Bookshots: 'Food Whore' by Jessica Tom

Bookshots: 'Food Whore' by Jessica Tom

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


Title:

Food Whore

Who wrote it?

'Food Whore' is a fun read, very much along the lines of 'The Devil Wears Prada' or 'The Nanny Diaries'.

Jessica Tom, Brooklyn based writer. (One day soon I am going to write a short story about the last person living in Brooklyn who is not a writer.) More info at her website.

Plot in a Box:

A young foodie attempts to get her big break into the New York restaurant scene by ghosting for a critic who has lost his sense of taste.

Invent a new title for this book:

The Devil Eats Prada

Read this if you liked:

I want to say chick lit. Okay, I’m going to say chick lit with the disclaimer that I mean it in the most positive and respectful way.

Meet the book’s lead:

Tia Monroe, grad student and food lover.

Said lead would be portrayed in a movie by:

Chloe Bennet, most recently in Agents of SHIELD.

Setting: would you want to live there?

Manhattan’s restaurant scene: yes, so long as I had:

  1. Inherited wealth
  2. A personal trainer
  3. The digestive capacity of a boa constrictor

What was your favorite sentence?

“Here is the monkfish wrapped in yuba,” the waiter said. “Underneath you’ll find a gingerbread vinegar puree tossed with a cranberry bean soil. And this is the rutabaga-duck confit terrine with licorice lace wrapped around an orange-scented breadstick.”

The Verdict:

When it comes to reading books, it’s important to have principles. Sure we all have some guilty secrets — the trashy thriller we bought in a moment of desperation in an airport, the slushy romance we turned to after a break up, the pulp horror we consumed after a bad day at work with our colleagues taking the parts of all the victims — and I’m not ashamed to admit, that when I’m not chastely holding hands with Woolf and Joyce, I might loosen my stays with some Dan Brown and Greg Bear.

But here’s the thing. I’m a nice girl. I might have the occasional casual book fling but I won’t get between the sheets with just anyone. Even my literary Tinder matches must fulfill a few standard requirements. I’m talking about decent prose, a pacy plot and relatable characters as my basic minimum. Anything less than that and I couldn’t enjoy the experience. Anything less than that and I’d feel, well, dirty.

With one exception.

Give me a book about food and I will happily throw my principles to the four winds. Food Whore might be the kind of literary one night stand who steals your money and leaves you with a bad case of clam chowder, but who cares about that when it has in it sentences like:

The unctuous, exotic beauty that was the short ribs…

Oooh baby.

The rabbit cassoulet approaches the tongue with unexpected freshness…

Harder baby. HARDER.

I had read about truffles – their taste, their hormonal, almost sexual aroma…

TAKE ME. TAKE ME NOW.

Food Whore is a fun read, very much along the lines of The Devil Wears Prada or The Nanny Diaries, but even if those aren't your cup of delicately flavoured jasmine tea, read this one for the food, the luscious, crackling, sumptuous, velvety, muscular food. When it comes to describing the gourmet eating experience Jessica Tom most definitely has it going on. I don’t know what her future plans consist of, but if she decides to go into food writing, she already has one (slightly overexcited) fan.

Image of Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit
Author: Jessica Tom
Price: $14.99
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (2015)
Binding: Paperback, 352 pages

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