Jay Rayner's Last Supper

Jay Rayner (Author)

Product Details

$22.95  $21.11
Faber & Faber
Publish Date
March 03, 2020
6.1 X 9.3 X 1.1 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Jay Rayner is an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster with a fine collection of shirts. He has written on everything from crime and politics, through cinema and theater to the visual arts, but is best known as the restaurant critic for the Observer. For a while he was a sex columnist for Cosmopolitan; he also once got himself completely waxed in the name of journalism. He only mentions this because it hurt. Jay is a former Young Journalist of the Year, Critic of the Year and Restaurant Critic of the Year, though not all in the same year. In 2018 he was named Restaurant Writer of The Year in the Fortnum and Mason Food and Drink Awards. Somehow, he has also found time to write four novels and five works of non-fiction. He performs live all over the country, both with his one man shows and as a pianist with his jazz ensemble, The Jay Rayner Quartet. He is a regular on British television, where he is familiar as a judge on MasterChef and, since 2012 has been the chair of BBC Radio 4's food panel show The Kitchen Cabinet. He likes pig.


"Witty, wise, and, obviously, delicious." --Guardian

"Hilarious, informative, enlightening, instructive ... It's the funniest book I've read all year." -- Chris Evans

"A glorious book! Delicious nourishment for every cell in the body." --Jeff Goldblum

"Among foodies, a common parlor game calls for participants to design their last meal on earth. What players choose says a lot about them, whether they go for some elaborate dish like tournedos Rossini or choose a simple, well-prepared roasted fish. British food writer Rayner (The Man Who Ate the World, 2008) has thought long and hard about his last meal, even surveying academic papers on death-row inmates' desires, and considered many dishes for his final meal. He realizes that in an actual death-facing situation he might be too emotionally wrought to enjoy much of any food. Nevertheless, he considers oysters from both sides of the Atlantic and recounts experiences with oystermen on Louisiana's Gulf Coast. He explores whole pig consumption with notable nose-to-tail chefs, and remarks on the irony of his porky appetite bumping up against his Jewish roots. Recipes for some of these recollections appear, simple recipes that require near-perfect ingredients to achieve proper effect. For a sweet ending, he searches for a perfect example of Mont Blanc, a cake enrobed in chestnut paste." ― Booklist "A raucous, joyous celebration of life, family and friendship, laced with music, butter, wine, deliberately good and bad, pig-related culinary suspense as taut as a MasterChef final, and a bittersweet, bordering on dark, aftertaste ... At once everything you'd expect and want it to be."--Irish Times

"Laughs aplenty ... Peerless."-- Literary Review

"Rayner proves a gifted raconteur. Anecdotes trip off the tongue as easily melted lard ... A tour de force of spectacular storytelling."--The Herald

"Gluttonous, frank, full of feeling and bound with music ... Undoubtedly, it will have you considering your own tastes, then feverishly scribbling down your own last triumphant meal." --The Irish News
"A witty memoir of food, music and journalism framed around a seemingly simple question: If you knew today was your last day on Earth, what would be your final meal?" -- Los Angeles Times
"Side effects of Jay Rayner's Last Supper include sighing, snorting, drooling, and frequent stops to jot down a grocery or play list. It's a beguiling gallop through the food memories of a remarkable personality and a carpe diem reminder." -- Forward Reviews