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“[Au Revoir to All That] is an eye-opening, well-researched and amusingly written, reliable guide to the contemporary cooking scene in France, and it's to be hoped that French chefs somewhere will pay attention to Steinberger's neat formulation of the question – ‘Which way forward for French cuisine?’” —San Francisco Chronicle
 
"A culinary expedition through France hunting for the root of the slow decline of the country’s acclaimed food and wine traditions... Steinberger’s meticulous research and personal hunger for objective truths bring surprising discoveries to light... connected to the larger issue of who or what defines modern France and, by extension, its food. An offering of fresh and engaging insights for foodies and Francophiles alike."—Kirkus Reviews
 
"For anyone who cares about food, wine, or France... Au Revoir To All That is required reading. Steinberger has done remarkably thorough research to detail just what has gone wrong in French gastronomy. Drawing on astonishing tidbits like the identity of France's largest private sector employer (McDonald's), Steinberger convincingly explains why so many of its greatest chefs have grown complacent, its greatest gastronomic guide so off-track, and its winemakers just plain broke. In spite of all the bad news, the book is a ripping fun read and is even a little optimistic, as Steinberger points out a few key men and women bucking the trends." —FoodandWine.com
 
“In the true voice of a passionate Francophile... Steinberger's love for the country is tangible through his descriptions of the food he eats and remembers eating, and somehow it makes sense that he fell in love with his future wife over a French meal. It's not an adolescent love that Steinberger has for the country, but more like adoration mixed with a dose of reality.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
 
“Informative… [Steinberger’s] fascinating profiles of influential French chefs and restaurateurs include Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse, and the late Alain Chapel and Jean-Claude Vrinat of Taillevent in Paris…[an] excellent narrative.”  —Pittsburgh Tribune Review
 
"France once embodied the crowning glory of culinary art, but the most serious gastronomes today turn
increasingly elsewhere for inspiration. Because French food’s hegemony was simply assumed as little as
two decades ago, Steinberger marvels at this precipitous decline in Gallic reputation. His investigation
finds manifold causes for this state of affairs."  —Booklist

“One of the greatest books I’ve read.” —Marco Pierre White

"In Au Revoir To All That, Mike Steinberger pulls off the magic trick of throwing a funeral you want to go to: The elegy is unflinching but heartfelt and celebratory; the guests are the most interesting people; the food (and wine) couldn't get any better; and—get this—the deceased shows signs of rising again." — Benjamin Wallace, author of New York Times bestseller The Billionaire's Vinegar
"Au Revoir to All That is a fascinating and knowledgeable valedictory to the greatest food and wine culture the world has ever known. Michael Steinberger is a great gourmand and a great storyteller, and he will make you care about the fate of camembert and other endangered traditions." — Jay McInerney, author of A Hedonist in the Cellar and Bacchus & Me
 
"Most books on food and wine are misty-eyed memoirs of great meals and happy times. Michael Steinberger's book is different; he is trying to understand the decline and fall of France as the center of the world's great cuisine. In the course of his explorations, Steinberger takes us to the kitchens of great chefs, describes extraordinary food, and evokes fond memories. The result turns out to be intelligent, interesting and complicated. You will have to read the book to get it— and you will read it with much pleasure."— Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World
 
"If you've ever wondered why eating in France is so often disapponting, Michael Steinberger can explain. His delicious account draws not just on his amazing gastronomic expertise, but on a sophisticated understanding of French politics and history as well. Three stars: this one really is worth a special trip." — Jacob Weisberg, author of The Bush Tragedy and editor of Slate
 
"When I started going to France in the early seventies, it was difficult to find a lousy meal over there. Now the exact opposite is true. How could a country with such an esthetically magnificent culture go wrong? Steinberger's penetrating report from a declining France resonates because he clearly loves the place and feels a sense of loss. Where did their taste go?  I thank him mille fois for digging into the when, wheres, hows, and whys. Anyone with the slightest interest in France will appreciate this book, too.”— Kermit Lynch, author of Adventures on the Wine Route
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Details

ISBN-10:  1596913533
ISBN-13:  978-1596913530
Author:  Michael Steinberger
Genre:  Cooking, Food & Wine
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA
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review by . March 18, 2010
Things change. We accept that as part of life, but changing, dying archetypes attract our attention more than mere organic changes. The author, a confessed francophile, chronicles the decline of French cuisine, not merely as a parochial institution but as a benchmark for fine food everywhere. Most of this is not really news: French wine-as seen abroad- has been in decline for decades and Bigmacazation has just about taken over French cities  The heartening message in this book is that …
review by . April 15, 2009
Columnist, wine and food critic Michael Steinbrenner's book covers not only the decline of French food and wine but its parallel to the rise of Socialism and the diminishing of France's place as a world power. With brief histories about the beginning of French Haute Cuisine and its champions-men such as Georges Auguste Escoffier, Paul Bocuse, Antoine Careme, Fernand Point and others, Steinbrenner details the types of food created during the epochal period and its decline beginning in the seventies.  Stein …
review by . May 17, 2009
I readily admit I have a "Masterpiece Theater" fantasy vision of what it would be like to live in the UK -- one that all too often is brought crashing back to earth by just about any update on what conditions are like in that over-surveilled, over-managed benighted isle. Those of us who have similar visions about France and daydream about escaping to Paris or Provence and reveling in the food and wine and joie de vivre are about to get smacked down again by this quite revealing book by Michael Sternberger. …
review by . March 25, 2009
Review of Michael Steinberger's "Au Revoir To All That: Food, Wine And The End of France."    Author Steinberger takes the reader through a history of France's culinary supremacy and recent decline. He makes the observation that: "twenty five years ago it was hard to have a bad meal in France; now, in some cities and towns, it is a challenge to find a good one."    In order to understand the change in France's culinary stature Steinberger speaks with top chefs, …
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