Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love

Bob Shacochis, Author Scribner Book Company $23 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19642-8
Shacochis, whose novel Swimming in the Volcano was nominated for the 1993 National Book Award, has written a food column, Dining In, for GQ for five years. The columns selected here blend his gruff, laid back humor with a fierce respect for (certain) foods and the rituals involved in preparing and eating them properly. A self-described ``gastronomic imperialist,'' Shacochis writes about what interests him: mainly love, seafood and meat. The highly personal essays, each of which ends with a few recipes, are rooted in his role as head chef in his household, which he has shared in curmudgeonly but apparently unquestioned devotion with his partner, Miss F, for 20 years, much of that time in Florida. He follows his nose to investigate such ``gastronomic riddles'' as the nomenclature of pates and terrines and the aphrodisiac reputations of various foods, the latter in the nearly perfect essay ``Wanton Soup . '' He takes up arms, more than once, against ``bores and bastards'' and, in the food world especially, ``any bourgeois shithead who pretends he or she is the guardian of high culture.`` As seen on these pages, Shacochis is literate, tough, romantic and the master of his kitchen. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/1994
Release date: 02/01/1994
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