The Best American Food Writing 2020

The Best American Food Writing 2020


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The year’s top food writing from writers who celebrate the many innovative, comforting, mouthwatering, and culturally rich culinary offerings of our country.

“These are stories about culture,” writes J. Kenji López-Alt in his introduction. “About how food shapes people, neighborhoods, and history.” This year’s Best American Food Writing captures the food industry at a critical moment in history — from the confrontation of abusive kitchen culture, to the disappearance of the supermarkets, to the rise and fall of celebrity chefs, to the revolution of baby food. Spanning from New York’s premier restaurants to the chile factories of New Mexico, this collection lifts a curtain on how food arrives on our plates, revealing extraordinary stories behind what we eat and how we live.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780358344582
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 11/03/2020
Series: Best American Series
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 135,150
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT, guest editor, is the chief culinary adviser of Serious Eats, chef/partner at Wursthall, and the author of the James Beard Award–nominated column The Food Lab. 

SILVIA KILLINGSWORTH, series editor, is a digital editor at Bloomberg Businessweek.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction xiii

The Kitchen at Per Se Was a Clean Place but Hard and Heartless Too Kwame Onwuachi Joshua David Stein 1

"I Just Want to Eat Her Up!" Alex Van Buren 7

A Critic for All Seasons Korsha Wilson 11

A Real Hot Mess: How Grits Got Weaponized Against Cheating Men Cynthia R. Greenlee 18

Open Wide Burkhard Bilger 24

Fare Access: DC Restaurants Could Do More to Welcome Diners with Disabilities Laura Hayes 43

Kitchen Shift Hannah Goldfield 55

Lean Cuisine Doesn't Want to Be Part of Diet Culture Anymore. Does It Have a Choice? Kaitlyn Tiffany 68

José R. Ralat:; The Demand for "Authenticity" Is Threatening Kansas City's Homegrown Tacos 76

The Man Who's Going to Save Your Neighborhood Grocery Store Joe Fassler 82

The Provocations of Chef Tunde Wey Brett Martin 106

Whatever Happened to Portland? Meghan McCarron 119

When Jacques Pepin Made All the World an Omelet Joshua David Stein 130

Where'd You Go, Rocco DiSpirito? Kat Kinsman 136

Easy, Peasy, Japanese-y: Benihana and the Question of Cultural Appropriation Sho Spaeth 143

It's Not Always Easy to Be Jamie Oliver Kim Severson 151

New Coke Didn't Fail. It Was Murdered. Tim Murphy 158

Wet 'n Wild Katy Kelleher 169

Peter Luger Used to Sizzle. Now It Sputters. Pete Wells 179

Hard Times for a Hot Commodity, the Prized New Mexico Chile Amelia Nierenberg 183

Here's What the Government's Dietary Guidelines Should Really Say Tamar Haspel 188

The Spice Trade Paige Williams 193

We All Scream Charlotte Druckman 206

What the Heck Is Crab Rangoon Anyway? Dan Nosowitz 224

Yelp Reviewers' Authenticity Fetish Is White Supremacy in Action Sara Kay 230

Contributors' Notes 237

Other Notable Food Writing of 2019 242

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