May 2017 Food & Drink Book of the Month.
Jonathan Meades calls this an anti-cookbook or as you and I might see it a distillation of a lifetime’s cooking. Running alongside this is the question of Chefs and their hallowed “inventions” which are no such thing and mostly best to be ignored by the home cook together with lifestyle bloggers, most nutritional advice and expensive kitchen gadgets. Many digressions on literary and culinary theft, the where and why of these recipes and much else besides. My one cavil are the black and white illustrations which look like photographs of spilled ink or a damaged photographic plate – they gave me an uncomfortable reminder of dreadful gristly school dinners, greasy and inedible, the exact opposite of what is promised in this anti-cookbook. ~ Sue Baker
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The Pedant in the Kitchen, Julian Barnes
In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater’s Manifesto, Michael Pollan £9.99 Paperback 256 pages Penguin 7th May 2009 9780141034720
The Plagiarist in the Kitchen is an anti-cookbook. Best known as a provocative novelist, journalist and film-maker, Jonathan Meades has also been called 'the best amateur chef in the world' by Marco Pierre White.
His contention here is that anyone who claims to have invented a dish is delusional, dishonestly contributing to the myth of culinary originality. Meades delivers a polemical but highly usable collection of 125 of his favourite recipes, each one an example of the fine art of culinary plagiarism. These are dishes and methods he has hijacked, adapted, improved upon and made his own. Without assuming any special knowledge or skill, the book is full of excellent advice. He tells us why the British never got the hang of garlic. That a purist would never dream of putting cheese in a Gratin Dauphinois. That cooking brains in brown butter cannot be improved upon. And why - despite the advice of Martin Scorsese's mother - he insists on frying his meatballs. Adorned with his own abstract monochrome images (none of which 'illustrate' the stolen recipes they accompany), The Plagiarist in the Kitchen is a stylish object, both useful and instructive. In a world dominated by health fads, food vloggers and over-priced kitchen gadgets, it is timely reminder that, when it comes to food, it's almost always better to borrow than to invent.
Praise for Jonathan Meades:
'Meades has been compared, favourably, to Rabelais and, flatteringly, to Swift. The truth is that he outstrips both in the gaudiness of his imagination.' -- Henry Hitchings Times Literary Supplement
'A human Enigma machine ... Jonathan Meades is the Jonathan Meades of our generation' Vanity Fair
'The scope of his ideas, the force of his arguments, the sheer vitality of his sentences: these things come at you like negative ions after a storm, with the result that you soon start to feel an awful lot better - envious but revitalised, too' -- Rachel Cooke New Statesman
Publication date: 06/04/2017
Publisher: Unbound an imprint of Cornerstone
|Publication date:||6th April 2017|
|Publisher:||Unbound an imprint of Cornerstone|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, Cookery, Food and Drink,|
|Categories:||General cookery & recipes,|
Jonathan Meades is a writer, journalist, essayist and film-maker. He is the author of Filthy English, Peter Knows What Dick Likes, Pompey, The Fowler Family Business, Incest and Morris Dancing, Museum Without Walls, and An Encyclopedia of Myself. From 1986-2001 he wrote a weekly column approximately about restaurants in The Times. He has written and performed in many television films, among them Jerry Building, Joe Building, Ben Building, Magnetic North, Off Kilter, The Joy of Essex, Father to the Man and Meades Eats, a three-part series about what the English really consume. Unbound published Pidgin Snaps, a boxette of a ...More About Jonathan Meades