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Eating My Words

3.21  ·  Rating Details ·  258 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
As one of the country's foremost restaurant reviewers, Mimi Sheraton set the standard for food writing and criticism. In this engrossing memoir, the doyenne of food criticism explains how she developed her passion for writing about food and wine, sharing the secrets of her career, including her years at the New York Times. Witty and honest, she talks openly about the impor ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 4th 2004 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published May 1st 2004)
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May 03, 2013 Niya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sheraton's memoir is a pleasant enough read, but it feels like a defense to justify a career of travelling and eating - because those things are so enjoyable that they cannot truly be considered work. I'm not sure if this is informed by a puritanical approach to life (which seems unlikely) or if it's a broader phenomenon that afflicts restaurant reviewers who ate and traveled between 1980-2000. It may ultimately have to do with the fact that Sheraton is a writer who hates to write and claims onl ...more
Celeste Thayer
Feb 24, 2010 Celeste Thayer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love memoirs anyhow, but I really love Mimi's. She's got a great vocabulary and has lived an interesting life. She doesn't follow the "I was born, I did this, and now I'm doing this," timeline, which is interesting and perhaps more inviting. She seems to organize her stories somewhat topically, and of course it's always about her travels and love of food and cooking.

By the way, she's been all over, and eaten everything along the way! I loved her descriptions of food in Sweden and Thailand, an
Chantal Soeters
Aug 31, 2013 Chantal Soeters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Accidentally picked up this book as I found it on a table in a local cafe. As a foodie the title appealed to me and I was quite happy to discover it's a memoir of one of the first female food critics in NY sharing her insider stories of the restaurant business, her love for food, her travels, her criteria for 'rating' food and what's it like to be respected but also despised for her role as a food critic.
Anita Smith
Got about 3/4 of the way and put it aside. It just got kind of boring. I'm not a gourmet eater by any means so I eventually lost interest in the descriptions and preparation styles of foods I've never heard of and probably will never try, like, I don't know, braised calf tongues prepared with ten spices I've never heard of. It's not her fault I'm uncultured, though, and she's a good writer (very amusing and fun), and so take my opinion with a grain of salt, no pun intended.
Oct 23, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Aside from biographical tales of a famous food writer, it includes a glimpse into life in 1940's and 50's Manhattan, as well as a surprising chapter on institutional-scale food. My favorite part is her categorization of dining companions: everything from the apologizers ("Oh I didn't have breakfast or lunch today, so I can eat this piece of bread.") to the gluttons ("Would it be all right if I ordered a second entree? The steak didn't fill me up."). Hilarious!
Dec 30, 2007 Rosa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sheraton isn't the most compelling or talented writer, but she manages to hold your attention in this memoir of her interesting life. There's less about her stint as the restaurant critic of the New York Times than expected, but there's more to Sheraton than that one job. Sheraton's memoir of her unique professional life makes for a good read.
Apr 22, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved it, and I'm not even a foodie. It's fascinating to hear about how she tried to stay anonymous when she was the NY Times restaurant reviewer... and her insider's perspective on the restaurant business. At the times, she replaced John Canaday, an art critic who wrote some of the best mysteries of the postwar period under the name Matthew Head.
Jan 30, 2013 xq rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed reading this, not just for the food critic parts, but bc Ms Sheraton also touches on the innerworkings of the journalism industry and state of the food critic in NY at that time, as well as highlights some neat projects she worked on (think about food in schools, prisons and on airplanes...).
Feb 26, 2008 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-cooking, memoir
I found this on a remains table for less than $4 for the hardback and didn't have very high expectations, but the writing is done well and the subject matter is entertaining. If you're a foodie you'll appreciate it, most likely.
Nov 25, 2007 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are interested in food culture.
I can't say that this book was exceptionally well-written, but it was fairly entertaining, and an ok read. I wouldn't read it again, though. If you really want an excellent food critic memoir, read anything by Ruth Reichl. Amazing!
Danielle McClellan
Mimi Sheraton's memoir is fun to read and really places you in the New York of an earlier time. I enjoyed the book, but would not place it in the top tier of food writer memoirs. Ruth Reichl is just much more fun.
I enjoy reading all things food and Mimi had some quite funny moments in this book. I also liked her pluck and candor. With that being said, I found some of the chapters to be a bit heavy handed and found myself skimming through them.
The author has certainly lived a vibrant and interesting life, but I felt like her voice didn't truly shine through in the story. It was like reading one very long Christmas letter from a friend who wants her life to sound impressive (and it does).
Jan 31, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love non-fiction books, cookbooks, and New York City. While this wasn't a cookbook, it was really interesting to read about the author's experiences as a food critic in NYC. It made me think that I don't know if I'd really like to BE a food critic - raw octopus? Yikes!
I hadn't heard of Mimi Sheraton (her NY Times restaurant reviews and food reviews ran in the early 80s) but I enjoyed reading of her approach to food and how she made it her life's work. I also found that I liked her - she's a bit of a ball buster and not apologetic about it!
Sep 17, 2008 Abbey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have the same complaint with the memoir, as I do with most - MORE information, please. Okay, so I did not say that about Bill Clinton's 600+ soliloquy, but you get my drift. But, for those of your interested in food from more than a casual perspective, I would say it is worth a read.
May 10, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like food writing
Recommended to Emily by: Mom
Shelves: memoir
Man, I would LOVE to have been Mimi Sheraton. What a great job: eating all over the world and writing about it. Terrific book: great food, great writing, wry wit, and a few juicy tidbits about The New York Times and some of the personalities who ran it over the years.
Feb 09, 2009 Janelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Mimi Sheraton, longtime NYT food critic, has lead a pretty extraordinary and passionate life. And she has a knack for sharing it in words.
Kyle McNichols
Feb 20, 2008 Kyle McNichols rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was awesome! It's a chronicle of Mimi Sheraton's time as food critic for the NY Times in the 70's and 80's.
Sep 09, 2008 Eriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Smart, witty, and oh so pretentious Mimi Sheraton writes about her stint as the restaurant reviewer for the New York Times along with her other copious adventures in foodland.
Feb 11, 2009 Ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable memoir, but written almost as an answer to critics of her work. The descriptions of food are enough to make you hungry, even when you've just finished eating!
Jan 30, 2008 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's about a world-famous food critic. What's not to love? Best part? She hates star ratings.
Great Memoir!
Jul 04, 2008 Janna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
If you enjoyed Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl (and her later books when she talks about her work as a NYT Food Critic) you will enjoy this one as well.
Dec 18, 2010 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I realize this book was autobiographical, but the author seemed like she was bragging much of the time. Some of the information in the book was interesting though.
Enjoyed the first half of the book, which reads like a straightforward memoir but would like to have heard more about her years as the NY Times restaurant reviewer during the late 1970s - early '80s.
Jun 19, 2007 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have an addiction to books by former food critics
Jan 18, 2009 Summer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book; Mimi is a snobby NY Times food critic and the ultimate foodie and shares her "insider" info about the restaurant industry.
Sep 13, 2008 Marissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was bored by the book early but the writing was good.
May 30, 2008 Cece rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
Heard the author speak and spent time talking to her-I thought the book somewhat off-putting and the author not very gracious.
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Mimi Sheraton was born in New York. In 1975 she became the food critic for the New York Times. She held that position for 8 years after which she became the food critic for Time magazine.

She now freelances for New York Times, Vanity Fair, Food and Wine, and other magazines.
More about Mimi Sheraton...

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