The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food


The title of this testament to one woman's appetite comes from Brillat-Savarin, who wrote of a 10th muse—Gasterea, goddess of the pleasures of taste. Many food writers would argue that this 10th muse is actually Judith Jones. For nearly half a century, Jones, an editor of literary fiction and a senior vice-president at Knopf, has served as midwife to some of the most culturally significant cookbooks of our time, introducing readers to newly discovered talents like Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey and Claudia Roden, to name but a few. In this quiet, spare memoir, set against the shifting landscape of modern cookery in America, Jones reveals herself to be every bit as evangelical about good food and honest cooking as her authors, locating the points where her relationships with these writer-gastronomes and her own gustatory education converged. She ran an illegal restaurant in Paris, learned from Julia Child to de-tendon a goose (a set of maneuvers involving a broomstick), received a tutorial in fresh-bagged squirrel from Edna Lewis and counted James Beard among her mentors. At the end, the book is tinged with sadness over the decline of serious home cooking and the current fixation on dishing up fast and easy mediocrities. But Jones's belief in the primordial importance of cooking well is ultimately inspiring, and it fires these pages as it has fired her life.

7 comments:

eLeAnOr said...

I wait your post for reading this book!

SUTHEIRA said...

I know this woman, and I read another biopic of her!

THE BELT RING said...

she was a great cooker!

LyNa said...

I don't read this book, but I like the women who lead their life without men for talking what she must do!

FRIENDS & GORILLAZ said...

she's a great woman, I study her life!

WOLDEN said...

I know Judith Jones, she was a great woman!

Parangon said...

don't know this woman, but her life is full of nice things!