Profiles from the Kitchen: What Great Cooks Have Taught Us about Ourselves and Our Food

Profiles from the Kitchen: What Great Cooks Have Taught Us about Ourselves and Our Food

by Charles A. Baker-Clark
     
 

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In an age where convenience often ranks above quality, many Americans have abandoned traditional recipes and methods of cooking for fast solutions to their hunger and nourishment needs. Modern families are busier than ever, juggling hectic schedules that send them to fast-food restaurant drive-through windows and to grocery stores crowded with pre-processed and

Overview

In an age where convenience often ranks above quality, many Americans have abandoned traditional recipes and methods of cooking for fast solutions to their hunger and nourishment needs. Modern families are busier than ever, juggling hectic schedules that send them to fast-food restaurant drive-through windows and to grocery stores crowded with pre-processed and ready-to-eat foods. With parents frequently working during the daytime, efficient food preparation in the evenings has become the number one priority in kitchens across the country. This trend began during the post—World War II years, which heralded the arrival of "fast foods" and innovative technological advancements that sought to simplify the cooking process. These products were marketed as quick and convenient alternatives that transformed the concept of cooking from a cultural activity and a means of bonding with one's family to a chore that should occupy as little time and energy as possible. Profiles from the Kitchen: What Great Cooks Have Taught Us about Ourselves and Our Food is Charles A. Baker-Clark's call to abandon the "homogenization of food and dining experiences" by encouraging us to reclaim knowledge of cooking and eating and reconnect with our ethnic, familial, and regional backgrounds. Baker-Clark profiles fifteen individuals who have shaped our experiences with food and who have gone beyond popular trends to promote cooking as a craft worth learning and sustaining. The cooks and food critics he writes about emphasize the appreciation of good cooking and the relationship of food to social justice, spirituality, and sustainability. Profiles from the Kitchen highlights prominent figures within the food industry, from nationally and internationally known individuals such as Paul and Julia Child, James Beard, and M.F.K. Fisher to regional food experts such as John T. Edge and Dennis Getto. The result is a collective portrait of foodlovers who celebrate the rich traditions and histories associated with food in our daily lives and who encourage us to reestablish our own connections in the kitchen.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A well-researched collection of portraits of famous figures from the culinary world's past and present. Although scholarly in design, the book reveals a man with a mission" — Library Journal

"Replete with stores of inspiring individuals who have devoted their lives to the craft, Profiles from the Kitchen urges us to dust off our aprons and reestablish our connection with food before there is no one left to pass down the art of cookingand nobody left to appreciate it." — Manchester (KY) Enterprise

Library Journal
Baker-Clark (hospitality & tourism management, Grand Valley State Univ., MI) presents a well-researched collection of portraits of famous figures from the culinary world's past and present. Focusing on the lives and careers of 12 renowned individuals, including celebrated writers such as M.F.K. Fisher, incomparable cooks like Julia Child, and modern masters such as Rick Bayless, Baker-Clark provides insight into the events and opportunities that shaped them. An extensive list of references follows each chapter. Although scholarly in design, the book reveals a man with a mission-Baker-Clark has no love for the fast food society that he believes robs us of a cultural connection to our food. A common thread among those featured is their dedication to the craft of cooking. One of the longest chapters is devoted to Carlo Petrini, the founder of the slow-food movement, whom the author clearly admires as a kindred spirit. Baker-Clark closes with a short plea to rethink our relationship to food and food preparation. For larger public and academic libraries.-Rosemarie Lewis, Broward Cty. P.L., Ft. Lauderdale, FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813123981
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
06/15/2006
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

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