The Reporter's Kitchen: Essays

The Reporter's Kitchen: Essays

Jane Kramer started cooking when she started writing. Her first dish, a tinned-tuna curry, was assembled on a tiny stove in her graduate student apartment while she pondered her first writing assignment. From there, whether her travels took her to a tent settlement in the Sahara for an afternoon interview with an old Berber woman toiling over goat stew, or to the great Lon...

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Title:The Reporter's Kitchen: Essays
Author:Jane Kramer
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The Reporter's Kitchen: Essays Reviews

  • Monica

    Jane Kramer’s articles in the New Yorker have, over the years, provided a wide ranging and nuanced picture of European society and politics, with some unforgettable portraits in the process. And then there is her article in July of last year which is the best account ever of why I am so smitten with Bernie Gunther.

    So as soon as this book hit the stands, I ran to my nearest book store, brought it home, and devoured it.

    She is unique in the way she connects

    Jane Kramer’s articles in the New Yorker have, over the years, provided a wide ranging and nuanced picture of European society and politics, with some unforgettable portraits in the process. And then there is her article in July of last year which is the best account ever of why I am so smitten with Bernie Gunther.

    So as soon as this book hit the stands, I ran to my nearest book store, brought it home, and devoured it.

    She is unique in the way she connects cooking and writing – each one enhancing and reinforcing the other. It is filled with happy memories, good friends and good food and really good writing – an irresistible combination. It is a book I will read again, more than once.

  • Maggie

    I'd like to hang out in Jane's kitchen; this book is next best.

  • Emma Hoggard

    You know those books that, while browsing the shelves of a library or book store, you see and know immediately, before even opening the front cover, that you will love. There’s just something about the cover or the title that speaks to you. Possibly it’s because you recognize something of another book you’ve already read and learned to love hiding within its pages.

    This was one of those books. I was in my school’s library, browsing the new arrivals, a few other books already in hand, when I saw t

    You know those books that, while browsing the shelves of a library or book store, you see and know immediately, before even opening the front cover, that you will love. There’s just something about the cover or the title that speaks to you. Possibly it’s because you recognize something of another book you’ve already read and learned to love hiding within its pages.

    This was one of those books. I was in my school’s library, browsing the new arrivals, a few other books already in hand, when I saw this book. I took one look, grabbed it, and walked to the counter to check out. I didn’t regret that choice.

    This was a wonderful book! 🥘🥗🍗🥩🥟🥧🥐🥒

  • Leigh Kramer

    I'm not sure I'd read any of Jane Kramer's articles before reading this book but I love food memoirs and I figured someone who writes for the New Yorker was worth gambling on. It was an uneven reading experience. I greatly enjoyed her chef profiles, particularly the one on Yotam Ottolenghi, and I loved her essay contrasting the lack of storage in her NYC kitchen and the roomy spaciousness of her kitchen in Italy. I haven't spent much time considering kitchen storage but the essay really resonate

    I'm not sure I'd read any of Jane Kramer's articles before reading this book but I love food memoirs and I figured someone who writes for the New Yorker was worth gambling on. It was an uneven reading experience. I greatly enjoyed her chef profiles, particularly the one on Yotam Ottolenghi, and I loved her essay contrasting the lack of storage in her NYC kitchen and the roomy spaciousness of her kitchen in Italy. I haven't spent much time considering kitchen storage but the essay really resonated with me and made me think about the kitchen gadgets I rarely use but feel the need to hold on to. I wish all the essays had been so thoughtful but they often seemed crammed with esoteric recollections and copious name dropping and I wasn't always sure about Kramer's larger point or theme. I'm sure people who are familiar with Kramer's work will find much to admire, however.

    Disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Krissy

    I read a lot of culinary-related books. I didn't love this book, but I didn't hate it either. It reminded me somewhat of Ruth Reichl's books, of which I am a big fan.

    This book is a collection of Jane Kramer's previously-published articles from The New Yorker. Many were about her life in her home New York state, and her home in Umbria, Italy. She references a lot of the same people in her articles, particularly Yotam Ottolenghi, and to a lesser extent, Naomi Duguid.

    The article I enjoyed the most

    I read a lot of culinary-related books. I didn't love this book, but I didn't hate it either. It reminded me somewhat of Ruth Reichl's books, of which I am a big fan.

