Burn the Ice: The American Culinary Revolution and Its End

Burn the Ice: The American Culinary Revolution and Its End

by Kevin Alexander

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Overview

"Inspiring"—Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group; Founder, Shake Shack; and author, Setting the Table

James Beard Award-winning food journalist Kevin Alexander traces an exhilarating golden age in American dining


Over the past decade, Kevin Alexander saw American dining turned on its head. Starting in 2006, the food world underwent a transformation as the established gatekeepers of American culinary creativity in New York City and the Bay Area were forced to contend with Portland, Oregon. Its new, no-holds-barred, casual fine-dining style became a template for other cities, and a culinary revolution swept across America. Traditional ramen shops opened in Oklahoma City. Craft cocktail speakeasies appeared in Boise. Poke bowls sprung up in Omaha. Entire neighborhoods, like Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and cities like Austin, were suddenly unrecognizable to long-term residents, their names becoming shorthand for the so-called hipster movement. At the same time, new media companies such as Eater and Serious Eats launched to chronicle and cater to this developing scene, transforming nascent star chefs into proper celebrities. Emerging culinary television hosts like Anthony Bourdain inspired a generation to use food as the lens for different cultures. It seemed, for a moment, like a glorious belle epoque of eating and drinking in America. And then it was over.

To tell this story, Alexander journeys through the travails and triumphs of a number of key chefs, bartenders, and activists, as well as restaurants and neighborhoods whose fortunes were made during this veritable gold rush—including Gabriel Rucker, an originator of the 2006 Portland restaurant scene; Tom Colicchio of Gramercy Tavern and Top Chef fame; as well as hugely influential figures, such as André Prince Jeffries of Prince's Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville; and Carolina barbecue pitmaster Rodney Scott.

He writes with rare energy, telling a distinctly American story, at once timeless and cutting-edge, about unbridled creativity and ravenous ambition. To "burn the ice" means to melt down whatever remains in a kitchen's ice machine at the end of the night. Or, at the bar, to melt the ice if someone has broken a glass in the well. It is both an end and a beginning. It is the firsthand story of a revolution in how Americans eat and drink.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525558026
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/09/2019
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 811,678
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Kevin Alexander is a James Beard Award-winning food journalist and recipient of the Society of Professional Journalist's Mark of Excellence Award. His work has appeared in Esquire, Elle, Men's Journal, The New Republic, and Boston Globe, and he is a 2018 Association of Food Journalists award winner. He was born in Texas, grew up in New England, and now lives in Northern California.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

2006

1 Gabriel Rucker, Portland, Oregon, Part 1 23

2 TV Dad, Tom Colicchio, New York City, New York 53

3 Anjan and Emily Mitra, San Francisco, California, Part 1 63

4 King of Trucks, Roy Choi, Los Angeles, California 86

5 André Prince Jeffries, North Nashville, Tennessee, Part 1 93

6 Freret Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2008, Part 1 108

7 Phil Ward, New York City, New York, Part 1 111

2009

8 Holeman & Finch, Atlanta, Georgia, January 2009, Ten p.m. 137

9 Barbecue Man, Rodney Scott, Hemingway, South Carolina 140

10 Not an Activist, Tunde Wey, Detroit, Michigan, Part 1 152

11 Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, Pawhuska, Oklahoma 165

12 Freret Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2011, Part 2 173

13 Gabriel Rucker, Portland, Oregon, Part 2 175

14 Behind the Curtain, Anonymous Restaurant Publicist, USA 190

15 Anjan and Emily Mitra, San Francisco, California, Part 2 197

16 Mayor, Flavortown, Guy Fieri, Santa Rosa, California 207

17 André Prince Jeffries, North Nashville, Tennessee, Part 2 212

18 Phil Ward, New York City, New York, Part 2 226

2013

19 South Again, Mashama Bailey, Savannah, Georgia 237

20 Souvla, 517 Hayes Street, San Francisco, California, Winter 2014 248

21 A Story About Rosé, aka The Fat Jew Interlude 250

22 Not an Activist, Tunde Wey, Detroit, Michigan, Part 2 254

23 111 N. 12th Street, Williamsburg Neighborhood, Brooklyn, New York, September 2016 261

24 Downfall, John Besh, New Orleans, Louisiana 263

2017

25 Anjan and Emily Mitra, San Francisco, California. Part 3 271

26 The Resistance. Sonja Finn, Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania 282

27 The Plaza District. NW 16th Street from Blackwelder to Indiana, Oklahoma City, OK 292

28 Phil Ward, New York City, New York, Part 3 297

29 Freret Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2018. Part 3 304

30 Gabriel Rucker, Portland, Oregon, Part 3 307

31 Kroger Marketplace, 9001 Old US Hwy 42, Union, Kentucky, Spring 2018 315

32 André Prince Jeffries, North Nashville, Tennessee, Part 3 318

Epilogue 325

Afterword 329

Acknowledgments 337

A Note on Sources 341

Notes 344

Bibliography 361

Image Credits 363

Index 364

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