A DARING NEW FOOD WRITING FOR A NEW GENERATION: Alexander writes with a superlative unrealized dash and daring about food, channeling the very same creative energy his subjects display.
INDUSTRY LEDGENDS AND STARS IN-THE-MAKING SIDE-BY-SIDE: Some of the most famous names in food—Bourdain, Colicchio, Fieri—alongside less well known but equally influential figures, such as Anjan and Emily Mitra, Andre Prince, and Tunde Wey, sure please both industry insiders and casual diners alike.
AN AUTHOR ON THE RISE: Alexander has made his name over the past few years, putting out some of the boldest and most fun stories around, and was acknowledged in 2017 with a James Beard Award for his profile of Pete Wells.
CLASSIC STORY OF AMERICAN INNOVATION: The last ten years in food have been akin to the Jazz Age at the start of the 20th century in music or to New Journalism in the 60s and 70s in writing, reminding us that America’s capacity for extraordinary ingenuity and downright revolution remains undimmed, and still sets it apart.
“An anecdotal, episodic, wide-ranging accounting of the strange, slow deceleration of the restaurant mania of the aughts, and the human costs of the decline.” —Helen Rosner
“Sharply insightful…From new urbanism and gentrification to identity politics, venture capital, and the difficulty of ‘eating local’ when the local is subject to abrupt climate change, Alexander gets at how the buzzy restaurant scene of the past twenty years has depended on trends much bigger than its own.” —The Times Literary Supplement
“Mr. Alexander is an admirably thorough researcher. He conducted hundreds of hours of interviews for the book, meeting with some of his subjects dozens of times and revisiting most at least once to chart the arc of their careers. This groundwork allows him to bring us deeply into their worlds, probing their motivations, backgrounds, flaws and virtues, writing with authority not just about public perceptions but also about private moments…[T]he book provides an entertaining and informative picture of the American restaurant scene over the past dozen years. Just dipping in and out of it pretty much guarantees learning something new.” —Wall Street Journal
“Kevin Alexander makes a fascinating case that we’ve witnessed the most exciting and creative time for food in recent history, but now, the golden age has passed. It’s a bold idea, and one that’ll get you thinking hard about what’s next.” —Plate
“[A] well-researched, witty food industry history…Alexander’s sharp wit keeps the narrative moving…This astute reflection on an era of American food culture will give foodies a new perspective on the restaurants they love and the dining experiences they’ve grown to expect.” —Publishers Weekly
“Kevin Alexander is such a fluent and engaging writer that I was several chapters in before I realized how gimlet-eyed his view of the American culinary world is (and by “gimlet” here I mean the thing that pokes holes in other things, not the one that’s a mix of gin and Rose’s lime juice). We need this book.” – David Wondrich, author of Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar
“This is a big American story, essential and gripping. Kevin Alexander shows how our culture fought and lost a battle against a creeping suburbia. Burn the Ice is modern anthropology about the physical and spiritual implications of what and how we eat. I loved it.” – Wright Thompson, author of The Cost of These Dreams: Sports Stories and Other Serious Business
“In his direct and spirited way, Kevin Alexander builds a swirling, deeply reported narrative about the American culinary scene. He digs into so many stories, shaping a detailed picture of how and what we’ve been fed in restaurants for the past 12 years. For anyone who follows chef and restaurant culture—and anyone who likes to eat out—Burn the Ice is a juicy, satisfying read.” – Erin Byers Murray, author Grits: A Cultural and Culinary Journey Through the South and Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm
“Crucial reading for food lovers, social anthropologists, and cultural historians, alike. Kevin Alexander takes the great rabble of kitchen slave misfits, backwoods foragers, and tattooed food truck savants who turned the old gourmet dining culture on its head during the early years of the new millennium, and brings them vividly to life.” – Adam Platt, New York Magazine’s restaurant critic
“If you’ve noticed that food has become especially central to the American consciousness today, you’re not alone. Kevin Alexander takes a fresh and original look at the whirlwind of circumstances—cultural, legislative, and economic—that have laid the groundwork for food’s precarious ascendance. Burn the Ice is captivating, concerning, and—most of all—inspiring.” —Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group; Founder, Shake Shack; and author, Setting the Table
“All revolutions end—and let’s face it, they’re kind of exhausting. Progress in the restaurant craft has now relaxed into evolution, which of course every industry needs to prosper. With instructive, hilarious, and sometimes harrowing stories from the greatest minds in America’s culinary trenches, Burn The Ice offers an authoritative preview of what’s next.” —Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s “Chopped”
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