True Bravery in Food Writing

Most every body who loves and writes food has got some kind of problem or neurosis about it. Some admit it, some don't. The habits can be charmingly peculiar, merely a bit eccentric and willful, sometimes extremely peculiar, often fodder for continually embellished stories--but always fueled by an intense interest in food. Often, of course, this leads to a condition easy to slap a label on, like body dysmorphism and its attendant complexes like bulimia and anorexia.

Samuel T. Stanley writes in painful, thrilling detail about something that in comparison can seem straightforward: obesity, and undergoing bariatric surgery to change it. The resulting change in body-image and his map of himself throws him off-balance, and takes longer to adjust to than the considerable time required to accommodate to the change in his diet and eating habits. With every post in his series, Stanley becomes franker and more specific, and thus more universal. And he makes us see overweight people as they see, and sometimes can't see, themselves.

For the Obese, Alone Even in Public
By Samuel T. Stanley

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Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." More

Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." Julia Child once said, "I think he's a very good food writer. He really does his homework. As a reporter and a writer he takes his work very seriously." Kummer's 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. The response to his recommendations about coffees and coffee-makers was typical--suppliers scrambled to meet the demand. As Giorgio Deluca, co-founder of New York's epicurean grocery Dean & Deluca, says: "I can tell when Corby's pieces hit; the phone doesn't stop ringing." His book, The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as "the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date." In nominating his work for a National Magazine Award (for which he became a finalist), the editors wrote: "Kummer treats food as if its preparation were something of a life sport: an activity to be pursued regularly and healthfully by knowledgeable people who demand quality." Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice. Kummer was restaurant critic of New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996 and since 1997 has served as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. He was educated at Yale, immediately after which he came to The Atlantic. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

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