“Eating is an unpretentious chronicle of an extraordinary life well lived, an antidote of sorts in this age of . . . meals made in an ever-decreasing number of minutes. To read it is to vow to live better.” —Newsweek
“Full of anecdotes and his gusto for food and life . . . Epstein has produced a book that will warm readers’ hearts.” —The Washington Times
“[Epstein] treats us to a cornucopia of memories—some personal, some literary, all tied to food—and as many interesting recipes as ruminations. . . . A delight.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Delicious. . . . [Epstein] has been present for (or hosted) some of the greatest, most unhinged literary dinner parties of our time.” —The New York Times
“This convivial memoir by a distinguished publisher charts a lifetime of cooking and consumption. . . . Enlivening.” —The New Yorker
“What a storyteller! He brings food into the cultural experience in a beautiful way.” —Alice Waters
“The conversational recipes and fond descriptions carry a clear intimation of how one should really live, the very thing that is so compelling in M. F. K. Fisher and Julia Child.” —James Salter, coauthor of Life Is Meals
“As Proust demonstrated with his madeleine, taste is a powerful unleasher of memories. Epstein’s book, like M.F.K. Fisher’s The Art of Eating, Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking and, more recently, Amanda Hesser’s Cooking for Mr. Latte, tucks recipes into an entertaining, alternately informative and autobiographical narrative. . . . Eating . . . works for armchair cooks as well as active chefs, and has the advantage of being calorie-free.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“It is delicious!” —Maida Heatter, author of Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts
“You’ll want to gobble this slender volume in a single sitting. Go ahead—a little Eating is good for you.” —The Free Lance-Star
“Only a great editor could think up a new way to write a recipe. Jason Epstein’s cookbook is really a short-story collection, in which the main character, Mr. Epstein, gets on with his life among writers and other hungry people of uncommon interest by cooking for them. It’s all a seamless narrative, the tales of Epstein, in an apron at the gates of literature.” —Raymond Sokolov, author of The Saucier’s Apprentice
“Eating is a lovely read which I find made me hungry.” —Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove
“He writes with the voice and wisdom of a true cook. I love the connected way in which he understands the dialogue between ingredients, the process of cooking, and the conversation with the self. And of course I love the way in which he so clearly demonstrates that the practice of good cooking is really the practice of good living.” —Scott Peacock, coauthor of The Gift of Southern Cooking
In many ways, this memoir is the very picture of leisure, a smoothly laced collection of memorable meals with unforgettable dinner companions. But, make no mistake; its author is no mere epicure; he is the legendary editor and publisher of Vladimir Nabokov, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, E. L. Doctorow, and Philip Roth, not to mention cooking pioneers Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. In Eating: A Memoir, he settles hospitably into reminiscences about childhood chicken pot pies and post-World War II Parisian cafes. Epstein's meals with the famous aren't just name-dropping celebrity sightings; his encounters with Buster Keaton, W. H. Auden, Jane Jacobs, and the ever-robust Mailer are occasions for telling glimpses into character as well as cuisine.
The book is delicious, in its minimalist, essayistic way.
The New York Times
Former Random House editor Epstein (Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future) combines his literary lunches with a personal, tried-and-true collection of meals and recipes. The breezy memoir touches on mayonnaise-rich dishes he's eaten with famous friends and neighbors-Olaf Olafsen, Norman Mailer and Jane Jacobs-in between recollection of childhood visits to Maine and recent trips to Sag Harbor, Long Island. Accompanying the stories are recipes meant to resemble conversations, mixed in with peculiar advice on sourcing ingredients and detailed tips on technique. Epstein-who readily admits he still doesn't think of Manhattan as home because of its lack of Ipswich clams-is most comfortable on the New England shore, if his recipes for salmon roe, lobster rolls and fried clams are any indication. While Epstein blends the down-home simplicity of chicken pot pie with the kind of dowdy French classics once served in lower Manhattan, his trips with chef Alice Waters to Craig Claiborne's lunch parties and suggestions for hard-to-find ingredients and out-of-print books cultivate a stuffy air of exclusivity, a tone tempered by the softer, improvisational voice from his kitchen. Be warned, the book's mouthwatering narrative recipes-from steak tartare enclosed in burnt hamburger crust to a simple braised duck with olives-might spur more than a couple of trips to the kitchen. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Having developed an interest in cooking as a young child, the renowned editor and publisher Epstein (Book Business) offers readers a glimpse of his foodie life through his recipes and stories about food—whether publishing cookbooks at Random House, working and eating in restaurants around the world (he dined with actor Buster Keaton), or cooking dishes. Acknowledging that he is a "serviceable cook" who likes "plain cooking," the author fills his brief memoir with recipes, based somewhat on his New York Times columns, though not written in the typical recipe format; instead they read as stories and contain practical advice, e.g., "If your tomatoes are watery and shapeless, throw them out and try another brand." Dishes covered include Bolognese Sauce, Warm Bass Salad, and Pureed Rutabaga. VERDICT Epstein draws in readers with his laid-back style and simple recipes. Joining the throngs of food memoirs, this volume will appeal most to those who devour books in that genre. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/09.]—Nicole Mitchell, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Lib.