The Restaurant: A 2,000-Year History of Dining Out - The American Edition

The Restaurant: A 2,000-Year History of Dining Out - The American Edition

by William Sitwell


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Award-winning food critic and writer William Sitwell chronicles the fascinating global history of dining out, from the Roman wine taverns of ancient Pompeii to today’s high-tech molecular gastronomy.

Have you ever wondered where the first coffee shop sprung up, or when the sushi conveyor belt was invented? Unbelievably, the global history of the dining establishment has never been told—until now. Journeying 2,000 years into the past, acclaimed food critic and writer William Sitwell artfully traces the earliest origins of the widespread cultural practice of eating out, from its most basic to most sophisticated forms. Whether he’s traversing the inns and taverns of Pompeii before its destruction in A.D. 79, witnessing the tumultuous emergence of fine dining during the French Revolution, or recounting the mid-twentieth-century invention of the taco machine in New York City, Sitwell’s engaging prose gives readers a front-row seat to the restaurant experience across cultures and millennia. He follows the fashions that shape the way we dine, meeting the restaurateurs of today and yesterday whose establishments shaped society for good or ill. And after offering a wry history of the world through the prism of the eatery, he ponders its exciting future. Chefs, critics, restaurateurs, and foodies alike will delight in all the sweet and savory details offered up in this lively and highly absorbing romp through social and culinary history, packed with color photographs and illustrations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635766998
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 04/21/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,212,680
Product dimensions: 9.50(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

William Sitwell is an award-winning editor, broadcaster, writer, and food critic for The Telegraph. He has appeared at literary and food festivals across the globe, and as the long-standing editor of Waitrose Food magazine, he was named Editor of the Year on numerous occasions. A frequent guest and presenter on TV and radio—he’s best known as a critic on the BBC show MasterChef—Sitwell also contributes regularly on the subject of food for the Daily Mail, The Times, and The Guardian. He entertains diners with William Sitwell's Supper Club, and his weekly radio show, Biting Talk, featured the biggest names and new talent from the world of food and drink. Sitwell lives in Northamptonshire, England.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

1 The Romans 10

2 The Ottoman Empire 22

3 The Legacy of Ibn Battuta 34

4 Medieval England 46

5 The Coffee House Revolution 58

6 The French Revolution 72

7 The British Industrial Revolution 84

8 Carême and the New Paris Guide 98

9 The Victorian Era 110

10 Britannia & Co. Opens in Bombay 124

11 The Invention of the Taco Machine 134

12 Postwar Britain 146

13 The Invention of the Sushi Conveyor Belt 162

14 Le Gavroche Opens in London 176

15 Chez Panisse Opens in the US 192

16 Bibendum Opens in London 206

17 The Death of Bernard Loiseau 220

18 The Future of Eating Out 234

Acknowledgments 249

About the Author 250

Select Bibliography 251

Picture Credits 257

Index 258

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