Joys, quirks, and questionable behavior that food and drink inspire fill this collection of award-winning commentary and narratives. From Houston’s burgeoning culinary landscape to late-night revelry in Britain and Barcelona to a Hell’s Kitchen TV studio, the tales capture a way of life we take for granted no longer, when people freely gathered at tables and counters, shared food, raised glasses, and partook of drama and laughter and magic.
Essays explore the staying power of food memories, the non-rational but abiding appeal of junk food, and the complexities of dinner parties and dining alone. The collection also chronicles antics in bars and spectacular shortfalls in customer service, from both sides of the kitchen door (including shenanigans at the Dallas cantina that pioneered the margarita machine); arch an eyebrow at pretentious foodies, over-hyped restaurants, market researchers, and appalling entertainment; and take delight in generosity, from simple gestures to once-in-a-lifetime extravagance.
Beneath the wit and intricate, often outrageous detail is an intelligent, deeply personal understanding of the larger role that food and drink play beyond nutrition, which the author developed during 30 years of reviewing restaurants in Houston and New York and covering the specialty food industry nationally.
She proves that writing about food doesn't have to be so darn serious. I wish it could all be this fun. -- Sue Reddel, Food Travelist
Like going on a tasting tour -- with a menu that encompasses not just food but the deeply felt culture that surrounds it. -- Trav S.D., author
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|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Kathy Biehl has spent some 30 years being paid to eat, drink, and type up her observations. Her career began in Houston and coincided with its culinary scene rising to national prominence; her base of operations expanded to New York City and, eventually, the entire country.
For more than a decade she reviewed restaurants for The Houston Business Journal, Houston Press, Time Out New York (including its first dining guide), and a slew of online directories and guides. She also contributed cover stories to Houston’s dining magazine My Table, reported on wine for Publix Grape and wrote long-running food news columns for the doctor’s travel and leisure magazine Diversion and the legal research journal LLRX.com. She is the editrix and primary writer of the zine Ladies’ Fetish & Taboo Society Compendium of Urban Anthropology and its companion blogs.
Her food writing has won awards from the Association of Food Journalists and Houston Press Club, as well as the title “Pseudo Food Xpert,” bestowed by a review subject she’d caught impersonating a competitor. Informal honors include triggering the largest week of business a cafe had had in decades of operation and serving as litigation evidence, after a review tipped off a prominent chef that a former employee had walked off with his signature dishes.
Kathy is also an attorney and primary author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Internet Research (Scarecrow Press, 2000); a stage and film actress best known for the dowager role in the first-ever revival of the Marx Brothers’ earliest Broadway musical I’ll Say She Is; and a professional astrologer whose forecasts appear at EmpowermentUnlimited.net, OMTimes.com and the Professional Aquarian YouTube channel.
Table of Contents
The Cellular Memory of Food
Eating Out Is Fun! Houston
"Best Bird Ever!"
The Joy of Junk Food
Calling the Spread
Martha & Me: Improvising Brownies
The Secret Life of ... Betty Crocker?
Table for One
Eating Out IS Fun!
Ever-Widening Concentric Circles of Yum
Regional Favorites: Miners' Fare in Northern NJ
Entertaining by Project Management
Slip Slidin' Away
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I've Got Love in My Tummy
It Was Bound to Happen, And Now It Has
New Age Dining: Santa Fe
When Service Goes to the Dogs
The Dangers of Mall Walking
The Omni-Directional Scud Lust Missile Rears Its Unwelcome Head Again
Zeitgeist: Thumbnosing (Whoopee! We're All Gonna Die)
Eating Out is Fun! (Ha!)
About the Author