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The Reporter's Kitchen: Essays

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 21st 2017 by St. Martin's Press
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3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  93 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Leigh Kramer
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
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.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This is part travelogue, part culinary bliss, part food anthropology and part name dropping. The longer essays had me looking ahead to see if I really wanted to spend more time on them. But much of it held my interest and was enjoyable.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
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.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd like to hang out in Jane's kitchen; this book is next best.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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 ...more
Feb 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, foodstuff
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
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
Emma Hoggard
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a pretty wonderful book written by an extraordinary writer, notably in the New Yorker. However, my major caveat is that the reader had better be prepared for LOTS of detail about some important figures and cuisines of the culinary world, but otherwise obscure to us mere mortals who dine out and even prepare food, but without the quite obsessive zeal of Kramer.
Alicia Roberts
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading about Jane Kramer's passion in the kitchen was a delight. Her essays - a collection of the occasional "breaks" she got from covering European politics for The New Yorker - teach and entertain ... and make you want to shop for an amazing meal at home.
Vari Robinson
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
While some of the info was really interesting in terms of the history of food, different cultural connotations with food, etc., there were also times where I felt the author made inappropriate sexist comments or rude comments regarding certain individuals.
Honor Kennedy
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is about the essence of the spirit and experiences that influence one to become a chef. If you enjoy the Mind of a Chef or Anthony Bourdain's gastromic adventures, you will enjoy this series of essays.
Rogue Reader
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: food-writing
The author's New Yorker columns beginning in 1964. Somewhat self-indulgent, but with the breadth of travel and experience, it's hard to begrudge the tone.
Olga Vannucci
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
So many books
By and for cooks.
Elizabeth Tupper
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like Chef’s Table in book form.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Snooze fest
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars
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Apr 15, 2018
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Jan 18, 2018
Ja Fo
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Jan 05, 2018
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May 21, 2018
Erin Blaisdell
rated it it was amazing
Aug 11, 2018
rated it really liked it
May 05, 2018
Talie Watzman
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Jul 09, 2018
Jon Hopkins
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Jan 14, 2018
rated it it was ok
Jan 06, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2017
rated it really liked it
Dec 20, 2017
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Jane Kramer has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1964 and has written the Letter from Europe since 1981.

Before joining the magazine, Kramer was a staff writer for the Village Voice; her first book, “Off Washington Square,” is a collection of her articles from that paper. She has published two collections of essays from The New Yorker, “Allen Ginsberg in America,” (1969) and “Honor to