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Jay Rayner - Author

About the Author

Jay Rayner is an award-winning journalist, writer and broadcaster. He has been reviewing restaurants for the Observer since the late '90s and in 2006 was named critic of the year in the British Press Awards. He recently preseented Dispatches: The True Cost of Cheap Food as part of Channel 4's series, The Great British Food Fight.

Featured books by Jay Rayner

Other books by Jay Rayner

My Last Supper One Meal, a Lifetime in the Making

My Last Supper One Meal, a Lifetime in the Making

Author: Jay Rayner Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2019

You're about to die. What would your final meal be? This question has long troubled Jay Rayner. As a man more obsessed with his lunch than is strictly necessary, the idea of a showpiece last supper is a tantalising prospect. But wouldn't knowledge of your imminent demise ruin your appetite? So, Jay decided to cheat death. The plan was simple: he would embark on a journey through his life in food in pursuit of the meal to end all meals. It's a quest that takes him from necking oysters on the Louisiana shoreline to forking away the finest French pastries in Tokyo, and from his earliest memories of snails in garlic butter, through multiple pig-based banquets, to the unforgettable final meal itself. My Last Supper is both a hugely entertaining account of a life built around mealtimes and a fascinating global exploration of our relationship with what we eat. It is the story of one hungry man, in eight courses.

Wasted Calories and Ruined Nights A Journey Deeper into Dining Hell

Wasted Calories and Ruined Nights A Journey Deeper into Dining Hell

Author: Jay Rayner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/10/2018

Includes Le Cinq, Beast and Farm Girl Cafe, and a new introduction by the author. Jay Rayner isn't just a trifle irritated. He is eye-gougingly, bone-crunchingly, teeth-grindingly angry. And admit it, that's why you picked up this book, isn't it? Because you aren't really interested in glorious prose poems celebrating the finest dining experiences known to humanity, are you? You want him to suffer abysmal cooking, preferably at eye-watering prices, so you can gorge on the details and luxuriate in vicarious displeasure. You're in luck. Revel in Jay's misfortune as he is subjected to dreadful meat cookery with animals that died in vain, gravies full of casual violence and service that redefines the word 'incompetent'. He hopes you enjoy reading his reviews of these twenty miserable meals a damn sight more than he didn't enjoy experiencing them.

Wasted Calories and Ruined Nights

Wasted Calories and Ruined Nights

Author: Jay Rayner Format: eBook Release Date: 02/10/2018

Includes Le Cinq, Beast and Farm Girl Cafe, and a new introduction by the author.Jay Rayner isn't just a trifle irritated. He is eye-gougingly, bone-crunchingly, teeth-grindingly angry. And admit it, that's why you picked up this book, isn't it? Because you aren't really interested in glorious prose poems celebrating the finest dining experiences known to humanity, are you? You want him to suffer abysmal cooking, preferably at eye-watering prices, so you can gorge on the details and luxuriate in vicarious displeasure.You're in luck. Revel in Jay's misfortune as he is subjected to dreadful meat cookery with animals that died in vain, gravies full of casual violence and service that redefines the word 'incompetent'. He hopes you enjoy reading his reviews of these twenty miserable meals a damn sight more than he didn't enjoy experiencing them.

The Ten (Food) Commandments

The Ten (Food) Commandments

Author: Jay Rayner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/06/2016

Britain's culinary Moses brings us the new foodie rules to live by, celebrating what and how we eat The Ten Commandments may have had a lot going for them, but they don't offer those of us located in the 21st Century much in the way of guidance when it comes to our relationship with our food. And Lord knows we need it. Enter our new culinary Moses, the legendary restaurant critic Jay Rayner, with a new set of hand-tooled commandments for this food-obsessed age. He deals once and for all with questions like whether it is ever okay to covet thy neighbour's oxen (it is), eating with your hands (very important indeed) and if you should cut off the fat (no). Combining reportage and anecdotes with recipes worthy of adoration, Jay Rayner brings us the new foodie rules to live by.

The Apologist

The Apologist

Author: Jay Rayner Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 26/02/2015

Marc Basset, restaurant critic for a national newspaper, has made vitriol his trademark. His vivid cruelty makes his many readers laugh - until a chef roasts himself to death in his bread oven, leaving Bassett's review of his restaurant stuck to the door. When Marc learns of the chef's suicide, he experiences a new sensation - remorse. By apologising to the wife and daughter, he begins to experience levels of self-satisfaction that he never thought possible.

My Dining Hell Twenty Ways To Have a Lousy Night Out

My Dining Hell Twenty Ways To Have a Lousy Night Out

Author: Jay Rayner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/02/2015

I have been a restaurant critic for over a decade, written reviews of well over 700 establishments, and if there is one thing I have learnt it is that people like reviews of bad restaurants. No, scratch that. They adore them, feast upon them like starving vultures who have spotted fly-blown carrion out in the bush. They claim otherwise, of course. Readers like to present themselves as private arbiters of taste; as people interested in the good stuff. I'm sure they are. I'm sure they really do care whether the steak was served au point as requested or whether the souffle had achieved a certain ineffable lightness. And yet, when I compare dinner to bodily fluids, the room to an S & M chamber in Neasden (only without the glamour or class), and the bill to an act of grand larceny, why, then the baying crowd is truly happy. Don't believe me? Then why, presented with the chance to buy this ebook filled with accounts of twenty restaurants - their chefs, their owners, their poor benighted front of house staff - getting a complete stiffing courtesy of the sort of vitriolic bloody-curdling review which would make the victims call for their mummies, did you seize it with both hands?

