Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chatter 44 A Little Bit of Foodie History

A few days ago an article appeared in the New York Times discussing the life and times of Craig Claibourne. Claibourne is the author of several cook books including one on Herbs and Spices and several volumes of recipes. Not only was he an outstanding food writer and chef but also, while not the first to write restaurant reviews, set the base for the American food writing and reviewing scene which has grown prodigiously in the last couple of decades.
One of the most renowned reviews he wrote, which can be seen here,
was printed on the front page of the New York Times. It describes a 31 course dinner that cost $4000 in 1975, about 80% of a teachers annual salary at that time! It created some controversy and this spoof by Russell Baker
Major criticisms were of this gross extravagance when so many people were struggling to make a living. On the other hand, seen as an advertising promotion for American Express it was extremely successful and very inexpensive.
Take it whatever way you like it was one incredible experience and I'm glad it happened, indeed wishwe were there!

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