    This book is a collection of Jane Kramer's previously-published articles from The New Yorker. Many were about her life in her home New York state, and her home in Umbria, Italy. She references a lot of the same people in her articles, particularly Yotam Ottolenghi, and to a lesser extent, Naomi Duguid.

    The article I enjoyed the most, interestingly enough, was the one about foraging for wild food, "The Food at Our Feet." I would never trust myself to forage for my own food, so this was strangely fascinating to me.

    Jane Kramer has a light, easy-to-read style of writing which makes it a breeze to read multiple articles in one sitting. I'm not sure if I'd read more of her writing, however, in book form, as my to-read list is so long. Still, I did enjoy this book, which I received as an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley.

  • Martha

    I'd rate this collection of essays as 3.5 but there were plenty of essays (especially those that profiled a handful of world-renowned chefs) that I would have rated 4 individually. I think the profiles worked best because Kramer's writing could revolve around the chefs. When the subject was broader, whether about one's love of cookbooks or celebrations, the writing felt unfocused. There were plenty of interesting bits, but since things jumped around so frequently none of the themes got fleshed o

    I'd rate this collection of essays as 3.5 but there were plenty of essays (especially those that profiled a handful of world-renowned chefs) that I would have rated 4 individually. I think the profiles worked best because Kramer's writing could revolve around the chefs. When the subject was broader, whether about one's love of cookbooks or celebrations, the writing felt unfocused. There were plenty of interesting bits, but since things jumped around so frequently none of the themes got fleshed out as much as I would have liked. Also, be warned that hers is not the voice of a humble 'everyman'. If you can make it through the first essay without being overly annoyed, I think you will enjoy this book.

  • Sue

    Essays from Jane Kramer's life as a writer and reporter, focused on food. They were interesting, but a lot of the food was way over my head, and it was definitely for an audience better educated in the high end of food, restaurants, and restaurant culture.

  • Janet

    I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    I decidedly did like the description of the book but I found her essays to be all over the face and confusing at times....sorry, not my cup of tea.

  • Susan

    I was annoyed by the second page. The author makes a joke about her daughter calling her "the Fürher" in the kitchen. Aren't we sophisticated showing that we can use umlauts? Well, the word is Führer, not Fürher! A simple Google search on Hitler would have pulled up about a million examples of the correct spelling. So I took a deep breath and went past it. And then started to feel hyper and manic as I was reading. I was baffled but then realized the author is zipping by and hopping past one subj

    I was annoyed by the second page. The author makes a joke about her daughter calling her "the Fürher" in the kitchen. Aren't we sophisticated showing that we can use umlauts? Well, the word is Führer, not Fürher! A simple Google search on Hitler would have pulled up about a million examples of the correct spelling. So I took a deep breath and went past it. And then started to feel hyper and manic as I was reading. I was baffled but then realized the author is zipping by and hopping past one subject to another, not only name-dropping but city-dropping all in the same breathless sentence, the majority of which are between 50 and 80 words. I know because I counted one out of curiosity and it came in at 78 words. A sentence, not a paragraph. Example: She's talking about the size of her kitchen and the spices in it in NY and then the next sentence is this. "The dinner I was cooking a few pages ago - the clam-and-pork stew with plenty of garlic and piri piri peppers that I first ate in a Portuguese fishermen's tavern near Salem, the day I tacked wrong and sailed my boyfriend's sixteen-footer into a very big ketch and broke his mast and, with it, whatever interest he had in me - is not the dinner I am cooking today, at a farmhouse in Umbria." See what I mean? Spices in NY, ketches in Salem, farmhouse in Umbria. Now I'm FROM Salem and cannot think of one Portuguese fishermen's tavern nearby. Maybe Gloucester, definitely not Marblehead and most definitely not Manchester-by-the-Sea. She might even mean Salem, VA or Salem, OR but I can't be bothered Googling to see if they even have water if she can't Google how to spell führer. See what I just did there? That is this book.

    I've basically just given everyone the Cliff Notes of how this book reads and feels to save you all the trouble. And gotten myself all riled up again just thinking about it so I'm going to take a Valium and calm down and look for something soothing to read.

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