December 2, 2008

A Meal Observed, by Andrew Todhunter

I picked this book up from my school library because it was so small and stylish. I particularly enjoyed the font and the lovely little drawings that began each chapter. 

A Meal Observed is about a very fancy, long, and expensive dinner the author and his wife enjoyed at Taillevent, one of the top restaurants in France. In between courses, he interviews the chefs and writes about his experiences as a reporter/apprentice there. (Ah, the plot thickens.) As a baking student, I was especially interested in the chapter on desserts and interview with the pastry chef. 

When he's not writing about Taillevent, he's writing about memories that the food brings up. I'm into taste memories, so I enjoyed that, but the parts about the history of certain ingredients just felt like padding after awhile. The book is very slim already (the dimensions according to Amazon: 8.1 x 4.9 x .0.9 inches), so it's too bad he had to resort to bulking it out with trivia. 

This was a good, quick read, that left me craving French cheese and a lobster roll from Maine. (Yup, you'll have to read it to get that last part.)

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