Best Food Writing is the place where readers and food writers meet to celebrate the most delicious prose of the year—serving up everything to whet your appetite from entertaining blogs to provocative journalism. This year's edition includes food writing stars (Michael Pollan, Pete Wells, and Jonathan Gold) as well as intriguing new voices (Matt Goulding and Erin Byers Murray) and celebrated chef-writers (Gabrielle Hamilton and Eddie Huang) for yet another collection of "strong writing on fascinating topics that will appeal to foodies and essay lovers alike" (Kirkus Reviews).
Contributors include: Katie Arnold-Ratcliff, Elissa Altman, Karen Barichievy, Peter Barrett, Dan Barry, Edward Behr, Alan Brouilette, Tim Carman, Bethany Jean Clement, Aleksandra Crapanzano, Sarah DiGregorio, Barry Estabrook, Kim Foster, Ian Froeb, Jonathan Gold, Diane Goodman, Matt Goulding, Paul Graham, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, Gabrielle Hamilton, Tim Hayward, Bernard Herman, Eddie Huang, Rowan Jacobsen, John Kessler, Todd Kliman, Corby Kummer, Francis Lam, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Tracie McMillan, Joy Manning, Brett Martin, Erin Byers Murray, Kim O'Donnel, Kevin Pang, Carol Penn-Romine, Michael Pollan, Michael Procopio, Steven Rinella, Hank Shaw, Katharine Shilcutt, Erica Strauss, Mike Sula, John Swansburg, Molly Watson, Pete Wells, Katherine Wheelock, Chris Wiewiora, Lily Wong
Editor Hughes's annual anthology has once again successfully captured the mood in today's food world. "The season of foam and gels has passed," she reflects in the introduction, "and the Year of the Pork Belly has given way to the Year of Kale." What follows is a collection of essays by bloggers, journalist, big name chefs and foodies alike all published within the last year. Highlights include Michael Pollan's "Step Two: Saute Onions and Other Aromatic Vegetables," Jonathan Gold's profile of Kogi co-founder Roy Choi entitled "The King of the Food Trucks Hits Hawaii," and Brett Martin's GQ article "Good Food Everywhere." Edward Behr meditative essay "Slow Cooking, Slowing Eating" is especially powerful. He writes, "Slowness really means living at the right speed for whatever you are doing, living more in the present moment, rather than looking always ahead to the next thing It means you pay attention." This eclectic anthology would not be complete, however, without occasional paeans to questionable food items. Katharine Shilcutt, for example, writes about McDonald's in "I Ate My First McRib, and I Regret It." Dan Barry bemoans the Hostess bankruptcy in "Back When a Chocolate Puck Tasted, Guiltily, like America." Pieces like these add lightness and levity to the volume as a whole. They provide necessary balance, making it informative as well as entertaining.