A Greedy Man in a Hungry World Why (Almost) Everything You Thought You Knew About Food is Wrong

A Greedy Man in a Hungry World Why (Almost) Everything You Thought You Knew About Food is Wrong

Author: Jay Rayner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2014

Now with a new epilogue, the UK's most influential food and drink journalist shoots a few sacred cows of food culture. Buying 'locally' does no good. Farmers' markets are merely a lifestyle choice. And 'organic' is little more than a marketing label, way past its sell by date. This may be a little hard to swallow for the ethically-aware food shopper but it doesn't make it any less true. And now the UK's most outspoken and entertaining food writer is ready to explain why. Jay Rayner combines personal experience and hard-nosed reportage to explain why the doctrine of organic has been eclipsed by the need for sustainable intensification; and why the future lies in large-scale food production rather than the cottage industries that foodies often cheer for. From the cornfields of America to the killing lines of Yorkshire abattoirs via the sheep-covered hills of New Zealand, Rayner takes us on a journey that will change the way we shop, cook and eat forever. And give us a few belly laughs along the way.

Greedy Man in a Hungry World

Greedy Man in a Hungry World

Author: Jay Rayner Format: eBook Release Date: 23/05/2013

The UK's most influential food and drink journalist shoots a few sacred cows of food culture. The doctrine of local food is dead. Farmers' markets are merely a lifestyle choice for the affluent middle classes. And `organic' has become little more than a marketing label that is way past its sell by date. That may be a little hard to swallow for the ethically-aware food shopper but it doesn't make it any less true. And now the UK's most outspoken and entertaining food writer is ready to explain why. This engaging, witty and honest narrative is driven by the appetite of one large man: Jay Rayner - someone who lives to eat, but also understands that there is a world beyond the high-end obsessions of the farmers' market. Combining sharply-observed memoir - growing up with the UK's most famous agony aunt who also happened to be a bloody good TV chef; witnessing the arrival of McDonald's and Dayville's ice cream in Seventies London; working as a butcher's boy - with hard-nosed reportage, Jay Rayner will blow conventional foodie wisdom apart. For here is the reality: within a few decades we will have nine billion mouths to feed, and we won't be doing that by flogging free-range chickens from a stall in Borough market. Jay explains why the doctrine of organic has been eclipsed by the need for sustainable intensification; and why the future lies in large-scale food production rather than the cottage industries that foodies often cheer for. From the the cornfields of Illinois to the killing lines of Yorkshire abattoirs, Rayner takes us on a journey that will change the way we shop, cook and eat forever. And give us a few belly laughs along the way.

My Dining Hell

My Dining Hell

Author: Jay Rayner Format: eBook Release Date: 25/05/2012

I have been a restaurant critic for over a decade, written reviews of well over 700 establishments, and if there is one thing I have learnt it is that people like reviews of bad restaurants. No, scratch that. They adore them, feast upon them like starving vultures who have spotted fly-blown carrion out in the bush.They claim otherwise, of course. Readers like to present themselves as private arbiters of taste; as people interested in the good stuff. I'm sure they are. I'm sure they really do care whether the steak was served au point as requested or whether the souffl had achieved a certain ineffable lightness. And yet, when I compare dinner to bodily fluids, the room to an S & M chamber in Neasden (only without the glamour or class), and the bill to an act of grand larceny, why, then the baying crowd is truly happy.Don't believe me? Then why, presented with the chance to buy this ebook filled with accounts of twenty restaurants - their chefs, their owners, their poor benighted front of house staff - getting a complete stiffing courtesy of the sort of vitriolic bloody-curdling review which would make the victims call for their mummies, did you seize it with both hands?

The Apologist

The Apologist

Author: Jay Rayner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/02/2005

'It made me laugh, it made me cringe. It is, I'm sorry to say, highly original' ALISTAIR McGOWAN 'Jay Rayner shows food critics are human after all, even when stuffed with chocolate.An highly entertaining whimsy with no apology needed.' GORDON RAMSAY Marc Bassett has a reputation as a pitiless restaurant critic. When he writes a devastatingly review of a particular establishment, the chef commits suicide, roasting himself in his own fan-assisted oven, with Basset's review pasted to the door. Suddenly Basset is moved to do something he has never done before: apologise. Startled by the widow's forgiveness and absolution, he feels unexpectedly euphoric. He decides to gorge himself on contrition by apologising to every person he has ever wronged in his entire life. After a series of virtuoso expressions of regret, word of Bassett's mollifying power spreads, and he is invited to become Chief Apologist for the United Nations. His job is to travel the globe in his own Gulfstream V private jet, apologising for everything from colonialism to exploitation to slavery. It is a role that brings him fame, wealth and access to a lot of very good chocolate.But in a world overdosing on emotion, does Marc Basset really have the stomach to be the sorriest man in history? Built of delicate layers of heinous crime, forgiveness and outrageous gastronomy, Jay Rayner's glorious new novel is a piquant satire of modern appetite and etiquette. 'A very funny book about apologies - by someone who has a lot to apologise for' Anthony Bourdain