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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Au Revoir to All That: Food, Wine, and the End of France » User review

Beguiling and sad

  • Mar 18, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+3
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 the decline of France is somehow less poignant because its influence has already successfully spread. There is no more French Cuisine? No problem, we are all French now.
The charm in this book lies in the author's portraits of the stars and the businessmen of French cuisine, the 'chefs' who never touch a pan, but instead run culinary empires and the few dinosaurs who keep the old flame alive in odd corners of the country.

Lynn Hoffman, author The New Short Course in Wine

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About the reviewer
Lynn Hoffman ()
Ranked #898
I cook therefore I. .therefore I eat. No, maybe that's thereby I eat'.   Anyway, I love food, beer and wine: I like to write about them too,(The New Short Course in Wine is adapted from … more
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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." ...
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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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