Burn the Ice: The American Culinary Revolution and Its End

Kevin Alexander (Author)

Product Details

$28.00  $25.76
Penguin Press
Publish Date
July 09, 2019
6.1 X 1.4 X 9.4 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author

Kevin Alexander is a James Beard Award-winning food journalist and recipient of the Society of Professional Journalist's Mark of Excellence Award. His work has appeared in Esquire, Elle, Men's Journal, The New Republic, and Boston Globe, and he is a 2018 Association of Food Journalists award winner. He was born in Texas, grew up in New England, and now lives in Northern California.


"Mr. Alexander is an admirably thorough researcher. He conducted hundreds of hours of interviews for the book, meeting with some of his subjects dozens of times and revisiting most at least once to chart the arc of their careers. This groundwork allows him to bring us deeply into their worlds, probing their motivations, backgrounds, flaws and virtues, writing with authority not just about public perceptions but also about private moments . . . [T]he book provides an entertaining and informative picture of the American restaurant scene over the past dozen years. Just dipping in and out of it pretty much guarantees learning something new." --Wall Street Journal

"Kevin Alexander makes a fascinating case that we've witnessed the most exciting and creative time for food in recent history, but now, the golden age has passed. It's a bold idea, and one that'll get you thinking hard about what's next." --Plate

"[A] well-researched, witty food industry history...Alexander's sharp wit keeps the narrative moving...This astute reflection on an era of American food culture will give foodies a new perspective on the restaurants they love and the dining experiences they've grown to expect." --Publishers Weekly

"Kevin Alexander is such a fluent and engaging writer that I was several chapters in before I realized how gimlet-eyed his view of the American culinary world is (and by "gimlet" here I mean the thing that pokes holes in other things, not the one that's a mix of gin and Rose's lime juice). We need this book." - David Wondrich, author of Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar

"This is a big American story, essential and gripping. Kevin Alexander shows how our culture fought and lost a battle against a creeping suburbia. Burn the Ice is modern anthropology about the physical and spiritual implications of what and how we eat. I loved it." - Wright Thompson, author of The Cost of These Dreams: Sports Stories and Other Serious Business

"In his direct and spirited way, Kevin Alexander builds a swirling, deeply reported narrative about the American culinary scene. He digs into so many stories, shaping a detailed picture of how and what we've been fed in restaurants for the past 12 years. For anyone who follows chef and restaurant culture--and anyone who likes to eat out--Burn the Ice is a juicy, satisfying read." - Erin Byers Murray, author Grits: A Cultural and Culinary Journey Through the South and Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm

"Crucial reading for food lovers, social anthropologists, and cultural historians, alike. Kevin Alexander takes the great rabble of kitchen slave misfits, backwoods foragers, and tattooed food truck savants who turned the old gourmet dining culture on its head during the early years of the new millennium, and brings them vividly to life." - Adam Platt, New York Magazine's restaurant critic

"If you've noticed that food has become especially central to the American consciousness today, you're not alone. Kevin Alexander takes a fresh and original look at the whirlwind of circumstances--cultural, legislative, and economic--that have laid the groundwork for food's precarious ascendance. Burn the Ice is captivating, concerning, and--most of all--inspiring." --Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group; Founder, Shake Shack; and author, Setting the Table

"All revolutions end--and let's face it, they're kind of exhausting. Progress in the restaurant craft has now relaxed into evolution, which of course every industry needs to prosper. With instructive, hilarious, and sometimes harrowing stories from the greatest minds in America's culinary trenches, Burn The Ice offers an authoritative preview of what's next." --Ted Allen, host of Food Network's "Chopped"