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The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance

Thomas McNamee.
Publisher Free Press  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1 inches
ISBN 9781439191507
Pages/Publication Date 339/2012
Daedalus Item Code 32015
This item is not available.
In the 1950s America was a gastronomic wasteland of overdone roast beef and canned green beans. Most restaurants relied on frozen, second-rate ingredients and served faux-Continental cuisine, and there was no such thing as a restaurant critic. From his first day as the food editor of the New York Times in 1957, however, Craig Claiborne took his readers where they had never been before, extolling the pleasures of exotic cuisines from around the world. So many things we take for granted now were introduced to us by Claiborne—crème fraîche, arugula, balsamic vinegar, the Cuisinart, chef's knives, even the salad spinner. He gave Julia Child her first major book review, and he brought to national acclaim Paul Bocuse, the Troisgros brothers, Paul Prudhomme, and Jacques Pépin. Claiborne made dinner an event—whether dining out, delighting your friends, or simply cooking for your family—and his own dinner parties were legendary. Yet his inner life was one of conflict and self-doubt, and his public position forced him to mask his sexuality. Here the author of Alice Waters and Chez Panisse unfolds the brilliant, poignant life of a man who truly changed American life, known to millions yet never truly known at all.

"Craig Claiborne was the greatest influence of my professional life in America. Knowledgeable, dedicated, and driven, he was determined to better American eating habits. As Thomas McNamee nicely portrays ... Claiborne's impact on the culinary revolution of the last 40 years cannot be ignored or overstated."—Jacques Pépin

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