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Food for thought

Books | October 2017


The Plagiarist in the Kitchen by Jonathan Meades

It was always going to happen. As our food culture becomes increasingly debased, its pluralism continuing to deracinate its integrity and the business of eating becomes increasingly passive, the backlash had to happen. I always knew that, like copywriters and photographers in the Sixties, racing drivers and hairdressers in the Seventies, we chefs, who became so modish in the Eighties and Nineties, would get our comeuppance. But the intellectual revanchism of this revolt comes from an unlikely source. Throughout the Eighties and Nineties, Jonathan Meades was in the vanguard of trying to instruct the English how to eat properly and how we should try everything except ‘incest and Morris dancing’. He elevated restaurant criticism from the banal and parochial to the level of acute cultural commentary, nurturing the artisan      chef with hyperbolic praise and at the same time savaging the lazy, the tawdry and the attempts of the corporate to...

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