From Brazilian chef Alessandra Montagne to the new natural dive of Mirazur’s great chef Mauro Colagreco, chef’s books have become beautiful objects that can easily be slipped under the tree. But we can also approach the food issue from a political and societal angle and demonstrate how eating is a daily act imbued with many more symbols and consequences than we think. Here are three ideas that will please foodies, but not only them.
A little treatise on food
She has become one of the essential voices on podcasts addressing food issues in Europe. But Emilie Laystary is also a pen from which the daily Libération benefits. The talented young journalist has just put it to use in a richly researched document like the many issues she addresses in the Bouffons podcast. It’s about presenting the act of eating as a gesture that is not only nourishing but much more meaningful. It’s true that there are a whole bunch of ways to talk about it: eating, eating, eating, ingesting… But, in her “Little treatise on food”, Emilie Laystary talks about how food is also a cultural, social, political, ecological history. Better still, it’s a social issue. “Too often, we are content to talk about food from the contemplative angle of restaurant criticism and the beautiful plate, the tourist and backward-looking angle of the heritage of the terroirs or that of the media spectacle inherent in the mercato of toques “starified,” she explains. And he concludes in the preface: “food is a magnifying glass for understanding our ways of living together and experiencing the world.”
Emilie Laystary, editions marabout, published December 7, 2023, 22.90 euros
Eat the rich
The title of this new work obviously brings to mind this phrase from Jean-Jacques Rousseau “When the people have nothing left to eat, they will eat the rich” which inspired the Anglo-Saxon anti-capitalist expression “eat the rich” . Journalist Nora Bouazzouni brings this slogan up to date in an essay demonstrating how the pleasure of the table – or rather gluttony, is a class privilege. She denounces more specifically food injustices and puts her foot in the dish by talking about the way in which we make modest families who do not have the means to buy food good for their health feel guilty, dismantling the received idea that good eating is not expensive… Among the many subjects she tackles to show how the differences between social classes also emerge at mealtimes, the ex-Slate journalist talks about the gentrification of popular dishes that we serve without fries and/or at outrageous prices: a burger for 10 euros for example. This also involves the introduction of luxurious ingredients, such as truffle in a kebab. While households with modest incomes indicated last spring that they were skipping meals to make ends meet, his demonstration takes on its full meaning in an inflationary context which caused food prices to explode by nearly 16% in March. last over a year.
Nora Bouazzouni, Nouriturfu editions, published October 6, 2023, 15 euros
The hunger for history
Code name: Sauce Gribiche. All connected foodies have on their tablet the Instagram account of this alumnus of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, who has become essential with his humorous posts featuring everyday details of our food. Faithful to the offbeat reading he offers of cuisine, Aïtor Alfonso delivers a dive into world history solely through the prism of the plate. From the Cro-Magnon man to the Woodstock festival-goers via the Egyptians or the Apostles, Sauce Gribiche looks back on major stages of our History by talking only about food, each time depicted by a comic strip signed Jul (the press cartoonist, not the rapper). Of course, each chapter maintains the funny tone which characterizes the writing of this preparatory class teacher, who became a culinary critic whose words are scrutinized by numerous hats…
Aïtor Alfonso, Jul, Dargaud editions, published November 24, 2023, 22 euros