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Why are gravy stains on your shirt at the dinner table to be admired? Does bacon improve everything? And is gin really the devil's work? In this rollicking collection of his hilarious columns, the award-winning writer and Observer restaurant critic Jay Rayner answers these vital questions and many, many more. They are glorious dispatches, seasoned in equal measure with both enthusiasm and bile, from decades at the very frontline of eating
Rather than dwell too much on that fact, in My Last Supper Jay embarks on a journey through his life in food, in pursuit of the meal to end all meals. His quest takes him from oysters on the Essex coast to sourdough in San Francisco, and from his love affair with a particular Swiss vinegar to the bacon sarnies of his student days.
You want him to suffer abysmal meals - preferably at eye-watering prices - so that you can gorge on the details and luxuriate in vicarious displeasure. Well, feast your eyes. He hopes you enjoy reading his accounts of these twenty miserable meals a damn sight more than he didn't enjoy experiencing them.
Britain's culinary Moses brings us the new foodie rules to live by, celebrating what and how we eatThe 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.
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 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.
Award-winning journalist, writer and broadcaster Jay Rayner takes on the world in this witty and erudite account of his search for the perfect dinner