In this culinary manifesto, "Great British Bake Off" alum and former "Guardian" columnist Ruby Tandoh will help you fall back in love with food—from recipes to straight-talking, sympathetic advice on mental health and body image.
... a book about food that’s acutely not prescriptive nor reductive. There’s a starring role for Greggs Steak Bakes and Creme Eggs, but also pulses and tinned tomatoes. All edible life is here, even (eek) the question of why we don’t eat our dead pets. The author was, she mentions, a student of philosophy ... Tandoh takes the reader on an optimistic, witty, inclusive ride through our relationship with food, aiming potshots at some surprising targets – Nigel, Nigella, Tom Kerridge – and some unsurprising ones ... Tandoh is at her best when she is giddy with the joy of cooking, or reading the great Nora Ephron, or watching Big Night. The admission that she has never read Elizabeth David, but quotes Towie’s Gemma on the joy of a cuppa, is inclusiveness itself ... There are clear-eyed views about eating disorders and the danger of exclusion diets. It is good to be reminded of how the pursuit of purity and restraint can become unhealthy and a risk to one’s mental health ... Anyone familiar with Tandoh’s Twitter feed will expect – and get – a healthy serving of righteous indignation. Class gets a kicking, as do the appropriation of world cuisines and judging others by what’s in their shopping basket ... But if I have a criticism of this warm, reassuring book, it’s when the author protests too much. Sure, enjoy a McDonald’s now and then, and white bread, and a Galaxy, and cheap ice cream; Tandoh does. But is a curry made with tinned potatoes and carrots really easier, cheaper or 'better' than one made with raw ingredients? ... makes for a defiantly upbeat read, with a few easy, delicious recipes thrown in.
The appeal of the book lies in Tandoh’s openness, in her charming and sympathetic voice. She tells of her family’s relationship to food and the conflicting feelings she had as a child towards that of her Ghanaian inheritance (relatable for any child of an immigrant whose lunchbox was the source of ridicule in school), laments contemporary food writing’s diet-culture and the gentrification of food by the middle-class, and emphasises the importance of feeding your heart, mind and body ... She effortlessly brings together old-school food writing, pop culture, and personal anecdotes, as she moves through a sprawl of influences from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to The Qu’ran to Sex and the City. Tandoh’s writing is so rich and charismatic that when a section stops for a quick recipe interlude, it’s an almost irritating distraction to get back to Eat Up!’s meaty prose. If you’ve ever felt ashamed of your hunger, cultural inheritance, or weird eating habits then this is the food book for you. Just don’t read it on an empty stomach.
... a series of essays with a personal touch that takes readers on a meditative journey, challenging notions embedded in diet culture and defying the food police. She explores the fine balance between food as a source of physical and emotional pleasure, nourishment, joy, and more ... Combining thoughts, experiences, and recipes with insight on food, cooking, and nutrition, Tandoh meditates on the messy business of eating, diet, and people’s relationships with food, hunger, and disordered eating. Recipes are interspersed throughout the text, inspired by Tandoh’s personal experiences and designed to introduce readers to cooking without pretense ... colorful, thoughtful collection that reads like memoir-meets–food science, perfect for foodies and anyone looking to examine their relationship with food and celebrate the joy of eating.