On food fundamentalists

It’s no secret … I like food. There’s not much I’d rather do than cook and eat. And in between to think and read about it. I love recipe books and restaurant guides. I even relish weighty books on the anthropology, psychology and theology of food. But one thing I cannot stomach is a diet…

Sara Miles’ ‘Take this Bread’

No doubt, one of the best reads for me in the past two years was Sara Miles’ Take this Bread: A Radical Conversion. I can’t claim it a life changer, but as a memoir of conversion centered at the table of God, it’s a book that’s affirmed for me so much about faith, eucharist and church,…

Ruhlman’s ‘The Soul of a Chef’

Seriously, how could I not? With the title The Soul of a Chef, I didn’t much care what was in it. And the thought that this might truly be a serious exploration of spirituality in the professional world of the kitchen … the possibility was enough. This is not Ruhlman’s first literary stirring of the pot. …

Hotel Babylon

Honestly, it’s such a tawdry read I’m almost embarrassed to say I read it. Hotel Babylon is an atrociously voyeuristic account of a 24-hour period in one of London’s five-star hotels. The storyteller, we are told, is an employee working a double shift on the reception desk. Though it’s more likely an accumulation of experiences…

Halligan’s ‘The Taste of Memory’

In my view, Marion Halligan is one of the most intelligent food writers on Australian shores.  While her second food-related memoir, The Taste of Memory, will not suit all palates, I found it a mesmerising and gentle read. As a writer, Halligan is insightful and easy to be with. More importantly, she is wise—a moderating…