by John Thorne
John Thorne is one of America's great food writers; he has a large cult following, which reads his quarterly newsletter, 'Simple Cooking', based in ... Show synopsis John Thorne is one of America's great food writers; he has a large cult following, which reads his quarterly newsletter, 'Simple Cooking', based in New England and begun in 1980, with dedication and enthusiasm. This book consists of material taken from that newsletter, together with other items of journalism. It is a recipe book with extensive narrative commentary. It revolves around Thorne's kitchen and the books he has read. If Margaret Visser is seen by many as a fine negotiator of the back-alleys of foodway curiosities, Thorne is more contemplative and yet tied to the stove. He resolves cookery facts and adages to produce an amalgam of thought and action at once revealing and entertaining. Thorne manages to combine plenty of thought with convincingly real, pungent, full-flavored food. The recipes are for all cooks, not chefs or artsy professionals. Critics have always loved John Thorne: 'he comes across as an inconoclast without a mean streak, an amusing but serious searcher after culinary truths'; 'one of the few writers since M.F.K. Fisher's heyday who can command readers' attentions and interest'; 'there is a dimension and resonance of experience almost never found in American food writing'; 'his meditations are intense; reading him on bread is like reading Proust on love. He cuts through mysteries at a stroke. He is keenly anti-snobbish. It its psychological penetration, this is more a novel than a cookbook.' This volume contains 90 recipes, covering the whole range of cookery, but more especially pasta, breads, soups, stews and vegetables.