The Restaurant: A 2,000-Year History of Dining Out -- The American Edition
William Sitwell (Author)
DescriptionAward-winning food critic and writer William Sitwell chronicles the fascinating global history of dining out, from the Roman wine taverns of ancient Pompeii to today's high-tech molecular gastronomy. Have you ever wondered where the first coffee shop sprung up, or when the sushi conveyor belt was invented? Unbelievably, the global history of the dining establishment has never been told--until now. Journeying 2,000 years into the past, acclaimed food critic and writer William Sitwell artfully traces the earliest origins of the widespread cultural practice of eating out, from its most basic to most sophisticated forms. Whether he's traversing the inns and taverns of Pompeii before its destruction in A.D. 79, witnessing the tumultuous emergence of fine dining during the French Revolution, or recounting the mid-twentieth-century invention of the taco machine in New York City, Sitwell's engaging prose gives readers a front-row seat to the restaurant experience across cultures and millennia. He follows the fashions that shape the way we dine, meeting the restaurateurs of today and yesterday whose establishments shaped society for good or ill. And after offering a wry history of the world through the prism of the eatery, he ponders its exciting future. Chefs, critics, restauranteurs, and foodies alike will delight in all the sweet and savory details offered up in this lively and highly absorbing romp through social and culinary history, packed with color photographs and illustrations.
April 21, 2020
6.7 X 1.0 X 9.6 inches | 1.9 pounds
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About the Author
William Sitwell is an award-winning editor, broadcaster, writer, and food critic for The Telegraph. He has appeared at literary and food festivals across the globe, and as the long-standing editor of Waitrose Food magazine, he was named Editor of the Year on numerous occasions. A frequent guest and presenter on TV and radio--he's best known as a critic on the BBC show MasterChef--Sitwell also contributes regularly on the subject of food for the Daily Mail, The Times, and The Guardian. He entertains diners with William Sitwell's Supper Club, and his weekly radio show, Biting Talk, featured the biggest names and new talent from the world of food and drink. Sitwell lives in Northamptonshire, England.
Advance Praise for The Restaurant "William Sitwell has the palate of a great chef, the honesty of a high court judge and he holds the pen of PG Wodehouse." -- Marco Pierre White, retired three-Michelin-star chef "A riveting tour de force from William, a superb contribution to our knowledge of gastronomy and hospitality through the ages. A fun, essential read for anyone obsessed with food or history, hands off my copy!" -- Michel Roux, retired three-Michelin-star chef Praise for William Sitwell's A History of Food in 100 Recipes "A generous tasting menu that evokes the people, places, influences, intrigues, and inventions that have guided the story of food through the millennia." ― Elle Magazine "What food lovers will be reading at the beach; the format delivers culture in fascinating, digestible chunks." ― The Washington Post "An enjoyably meandering and thought-provoking journey through the role of cooking in everyday life . . . this title ought to interest foodies, especially Anglophiles." -- Library Journal "Sitwell elevates this collection from curious cookbook to a serious study." -- Publishers Weekly "Sitwell deftly inserts interesting tidbits ranging from the changes wrought by such appliances as refrigerators and gas stoves to the impact of online technology. . . . Good fun." -- Kirkus Reviews "Almost every sentence of his scrupulously researched and breezily confident book oozes with a passion for eating . . . what it has over all its predecessors is structural as well as stylish: a pick-up-and-smile quality." ― The Times "William Sitwell has pulled off something clever: a thoroughly researched and witty history that is both compelling and teeming with scholarly facts . . . you don't even need to be a raging foodie to enjoy this." ― The Observer "Quirky, entertaining, educational and downright gastronomic good fun . . . Sitwell's flawless presentation makes this a delightful treat full of interesting if little remembered facts. Anyone with an interest in food or history will enjoy this colorful, thoroughly researched tour through time, fads and groceries." ― Sandy Amazeen, Monsters and Critics "What a splendid book: it manages to be a recipe collection, a history of cooking and, in passing, a history of the world all at once." ―Tom Standage, author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses and An Edible History of Humanity "Sitwell is without doubt one of the great food writers of our day. Every serious cook should read this book at least once." ― Marco Pierre White