You Aren’t What You Eat

Why is everyone so obsessed with food? How did chefs come to be the gurus of the age? And what’s with serving chips in a beaker and slivers of vegetable on hot stones? This polemic against “foodies” and their oral fixation pits Jamie Oliver against Jacques Derrida, and sees the author eating a nitro-frozen bolus of olive oil, marvelling at food fashion, and descending into the ninth circle of foodist hell at MasterChef Live. It is available now in the UK & Eire, Australia, and North America.

You can read extracts from the book in the Guardian; at Hazlitt magazine; and in the Herald. You can watch interviews about it with me on the Sun News Network and on CTV News Channel; and listen to a radio conversation with the excellent Richard Fidler. The reviews say:

‘His eye for the absurd and the hypocritical is sharper than a flashing Sabatier… writing about cooking doesn’t get tougher, or funnier, than this’ — Guardian

‘Scathingly funny and well-researched… belly laughs aplenty’ — Time Out

‘A bloody, brutal and necessary sacred cow hunt… Steven Poole shows about as much mercy as an abattoir shootist. Unlike such an operative, however, he is brilliantly and consistently and winningly funny: his is a great comic performance’ — Jonathan Meades, Observer

‘Poole is very entertaining as he mocks all manifestations of foodism … He’s never wrong … It is the decadence of this culture that makes him so wittily cross’ — Evening Standard

‘Rips into all aspects of foodie culture gleefully, eruditely and as far as i can see, irrefutably. If there’s any justice, it should put an immediate end to all those incomprehensible menus, absurd claims about the “art” of cooking, and to chips inexplicably served in beakers’ — Books of the Year, Spectator

‘Cuttingly analytical and hugely entertaining, Steven Poole’s latest polemic is insightful, incisive and incredibly elaborate … enthralling and thought-provoking’ — We Love This Book

‘Witty, erudite and ultimately thrilling relish … the book ends up as a kind of abattoir for sacred cows’ — Reader’s Digest

‘Steven Poole puts the eating disorders of gastroculture through the food processor of his wit and chops it into meaty little bits’ — Saga

‘An amusing and intelligently written book on a subject well overdue for lampooning’ — the Australian

‘A rantingly entertaining polemic’ — The Age

‘Very entertaining and humorous’ — Melbourne Review

‘The sort of book that will make you choke on your gratin dauphinois’ — Launceston Examiner

‘It isn’t often that I come across a book where I strenuously disagree with every single conclusion it makes. But You Aren’t What You Eat is one.’ — Wall Street Journal Europe