There are some people who are easy to buy for during the holidays. Part of the challenge is just finding something that they’ll enjoy, the real trick though is to make sure that you can renew this gift every year!! My mother now gets flowers and a subscription to ‘The Week’ delivered every month, my brother and sister 3 bottles of wine each month. These all seem very popular and have made holiday shopping that much simpler, although it’s still nice to get them some other little thing to keep the element of surprise!
It’s not the Michelin guide or the Zagat survey, which would make perfect gifts for me except that they are now published in October and no one could get me to wait till December for my copies. There’s a whole blog waiting to be written there as to why Zagat and consequently Michelin (the newer competition - in
No this is the “Best Food Writing” compilation that has been coming out annually since 2000 and is edited by Holly Hughes. For all I know this may also be published in October but this one I can wait for!
For anyone who’s interested in the food industry this is a must have – leave the research and the tedious sorting through all that is written on, about or around food to someone else and enjoy a great collection of food writing.
I haven’t read all the articles yet, but it’s well laid out so that you can go to one section and read articles on the restaurant business, including a hilarious piece by Dan Barber where they mistakenly identify a certain food critic, or you can go to other sections to delve into the whole localphile movement, another for the origination of our food, yet another for the economics of the industry or just the importance that food should/does/did play in our lives.
In the ‘Dining Around’ section there are some great articles on dining outside of the US, including a trip by Calvin Trillin to the Hawker Centres in Singapore that bring the old street sellers into a sanitary environment where the most amazing street food can be tasted - safely! - (it’ll make you want to book your air ticket tomorrow!)
My favorite article though has to be “New Day, New Devon” by Raphael Kadushin. As a Brit, from Devon no less, who is somewhat used to having my country’s cooking prowess unfairly maligned, this piece is a breath of fresh air and really does reflect the culinary revolution that has taken place in the
Which brings me to my only peeve with this collection of articles. It’s a little bit like the World Series – if this is the ‘Best Food Writing 2008’ where are the other countries’ authors represented? I know, a little pedantic, but still, in the spirit of the more modest and globally integrated atmosphere that we will hopefully soon be embracing and fostering, perhaps we should call this ‘Best