The Wilder Shores of Gastronomy: Twenty Years of the Best Food Writing from the Journal Petits Propos Culinaires

October 31, 2020
The Wilder Shores of Gastronomy: Twenty Years of the Best Food Writing from the Journal Petits Propos Culinaires

In 1979, a remarkable culinary congress took place at RichardOlney's kitchen table in London, where he was entertaining Alan andJane Davidson. Stumped by an edict from his publishers atTime-Life, Olney was looking for an outlet to print a few recipesfor later inclusion in his “Good Cook” series. The idea of ajournal took shape, and with the help of Elizabeth David, aremarkable venture began. Sixty-seven issues later, Petits ProposCulinaires is still directing its critical eye at the obscurercorners of the food world. In addition to the formidable trio ofDavidson, Olney, and David, such esteemed food writers as JaneGrigson, Claudia Roden, and Charles Perry became regularcontributors, ensuring a spirited, erudite discourse with eachissue. THE WILDER SHORES OF GASTRONOMY is the first-ever anthologyof writings from this seminal publication. Hand-selected by Mr.Davidson, the anthology reflects the remarkable breadth of thejournal. The arcane (“An Experiment in Bronze Age Cooking”) rubsshoulders with the practical (“Photographers' Cheesecake”), exotic(“Among the Yoruba Mushroom-Eaters”), and highly entertaining (“TheGreat Norwegian Porridge Feud”). The result is a highly eclecticcollection of extraordinary food writing.• Spanning 20 years andincluding work by many of the world's most influential foodwriters, WILDER SHORES is a concise, thoroughly enjoyableintroduction to food criticism, a “Norton anthology ofgastronomica.”Reviews“[A] true example of food writing . . .world-class material. . . . the best writing about what should beeverybody's favorite subject.” —Saveur"An eclectic feast for foodnerds." —Kansas City Star "An always serious, sometimes dense, andoften quixotic collection that illustrates the great variety ofways you can talk about food" —Epicurious.com"[A] true example offood writing . . . world-class material. . . . the best writingabout what should be everybody's favorite subject." —Saveur