'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.
'Brilliant ... flamboyant and greedy' Independent.
'Like the Argentinian [Lionel Messi], Gopnik is always worth watching' Telegraph.
'Gopnik, a brilliant writer on the New Yorker, makes a passionate case for the centrality of the table to our lives, and the binding force of sitting down to the 'nightly miracle' of dinner' Sunday Times.
'He may be the best food writer there is. He's certainly the most thoughtful - the most philosophical' Evening Standard.
'Gopnik writes beautifully ... this is a lovely history of the way we think about all sorts of things' William Leith.
'These are personal essays in the fullest sense of the word, sieving the big subjects of the book's subtitle - family, France, food - through one man's well-furnished mind' Guardian. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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.--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
From the Back Cover
On the morning of May 24 1942, Jacques Decour, a member of the French resistance, faced death at the hands of his Nazi captors. Jacques' last few hours were dominated by thoughts of his best-loved meals. Seventy years later, a dessert intended to recreate the emotions experienced by Lionel Messi after scoring a goal is served in one of Catalonia's leading restaurants. In a sparkling tour through gastronomy and its history, acclaimed New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik teases out the connections between these two events. Weaving in family memoir together with wisdom gleaned from figures as varied as Keith Richards, Ian Fleming and Fergus Henderson, The Table Comes First explores the extraordinary transformations our relationship with the food we put on our plates has undergone.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Adam Gopnik is the author of Angels and Ages, Paris to the Moon and Through the Children's Gate and is a contributor to the New Yorker. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.