The Way We Ate: 100 Chefs Celebrate a Century at the American Table

Overview

Take a trip back in time through the rich culinary tradition of the last American century with more than 100 of the nation’s top chefs and food personalities.

The Way We Ate captures the twentieth century through the food we’ve shared and prepared. Noah Fecks and Paul Wagtouicz (creators of the hugely popular blog The Way We Ate) are your guides to a dazzling display of culinary impressionism: For each year from 1901 to 2000, they invite a well-known chef or food connoisseur to ...

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The Way We Ate: 100 Chefs Celebrate a Century at the American Table

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Overview

Take a trip back in time through the rich culinary tradition of the last American century with more than 100 of the nation’s top chefs and food personalities.

The Way We Ate captures the twentieth century through the food we’ve shared and prepared. Noah Fecks and Paul Wagtouicz (creators of the hugely popular blog The Way We Ate) are your guides to a dazzling display of culinary impressionism: For each year from 1901 to 2000, they invite a well-known chef or food connoisseur to translate the essence or idea of a historical event into a beautifully realized dish or cocktail. The result is an eclectic array of modern takes and memorable classics, featuring original recipes conjured by culinary notables, including:

Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pépin, Marc Forgione, José Andrés, Ruth Reichl, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael White, Andrew Carmellini, Anita Lo, Gael Greene, Michael Lomonaco, Melissa Clark, Justin Warner, Michael Laiskonis, Sara Jenkins, Shanna Pacifico, Jeremiah Tower, and Ashley Christensen

An innovative work of history and a cookbook like no other, The Way We Ate is the story of a nation’s cravings—and how they continue to influence the way we cook, eat, and talk about food today.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/16/2013
The alliance of New York City food photographers/bloggers Fecks and Wagtouicz (thewayweate.net) has created a cook’s tour of the American 20th century in an anthology of recipes inspired by 100 years of American culinary history. These self-described “curators” of the now defunct Gourmet magazine recruited an impressive lineup of 100 notable chefs and food folks, inviting each to design an iconic recipe. Featured culinarians include Ruth Reichl, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pépin, Melissa Clark, and many other restaurateurs, cooks, and journalists. Each reflects on watershed historical events and culinary milestones, creating both innovative interpretations of classic recipes and original dishes befitting one year of the century. Chapters are organized by decades. Lively headers describe the cultural and historical context shaping the dish; ingredients are clearly listed in margins along with anecdotal quotations; and chef bios follow each chef’s recipe. Stylish photographs in extreme close-up—taken by the authors—bring each recipe to life. From a 1919 Great Gatsby–inspired Long Island “Sound Off” fish stew to a sliced foie gras with buttered toast soubise; blackberry-port mostarda; crispy pork; and soft blue cheese (which honors the 1922 invention of the pop-up toaster), these recipes take readers on a trek through food history and into the culinary imaginations of modern food enthusiasts who are shaping the current food scene. (Oct.)
Insatiable Critic - Gael Greene
“Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be an original idea for a cookbook left to invent, here is The Way We Ate: 100 Chefs Celebrate a Century at the American Table. It has the charm of old menus and vintage recipe collections. You can cook by it, stir your cocktail or just be amused by what great chef or cookbook writer was assigned what year to memorialize and what they wrote.”
Library Journal
10/15/2013
Celebrated bloggers and food photographers Fecks and Wagtouicz have dreamed up an interesting idea here: 100 chefs have created recipes to represent each year of the 20th century. The authors have gathered a group of impressive chefs and notable personalities, including Jacques Pépin, Melissa Clark, Daniel Boulud, Jasper White, and José Andrés. The book highlights some fascinating tidbits of history from the last century, such as the cultivation of the Hass avocado and the invention of the first electric ice cream machine. However, somehow, this work never quite comes together. The relationships between the recipes and historical events are often unclear, and many of the recipes are unrealistic for a home cook, calling for hard-to-find ingredients and offering vague instructions. The recipes would have benefited from a consistent voice and additional notes on technique and ingredients. VERDICT Neither a coherent history nor a useful cookbook. This title is a mildly entertaining read, and its photographs and design are beautiful, but after admiring its style, home cooks will find themselves putting it back on the shelf.—Laura Krier, Sonoma State Univ., Rohnert Park, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476732725
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 702,650
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Noah Fecks and Paul Wagtouicz are New York City-based photographers who share a desire to re-create, cook, and capture some of the best recipes of the twentieth century. Noah earned his B.F.A from the Parsons School of Design and teaches in the photography department at Parsons, and Paul is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. Visit their blog at TheWayWeAte.net.

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