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

Informative and Entertaining Historical Gastronomical Insight

  • Mar 25, 2009
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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, winemakers, farmers, bakers and other artisans. He interviews the head of McDonald's Europe to see how France has become the second most profitable market in the world for that franchise and spends time with the editorial director for The Michelin Guide (Michelin has been in the business of evaluating and recommending restaurants and hotels for over a century).

In the end Steinberger provides the reader with a new perspective on France's cultural crisis with the hope that the young chefs and winemakers who are battling to reinvigorate their country's rich culinary heritage will prevail against long odds.

Entertaining, informative, and a good read. Five stars without reservation.

Jeffrey-Peter Hauck

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Jeff Hauck ()
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Jeffrey Hauck is a Licensed & Bonded Private Detective empowered to conduct investigations throughout the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.    His background includes ten years of … 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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ISBN-10: 1596913533
ISBN-13: 978-1596913530
Author: Michael Steinberger
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
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