Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Usual Table - A Life in Restaurants

Growing up in Hollywood in the latter years of the studio days, Colman Andrews writes not so much about the meals themselves, but the restaurants he grew up eating in.  Restaurants which even to someone who was about as far away from the glitter of Hollywood as you can get, I recognize the names.  Not only the places themselves, but the regulars who frequented them, names we have seen on the big screen over and over.  Then comes his days in the music industry and the meals with big names there. From the famous Trader Vic's and Chasen's, to cafes in Rome and Paris and the rise of Wolfgang Puck's Spago, My Usual Table is a literary feast.

Andrews delves into his copious notes over the years and brings the history behind the restaurants.  He also brings his own history with that establishment, most of it very fond memories of people and times past, and meals shared there.  Having just discovered how nice it is to go somewhere and have the bartender know who you are, decades of similar treatment and even more intimate involvement in the restaurant, must have been exciting.

Colman Andrews has written three other books and four cookbooks, not to mention the food magazines and columns he has written over the years.  Currently he is the editorial director of The Daily Meal .

Side note:  He has kept notebooks on details of his meals and the establishments for decades.  From notebooks to pages of notes, he recorded everything for years.  This is further evidence my journals and 'writer's notebooks' are worth keeping. 

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