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The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the…

The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner

by Jay Rayner

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1569115,655 (3.5)4



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I would hate to be a chef in any restaurant reviewed by Jay Rayner. In this book he sets out on a quest to find the perfect meal. In his exhaustive search through the world's prestigious gastronomic establishments (from Las Vegas to Paris) and despite tireless and seemingly limitless consumption, his holy grail ultimately eludes him. Considering the lofty heights of discernment to which his palate has ascended, I think this has more to do with the fact that he's impossible to please than to any consistent inferiority of the meals he experiences. He doesn't hate everything. Some things he positively enjoys, for example a woodcock presented in what he says is the traditional style "the head bisected and impaled on the breast by its long, thin beak". "It also tasted nice" he goes on to say "the delicate skull crunching beneath my teeth to release the soft brains". Having observed Mr Rayner's sardonic and scathing style as one of a trio of "celebrity" food critics on the BBC program "Masterchef: the Professionals", I suspect it's not just the brains of woodcocks he enjoys crushing. Fortunately his acerbic wit and humour deliver this book from being one you occasionally want to hurl across the room and it is, despite itself, an entertaining read. ( )
  Anne_Green | Mar 30, 2014 |
Being a person who enjoys a good meal, I definitely salivated over the descriptions of some of the dinners. I enjoyed the - at times acid - descriptions of chefs and restaurants.

BUT - I was terribly, terribly put off by the editing. For the first third of the book, all of the prices were given in dollars and pounds (but the format wasn't always the same). That stopped in the second third, and only pounds were used. The third third then resumed the double explanation. Early in the book, a footnote explained "as of November 2007." Well, just give the exchange rate and let the reader figure it out. Various misspelled/misused words and phrases (among others, "enthrall" which should have been "in thrall"). If I had been less interested in the book I wouldn't have finished it, just because of this. ( )
  liz.mabry | Sep 11, 2013 |
A solid read. He lost me when he went on his 3* Super Size Me but I really enjoyed the book overall. I liked his look into the cuisines of the different places and the challenges of looking for "Authentic" cuisine, whatever that means. It's also a nice look at places I'll never get to eat at. Some of the things that pass for "food" are somewhat frightening and I like how he wove his history into the story to shape his stories. And now I want to visit Dubai and Moscow even more.
  skinglist | Feb 14, 2011 |
If you are looking for a book about adventure and the great food along the way....skip this book. That is not to say that this book is without merit. It is very entertaining. Mr. Rayner gives the background of many of the restaurants and chefs that he writes about. He also gives a little history of the area in which he is traveling. He has some great meals, and plenty of not so great ones. Enjoyable, but not for everyone. ( )
  bookwormteri | Aug 15, 2010 |
I did enjoy this book, the writing is witty, and descriptive, without being excessive in any way. I was also dissapointed, as was the author, I think. The good meals were so very rare, and though the writing about the bad meals was stellar, I was looking forward to diving into a gastronomic delight, to experience these meals vicariously, and it just wasn't there. ( )
  love2laf | Jun 25, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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For Daniel, a small boy with a big appetite
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Reading this book will make you hungry.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805086692, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This is a journey through the great cities of the world, and the extraordinary restaurants and people who visit them. From Las Vegas to Moscow, Dubai to Tokyo and New York to London, Jay Rayner chronicles the revolution in high-end gastronomy that has been sweeping the world since the late 1980s.… (more)

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