Ginsberg on waiting

Debra Ginsberg’s Waiting is a wonderful book. Part memoir, part social commentary, it’s a thoughtful reflection on twenty years of waitressing in American restaurants.  From New York to California, from luncheonettes and bistros to pizza parlours and fine dining rooms, Ginsberg’s journey is diverse. At points, her story is quite moving. As is typical of…

Cooking and calling

Commonly, the experience of ‘calling’ in the Christian faith is approached as a mysterious thing and highly prized; to have heard ‘the call’ is to have entered the ranks of the spiritual elite. Tragically, such a mystical approach leaves the majority of Christians in the stands; there they sit—excluded and disempowered—destined to be spectators while…

The Spirit of Food

I hate tapas! There, I’ve said it. I can’t stand the current Melbourne obsession with multiple share-plates of miniscule ‘tastings’ that leave me nothing but frustrated and hungry. If I’m gong out to eat I want a meal I can sink my teeth into, as well as my mind. I want substance and depth, not…

From the kitchen to the pulpit

Chefs are not always great writers. There are some wonderful exceptions, but most gifted chefs are doing what they do best without literary diversion. While recipe books abound, to have a chef write more explicitly of what draws him to his profession–and what keeps him there–is rare. It is this that makes Daniel Boulud’s Letters to…

Barbecue: Heaven in the South

I’ve confessed already, I’m a lover of meat.  Given my natural preference for the finer things, it’s a crass confession.  But there it is. One of my enduring memories of Texas, the home state of my beloved, is of the great Southern tradition of barbecue.  Not the backyard variety of charred sausages, sauce and bad coleslaw…