keep. When that one hit the stalls in 2000, a reviewer wrote "for the spud there is life beyond fries ... even the pictures are edible." Want one? Amazon has a ton, for pennies plus postage.
Now for the star name reasons for directing all writers...not just foodies to the huge Times food history loaded with writers. Praise to the past, James Beard and Craig Claiborne. The name that added luster to those black ink pages in the 1980s was Mimi Sheraton. She was the point person in the 80s when restaurant reviewers gathered to discuss trends and needed a contemporary example.
This decade's Dining galaxy includes Mark Bittman, also in the Times' Sunday magazine, Frank Bruni, since moved to the Op-Ed pages, Pete Wells, and Julia Moskin, best-known as the nation's leading ghost writer for star chefs seeking fame by writing their own cookbooks. She cleans up lots of scribbles and installs something called good grammar. What a concept?
Unlike other major dailies, including The Wall Street Journal, the Times builds star writers. Food writing/reviewing readers relate to ink names. They are familiar with Eric Asimov for his Wines Of The Times. The Times keys a name to a repetitious factor: Melissa Clark to A Good Appetite; David Tanis to City Kitchen; Ligaya Mishan to Hungry City. In the Times format, familiarity breeds readership. The triple plus for The Times, editors believe in long form writing. And reporting. Best of all, reviewing with opinions.
The Seattle Times
Visit writer, reviewer, cookbook collector Nancy Leson. She covers her city like a stew pot cover.
The San Francisco Chronicle
As long as Michael Bauer is the most clicked-upon food expert and reviewer, thus bypassing management efforts to dilute food content into something called Lifestyles.
The Wall Street Journal
Under Rupert Murdock's ownership, The WSJ has become a major source for food and wine content — no longer known for lack of images keyed to stories. One big minus is failure to retain roving restaurant reviewer Raymond Sokolov after his brilliant work collected a huge following among educators. As this is written...the paper does not review eateries.
The Washington Post
This paper is presently in a state of recovery. Once, it was ranked among national leaders
with Phyllis Richman who for three decades as restaurant reviewer and critic held the paper's star status. With home cooking making a slow return, Post food writers are smaller in number
from the glory 1980s to 2000...new ownership with big bucks will add punch.
This is all a student writer needs when it comes to periodical magazine slicks. If you missed the 11 o'clock news, Gourmet is not with us anymore.
New Orleans Times-Picayune
All such food references with this list, New Orleans must be noted. However, the famed New Orleans Times-Picayune under chain ownership of confused Advance Publications stockholders, is no longer a prime source for the city's acclaimed cuisine. Meanwhile, search out The New Orleans MENU, in which veteran food authority Tom Fitzmorris covers NOLA's 1,393 restaurants. The Times-Pic needs a dose of Warren Buffett.
Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report
It's the one true travel newsletter. Search for it under the pseudonym of Andrew Harper, who travels incognito and pays all full rate expenses.
The "Weak Sister" Collection
These publications are still "weak sisters" when it comes to food content:
- Parade Magazine: Most content appears to be rewrites of news.
- USA Today: Food content is written to fill space.
Unfortunately, TIME Magazine never replaced Josh Ozersky, and is no longer viable for food content.