The Quotable Cook

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The Lyons Press

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Here is a delicious collection of insightful, wise, and humorous remarks on the joys of cooking and eating. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”—Virginia Woolf “A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch.”—James Beard “I was thirty-two when I started cooking; until then I just ate.”—Julia Child “I eat at this German-Chinese restaurant and the food is delicious. The only problem is that an hour later you’re hungry for power.”—Dick Cavett Here is a sumptuous collection of quotes for anyone who loves to cook¾or eat. From world leaders to comedians, you will find classic sayings on every appetizing course in the art of the meal, including quotes by: Bobby Flay * Robert Frost * Charles de Gaulle Jackie Gleason * Emeril Lagasse * Ludwig van Beethoven Alfred Hitchcock * Oscar Wilde * Martha Stewart Napoleon Bonaparte * Mark Twain * John F. Kennedy Gracie Allen * T. S. Eliot * Charles Schultz Fran Lebowitz * Galileo * Jacques Pepin Mao Tse-Tung * Thomas Jefferson * William Shakespeare This book will bring hours of entertainment to cooks, chefs, and food lovers. It is the perfect gift.


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The Lyons Press
The Lyons Press
The Quotable Cook
Kate Rowinski

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The Quotable Cook offers a barrage of citations culled from all corners of the globe, past and present, some profound, others that spawned chuckles, both from me and my sleepy eyed husband when I regaled him with a particularly juicy entry.

The table of contents is arranged by the way one might plan a dinner party. Beginning with the invitation, proceeding thought the guest list, the menu and finishing with mealtime conversation. Outwardly, these categories work well but in reading, understandably, one senses that the author often found it difficult to fit a quote into a prescribed category.

After a second and third perusing of the book, I came to realize, as a person interested in cooking and its history, I was left hanging, hungry for what seemed basic information. And, although undoubtedly this book was never intended to be a reference tome, I do think for the professional writer or chef, there were times when the paucity of background was frustrating.  The citation for each quotation, for instance, is only the name of the author. While a bon mot from Winston Churchill may need little more explanation, a quick description of a lesser known author, with his time and place in history would give the reader a proper setting in which to better understand the quotation and give authenticity to the quote.

For example, one of the most often heard references cited in the book, "Kissing don't last: cookery do," attributed to George Meredith, was one of those delightful contributions. Knowing him as a mid-19th century English  poet, an early advocate of the intellectual equality of women, and a novelist who firmly believed in the beneficial power of laughter would have put meat on the bones of the quotation. 

As a food writer who often looks for pithy food quotes to insert into articles, I found the index of the book frustrating. Only the names of the authors are recorded a subject index would have been very helpful. The Quotable Cook at $20 is an ideal book to snuggle up with in bed or to peruse by the fire on a cold winter's night to have a chuckle or two but not a necessity for a cook's library.


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