Similar authors to follow
See more recommendations
For a while he was a sex columnist for Cosmopolitan; he also once got himself completely waxed in the name of journalism. He only mentions this because it hurt. Jay is a former Young Journalist of the Year, Critic of the Year and Restaurant Critic of the Year, though not all in the same year. In the 2016 British Press Awards he was shortlisted for both Critic of the Year and Specialist Journalist of the Year. In 2018 he was restaurant writer of the year in The Fortnum and Mason Food and Drink Awards.
Somehow he has also found time to write four novels and six works of non-fiction. His latest book is Wasted Calories and Ruined Nights, a second collection of his most negative restaurant reviews. His next book will be My Last Supper: one meal a lifetime in the making, which will be published in September 2019.
He chairs BBC Radio 4's The Kitchen Cabinet, and is a regular on British television, where he is familiar as a judge on Masterchef. He performs live all over the country, both in his one man shows, and with the Jay Rayner Quartet, a jazz ensemble in which he plays piano. He likes pig.
Find out much more about Jay, including all his live dates at www.jayrayner.co.uk
Customers Also Bought Items By
'Hilarious, informative, enlightening, instructive ... It's the funniest book I've read all year' - Chris Evans
You're About to Die. What Would Your Final Meal Be?
This question has long troubled Jay Rayner. But why wait for death? Why not eat your 'last meal' now, when you can enjoy it? So, he had a simple plan: he would embark on a journey through his life in food in pursuit of the meal to end all meals. It's a quest that takes him from necking oysters on the Louisiana shoreline to forking away the finest French pastries in Tokyo, and from his earliest memories of snails in garlic butter, through multiple pig-based banquets, to the unforgettable final meal itself. This is the story of one hungry man, in eight courses.
'Witty, wise, and, obviously, delicious.' Guardian
'A raucous, joyous celebration of life.' Irish Times
Includes Le Cinq, Beast and Farm Girl Café, and a new introduction by the author.
Jay Rayner isn't just a trifle irritated. He is eye-gougingly, bone-crunchingly, teeth-grindingly angry. And admit it, that's why you picked up this book, isn't it?
Because you aren't really interested in glorious prose poems celebrating the finest dining experiences known to humanity, are you? You want him to suffer abysmal cooking, preferably at eye-watering prices, so you can gorge on the details and luxuriate in vicarious displeasure.
You're in luck. Revel in Jay's misfortune as he is subjected to dreadful meat cookery with animals that died in vain, gravies full of casual violence and service that redefines the word 'incompetent'. He hopes you enjoy reading his reviews of these twenty miserable meals a damn sight more than he didn't enjoy experiencing them.
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.
Buying ‘locally’ does no good. Farmers’ markets are merely a lifestyle choice. And ‘organic’ is little more than a marketing label, way past its sell by date. This 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.
Jay Rayner combines personal experience and hard-nosed reportage to explain 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 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.
As Marc begins to apologise for anything and everything he’s ever done, he discovers that saying sorry can be every bit as pleasurable as the Varlhona Manjari chocolate he devours nightly. And, after atoning to an ex-girlfriend with high-level political connections, he finds himself offered the role of Chief Apologist for the United Nations, which brings with it a private jet, a rent-free apartment, an enormous salary and a sizeable cut of any compensatory payments made between nations. All he has to do is say sorry for the world’s wrongs – and cook the dinners to prove it. He is adored, loved and admired; an entirely new sensation for the perennially loveless Bassett. But will all this attention go to his head?
The Apologist is a deliciously funny satire on the complexity and greed of international – and personal – politics, as well as a powerful paean to the diplomatic role of a well-made almond soufflé.
‘A very funny book about apologies – by someone who has a lot to apologise for.’ Anthony Bourdain
‘It made me laugh, it made me cringe. It is, I’m sorry to say, highly original.’ Alistair McGowan
‘A very surprising, very funny book.’ Arabella Weir
‘It is a brave writer who apologises for his novel in the preface, but Jay Rayner has apology taped… The timeliness of the novel is a terrific coup.’ The Independent
‘Silly in the way Evelyn Waugh’s early satires were, which is a good thing. Moreover, at its core, there’s a sceptical discussion about the political art of the apology. Who does it benefit: the victim, or the apologist?’ Sunday Herald
But success is never simple. Before long pressures draw them away from the comforts of their roots. They find themselves cutting corners, taking risks and breaking the law. Finally Mal has to confront his life, his friendship with Solly and where their very different ambitions have led them.
Thirty-five years later as sunset ushers in the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, Mal, his fortune gone, picks over the ruins of his past with his niece, Natasha. He tells her the story of the Sinai Corporation, of his best friend and business partner, Solly, and at last begins to ask himself: how far must you go before you lose faith in yourself?