An American Cook in Search of His Roots
North Point Press, Hardcover, 9780865475021, 528pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 1996
In this collection of essays, John Thorne sets our to explore the origins of his identity as a cook, going “here” (the Maine coast, where he’d summered as a child and returned as an adult for a decade’s sojourn), “there” (southern Louisiana, where he was captivated by Creole and Cajun cooking), and “everywhere” (where he provides a sympathetic reading of such national culinary icons as the hamburger, white bread, and American cheese, and sits down to a big bowl of Texas red). These intelligent, searching essays are a passionate meditation on food, character, and place.
"[Thorne's] richest book yet; one in which simple disparate thoughts begin to coalesce into a genuine philosophy of food."--Ruth Reichl, Saveur
"Here's a rare treat, a book in which the recipes are only a means to an end or stepping stones in cultural detective stories . . . [Thorne's] folkloric approach to food nourishes the brain as well as the body."--William Rice, Chicago Tribune
"The Thornes love their subject, but critically, knowledgeably and with a sense of humor that makes the narrative flow as if velvetized by mayo."--Sheila Himmel, The Washington Post Book World