Review: Bio details revolution in approach to food
"The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance" (Free Press), by Thomas McNamee: Many of us can no longer remember what life was like before arugula and balsamic vinegar became part of the larder, celebrity chefs strutted their stuff on TV and the term "foodie" made its way into common parlance.
But that was the state of the culinary scene little more than a half-century ago when the writer who was to become arguably the most influential restaurant critic of our time landed his dream job by being named food editor of The New York Times.
"What Craig Claiborne saw when he looked out across the vast expanse of the United States was a gastronomic landscape blighted by ignorance and apathy, a drearily insular domain of overdone roast beef and canned green beans," Thomas McNamee writes in "The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance," his comprehensive biography of this towering figure whose public success masked a troubled life.
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