Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Canny New Yawkuh

"Eating My Words" by Mimi Sheraton William Morrow 240 pages $23.95

For eight years, Sheraton was the restaurant critic for the august New York Times. She's written 12 books, numerous articles for Vanity Fair and other magazines.

She has an engaging styleand I liked her book, despite a certain snobbery that prevailed more than it might have with another writer. Apparently, working for the NY Times conveys such prestige that you can be rather rude to lesser mortals.

What I admire about Sheraton is the hustler in her. She conned so many publications into sending her on expensive trips -- one assignment was to check out the food served in Business class by flying around the world (!) on as many different airlines (11) as she could!

Another time, she was helicoptered out to a pair of drilling rigs far out in the Gulf of Mexico to see if oil well crews are fed as well as is rumored. (They are -- and then some.)

She ate in school cafeterias in an attempt to change institutional cooking; she studied the problems hospital kitchens have feeding staff and patients (so may different diets; keeping the food warm until it gets to the patient.)

On a lighter note, she also traveled the country checking out the food served in baseball parks!

That's the kind of inventivness that impresses me. I closed the book and mused, "I wonder how I can get me some gigs like this..."

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