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Food Whore by Jessica Tom

Food Whore

by Jessica Tom

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6518295,027 (3.72)3
Food whore (n.): a person who will do anything for food fresh out of college, Tia Monroe has every intention of taking the New York City restaurant scene by storm. But after a coveted internship goes up in smoke, Tia's suddenly just another food lover in the big city. Everything changes when Michael Saltz, a legendary New York Times restaurant critic, lets Tia in on a career-ending secret: he's lost his sense of taste. Now he wants Tia to serve as his palate, ghostwriting his reviews. In return he promises her lavish meals, a boundless supply of designer clothing, and the opportunity of a lifetime. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Tia agrees. Within weeks, Tia's world transforms into one of glamour and luxury: four-star dinners, sexy celebrity chefs, and an unlimited expense account at Bergdorf Goodman. Tia loves every minute of it . . . until she sees her words in print and Michael Saltz taking all the credit. As the veneer of extravagance wears thin and her secret identity begins to crumble, Tia is faced with what it means to truly succeed. In a city where "making it" is the ultimate goal, she will have to decide: how far is she willing to go for the life she craves?… (more)
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    Angels at the Table by Debbie Macomber (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: A look into the world of food critics and how their reviews can influence a restaurant.

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
How far would you go to further your career? This is what confronts Tia Monroe during her first year in New York City. She's a graduate student in the food studies program and hopes to land an internship with Helen Lansky. Instead, she gets coatroom clerk at a 4 star restaurant.

Heralded NY Times restaurant critic, Michael Saltz, approaches Tia at the restaurant to test her culinary senses and soon proposes that she clandestinely help him review restaurants since he's lost his sense of taste. Saltz claims he will help Tia get in with Lansky in return. But it all has to remain a secret.

The secret distances Tia from her roommate Emerald, her boyfriend Elliott, her coworkers at the restaurant, and her advisor. Tia finds herself swept up into a romance with a chef whom she thinks loves her but finds out later he just used her to get a good review because the upscale restaurant world knows she's been going to restaurants with Saltz.

Tia does find out who her true friends are. Most of her day-to-day coworkers stand by her and even help her expose the truthfulness of the review scandal. Emerald also stands by Tia. Melinda--I'm not sure about her character's loyalties. She wasn't a true friend, but she wasn't in the enemy section either.

The ending is a bit fairy-taleish with Tia ending up getting exactly what she'd wanted when she first came to New York (with the help of her restaurant manager Pete and co-student Kyle, who'd landed the original internship with Lansky). I'm glad Tia eventually did the right thing, but sometimes you have to do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. In life, you can't expect that you'll get everything you wanted just because you do the right thing. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Apr 9, 2018 |
Got an ARC from the library...
The food writing is great. Very descriptive and tantalizing.
The story is good. I found myself rooting for the main even when she was making horrible predictable choices.
I enjoyed that the happy ending didn't revolve around a romance, rather on career happiness. It was refreshing.
I enjoyed the read but nothing mind blowing. Nice vacation book. ( )
  AmandaEndicott | Feb 21, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. I had a great time reading about the food descriptions and definitely wished I could try some of the food that the author was writing about. I left the book kind of feeling sad though. I feel like the main character got pretty screwed but also didn't necessarily take complete responsibility for her actions. Overall, definitely worth the read, especially if you love reading about food and restaurants. ( )
  chutzpanit | Mar 24, 2016 |
Jessica Tom’s Food Whore is fast-paced, light and entertaining — everything I love in good chick lit. Comparisons to a foodie version of The Devil Wears Prada are pretty spot-on, but I liked Tia’s persistence and willingness to step out to reach her goals.

Even if that meant getting stepped on.

As a narrator, Tia could be frustrating, though. She’s frequently gullible, though I can’t pretend I would know better. The plot line with her college sweetheart was a little irritating, given dude was as interesting as plain vanilla ice cream (let him go, lady), but I liked the push-and-pull Jessica Tom established in Tia’s conscience: settle for the old, or strive for the new?

Though Tia is our main squeeze, Michael Saltz — and his creepiness — seep between every crack in the story. He presents himself as Tia’s savior, a one-man ticket to a better life, but I had the sense he was all bluster from the beginning. We know his intentions aren’t romantic (he’s gay), but his obsession with Tia as the one remaining tether to his lifestyle and prestige is . . . unsettling, to say the least.

Food Whore moves quickly — so fast I finished it in a few days, which is a record for this new mama who rarely reads more than a few pages at a clip. It often kept me up past my bedtime, and I found myself thinking about Tia and her madcap adventures throughout the day.

Fans of women’s fiction, tantalizing food descriptions, New York settings and speedy reads will enjoy Food Whore. I really liked slipping into Tia’s stylish shoes for this adventure through New York’s culinary culture — and I would return in a heartbeat. ( )
  writemeg | Feb 10, 2016 |
This novel offers a menu of scintillating secrets, shameless shape shifting, and unctuous description of delectable dishes. Tia Monroe, Yonkers born, twenty-something, recent Yale grad comes to the Big Apple to achieve her MA in Food Studies at NYU. Tia loses her cookies and is discovered by incognito food critic Michael Saltz.

Excessively self conscious, “Food Whore” reads like another New York dreams-gone-awry story while the constant listing of designers clutters up the beautiful descriptions of menu items and distracts from the narrative. A welcome compensation for the Sex in the City mimicry is the interesting tension between protagonist and secret protege Tia, and antagonist failing food critic, Michael Saltz. The more they participate in their deception the less you pity Tia and end up disliking them both for their hunger for notoriety.

For a palate cleanser, a subtle plot twist weaves key characters and back stories together and secrets are unburdened. Tia discovers something of personal resonance, no matter what a chef does to an ingredient, the best flavor is always itself. "Food Whore" makes it to my shelf, less for its story and more for the beautiful descriptions of the ever evolving epicurean estate. ( )
1 vote BetsyKipnis | Jan 25, 2016 |
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