cover image Best Food Writing 2006

Best Food Writing 2006

, . . Marlowe, $15.95 (363pp) ISBN 978-1-56924-287-2

In this excellent collection, Hughes brings together an eclectic mix of writing by restaurant reviewers, chefs, food writers and food lovers that succeeds in connecting distinctly different writing styles with a common thread of respect for and fascination with eating. Hughes separates the essays according to such themes as "The Food Chain," "Home Cooking," "Someone's in the Kitchen" and "The Restaurant Biz," and culls from publications as well-known as Bon Appétit to the lesser-known enRoute . The pieces range from technical ("The Blowtorch Gourmet" by Par Chris Johns) to intensely personal (Floyd Skloot's "Jambon Dreams"). In "Mama's House," Jason Sheehan cruises the streets of Denver in search of "Mama," a Ghanaian refugee who operates a kitchen out of her home, cooking at all times of the day for whoever shows up on her doorstep. Frank Bruni, the New York Times 's dining critic, gets a look at how the other half lives in his humorous and humble "My Week as a Waiter." Other standout pieces include "A Mentor Named Misty" by Gabrielle Hamilton, and "The Egg Men" by Burkhard Bilger, which explores the cavernous kitchens of the Las Vegas hotel industry. (Nov.)