Take Big Bites: Adventures Around the World and Across the Table


Laugh-out-loud funny and salt-of-the-earth wise, celebrated journalist and producer Linda Ellerbee leads us on a gastronomic journey from Italy to Afghanistan, Mexico to Massachusetts, with some very entertaining detours along the way-plus photos and recipes.

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Laugh-out-loud funny and salt-of-the-earth wise, celebrated journalist and producer Linda Ellerbee leads us on a gastronomic journey from Italy to Afghanistan, Mexico to Massachusetts, with some very entertaining detours along the way-plus photos and recipes.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
TV journalist Linda Ellerbee has always maintained high professional standards without sacrificing an inimitable personal touch. It comes as no surprise that in Take Big Bites, the multiple Emmy Award winner interweaves stories of her far-flung career assignments with her eating adventures at each step of the itinerary. What sounds like a gimmick emerges as an entrée to other cultures: the cuisines of Afghanistan, Vietnam, Mexico, and Bolivia introduce us to ethnic divides and human unities.
Publishers Weekly
Claiming to be neither food writer nor chef, longtime TV newswoman Ellerbee calls herself "a recovering journalist who's traveled and eaten her way around the planet and lived to tell some tales." She fantasizes about doing something she thinks is unattainable, namely, writing for food and travel magazines ("Imagine being paid to eat, travel and write about that, instead of the bombing down the block"). But she does better than that, writing a witty, easy-to-read book about food that's also a blend of autobiography, travelogue and self-help. While weaving interesting yarns about visits to such places as the Appalachian Trail, Bolivia and Vietnam, Ellerbee makes both humorous and poignant observations about ethnic food ("ph [Vietnam's national breakfast dish] beats the devil out of a bowl of Wheaties"); the task of trying to age gracefully; her relationships with friends and family; and the motley strangers she's met in her travels. Ellerbee also modestly admits to rarely eating in three-star restaurants and proceeds to describe a dish at one: "a little thingy of fried potato topped with a doodle of mashed potato and a dabble of olives and dried tuna roe.... Does this description sufficiently explain why I'm not a food critic?" As an extra bonus for foodies, each chapter ends with a relevant recipe or two. Agent, Mel Berger at William Morris. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In a brash and breezy style, Texas native Ellerbee-who has known success and controversy as a journalist, television producer, and author (And So It Goes; Move On)-writes about her adventures around the globe from childhood to the present. She takes us to Bolivia in the 1960s as she attempts the role of a Christian missionary and then to France in the 1970s as she honeymoons. In 2002, we land in Afghanistan. Other points on Ellerbee's compass include Texas (of course), the Appalachian Trail, Italy, Turkey, Vietnam, England, Mexico, New York, and Greece; her accompanying recipes range from Frito Pie to tzatziki. When it comes to food, Ellerbee, never a shrinking violet, is more glutton than gourmet: she admits to gorging on Beluga caviar (courtesy of the late Malcolm Forbes) and hot sauce meant for 21. But her book is less about cooking and more about living large; the food simply provides a colorful ribbon to tie up the entertaining package. A good addition for public libraries.-Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Television host Ellerbee roams around the world and through her memories, one meal at a time. Ellerbee (Girl Reporter Blows Lid Off Town, 2000, etc.) is known in the industry as a straight-shooter, and the voice that got her fired from NBC is back with a vengeance in the third volume of her memoirs. Warm and brisk, utterly conversational, way beyond sassy, Ellerbee is afire to share the lessons she's picked up and the dishes she's consumed in her first 60 years of making an impact. During her Texas childhood, she was convinced that her mother's fudge pie played a large part in her popularity. In a newly opened Vietnam, she conceived a passion for Pho, and in Bolivia (her first foreign tour-as a teenage missionary), she learned to love street food. There is no real discernible pattern to these extended meditations, although there are themes. Recollections of her very young folk-singing days are followed by an account of cruising on Malcolm Forbes's yacht, that then followed by a piece about feeding the hungry in inner-city Baltimore. A revelation about the surprising comforts of cruise ships is placed next to her account of reporting from Afghanistan-post-Taliban, pre-stability. Ellerbee's injustice radar still has a hair-trigger-targets include the wealth of the church in the poorest of nations, and any society that seeks to restrict women in any way. Many of her essays are about the difficulties of growing older. Though the pieces can be sharp and sappy by turns, sometimes in the same paragraph, Ellerbee's charisma and immediacy operate like a tractor, drawing the reader smack into the heart of how it is to be a cancer survivor, to lose your parents, to be alone-or to raft down theColorado, watch your children marry, or whip up a Frito Pie. All in all, a great ride with a homegrown American original.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425209738
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/2/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Ellerbee is a veteran of award-winning shows on NBS, CBS, and ABC, including the pioneering late-night program NBC News Overnight and the prime-time series Our World. She now runs Lucky Duck Productions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2005

    Ellerbee Brings it Home, Again!

    When Ellerbee writes she makes her own stars. You'll laugh out loud on one page then cry on the next. Her wry observations of the world and the people she meets in her travels are entertaining and insightful. The recipes scattered throughout are down home delicious and illustrate some of her most entertaining moments. A must have for your gift collection and Christmas list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2005

    Ellerbee at her best!

    She's done it again. Another delicious romp around the world written in her uniquely funny style. You'll laugh on one page then cry on the next. About as honest and revealing as any book you'll savor this summer. The people, the places and the memories are fascinating.

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