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Fork it Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater    by Alan Richman order for
Fork it Over
by Alan Richman
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Alan Richman is one of the world's foremost food critics and writers. He writes for GQ Magazine, Bon Appetit, and Condé Nast Traveler. Fork it Over is a collection of essays written about cuisine around the world - from Richman's search for black truffle overload (his favorite food) to the best barbecue in North Carolina, and all points in-between. Other culinary visits include a French cooking school, the Hamptons, Monte Carlo, Vietnam, Florida, Italy, New York, and LA.

Richman bastes his writing with humor, a great deal of tongue-in-cheek comment, and an even larger amount of outright criticism. You will not come away from his writing unsure of his position on wine stewards, cheese carts, or petit fours. Many of the foods and cuisines he consumes are gourmet, and a few - such as haggis or unusual Chinese dishes - will not appeal to the unadventurous eater. Yet the enjoyment of reading about Richman's experiences is not diminished because they involve foods unfamiliar to some of us.

The narration makes readers feel right there at the table with Richman and his dinner companions. We live vicariously through his travels, and are inspired to contemplate visiting some of these countries to taste their wonderful foods for ourselves. Discourses are provided on food found in 'joints' (like a diner but less classy), on sushi, Jewish food, celebrity chefs, and on the disappearance of Polynesian restaurants. Each essay is unique, entertaining, and delightful.

This is a delectable treasure. Readers who enjoy narrative non-fiction, food lovers of all kinds, and those who are looking for an unusual and humorous writing style will thoroughly enjoy Fork it Over.

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