cover image Best Food Writing 2000

Best Food Writing 2000

. Da Capo Press, $14.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-1-56924-616-0

Although this debut addition to the annual ""best of"" books offers some fine writing about food, its most likely audience--foodies who subscribe to cooking magazines and purchase cookbooks--will have already read at least half of these essays when they originally appeared in Gourmet, Bon App tit and similar publications (e.g., R.W. Apple Jr.'s ode to high-quality bacon first appeared in the New York Times, and in a piece from Vogue, Jeffrey Steingarten--the self-described ""man who ate everything""--writes of his search for pig's blood). However, as Hughes points out, she culled her selections from a variety of media including culinary memoirs, social histories, profiles of chefs, essays on trends and techniques, and odes to individual foodstuffs such as Marlena de Blasi's nostalgic tribute to an especially satisfying plate of pasta. In one of the more engaging articles entitled ""Bottom-Drawer Blues,"" Kim Severson of the San Francisco Chronicle interviews Chuck Williams of Williams-Sonoma about kitchen gadgets (e.g., egg separators and Williams's three-pronged hot-boiled-potato peeler) that just don't sell. Other successful pieces are Anne Mendelson's Gourmet essay against celebrity-chef cookbooks and Laura Fraser's rationale from for quitting vegetarianism after 15 years that initially appeared on (Dec. 1)