Anthony Bourdain, John T. Edge, Jonathan Gold, Francis Lam, Ruth Reichl, Calvin Trillin, Alice Waters. These are just some of the celebrated writers and foodies whose work has appeared in Best Food Writing over the past fifteen years. Whether written by an established journalist or an up-and-coming blogger, the essays offered in each edition represent the cream of that year's crop in food writing. And 2015 promises to uphold the same high standards with a dynamic mix of writers offering provocative journalism, intriguing profiles, moving memoir, and more.
In this literary feast's sixth year, Hughes has assembled a fine collection of works by chefs, authors, critics, a cookbook editor and a few bloggers: people who write about food "because they love food." Devotion is evident throughout, whether in David Ramsay's "Some Like It Extra Hot," a hilarious love letter to "hot chicken," with which Nashville and Ramsay himself is obsessed; or Evan Rail's "One-Room Wonder," which pays homage to a tiny Prague restaurant that provides "a meal for the emotions" as well as superb food. Food's business aspects are explored in Cynthia Zarin's report on Murray's Cheese Shop in Manhattan and Nancy Grimes's expos of the seamy underside (or "overweight kvetch" side) of being married to a restaurant critic. Idlewords.com's overrated-pizza rant is provocative (and useful), and Monique Truong's "Many Happy Returns" is a beautiful chronology of a restaurant's role in her life. Readers will marvel as Eric Asimov recounts the taste of a special bottle of wine and nod at Judith Jones's wisdom as she reveals what constitutes a good cookbook. Food lovers of all stripes will devour, and savor, this book; its recipes will help readers create their own kitchen alchemy, but the book's real magic is in the writing.