'a sparkling collection of musings on life, liberty and the pursuit of gastronomic satisfaction ... What more can any reader ask than fine writing and intelligent argument from an author of strong opinions who is prepared to slaughter a whole herd of sacred cows and isn't afraid to get down and personal?' Jewish Chronicle.
'The witty journey to these frustrating ends remains fascinating' Metro.
'It feeds the mind' The Times.
'Gopnik is a modern Brillat-Savarin ... His writing, although thought-provoking, is lucid and lovely' Literary Review.
'The Table Comes First is a fascinating and sometimes moving reflection on its importance' The Glasgow Herald.
'I need to read anything that Adam Gopnik writes and these essays on food, eating and - it follows - life are a particular feast. His acuity, grace, sensitive intelligence (in short, his brilliance) are, as ever, dazzlingly displayed and yet with the lightest of touches' Nigella Lawson.
'In the tradition of A.J. Liebling and M.F.K. Fisher, Adam Gopnik understands how writing about food can produce a prescription for life well lived' Fay Maschler.
'A great read, and important: a treatise on the history of food anchored by the importance of eating, together, food that you like around a table' The Independent.
From the Inside Flap
Never before have we cared so much about food. It preoccupies our popular culture, our fantasies, and even our moralizing - 'You still eat meat?' With our top chefs as deities and finest restaurants as places of pilgrimage, we have made food the stuff of secular seeking and transcendence, finding inner heaven in a mouthful. But have we come any closer to discovering the true meaning of food in our lives? With inimitable charm and learning, Adam Gopnik takes us on a beguiling journey in search of that meaning as he charts our recent and rapid evolution from commendable aware eaters to manic-compulsive gastronomes. It is a journey that begins in 18th century France - the birthplace of our modern tastes (and, by no coincidence, of the restaurant) - carries us to the molecular Meccas of Barcelona and delves into the most burning questions of our time. Throughout, he reminds us of a time-honoured truth often lost amid our newfound gastronomic pieties and certitudes: what goes on the table has never mattered as much to our lives as what goes on around the table - the scene of families, friends, lovers coming together, or breaking apart. This, ultimately, is who we are. Following in the footsteps of Brillat-Savarin, Adam Gopnik gently satirizes the entire human comedy of the comestible as he surveys the wide worlds of taste that we have lately made our home. The Table Comes First is the delightful beginning of a new conversation about the way we eat now.