The Man Who Ate the World
In Search of the Perfect Dinner
By Jay Rayner
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805086690, 288pp.)
Publication Date: June 24, 2008
List Price: $25.00*
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An astronomical gastronomical undertaking —one of the world’s preeminent restaurant critics takes on the giants of haute cuisine, one tasting menu at a time
Like the luxury fashion companies Gucci and Chanel, high-end dining has gone global, and Jay Rayner has watched, amazed, as the great names of the restaurant business have turned themselves from artisans into international brands.
Long suspecting that his job was too good to be true, Rayner uses his entrée into this world to probe the larger issues behind the globalization of dinner. Combining memoir with vivid scenes at the table; interviews with the world’s most renowned chefs, restaurateurs, and eaters; and a few well-placed rants and raves about life as a paid gourmand, Rayner puts his thoughtful, innovative, and hilarious stamp on food writing. He reports on high-end gastronomy from Vegas to Dubai, Moscow to Tokyo, London to New York, ending in Paris where he attempts to do with Michelin-starred restaurants what Morgan Spurlock did with McDonald’s in Super Size Me—eating at those establishments on consecutive days and never refusing a sixteen-course tasting menu when it’s offered.
The Man Who Ate the World is a fascinating and riotous look at the business and pleasure of fine dining.
Jay Rayner is the restaurant critic for the London Observer, a regular contributor to Gourmet, and has written for both Saveur and Food & Wine in the United States. He has also written novels, most recently The Oyster House Seige. Rayner began his acclaimed journalism career covering crime, politics, cinema, and theater, winning Young Journalist of the Year in 1991 and Critic of the Year in 2006 at the British Press Awards.
“Jay’s massive appetite for luxury items and his spectacular understanding of food, chefs, and dining combine to make this a hilarious and insightful journey into the world of restaurant meals. I may have been the bad seed at the root of this journey, but I take no credit whatsoever for his final realizations. I do wish he had invited me along though, for the great meals, for some sense of chef perspective, and to savor a couple of bottles of vintage Krug.”—Mario Batali