With a new book and podcast under way, it’s time to take Toqueland out for another spin …
Where in the world do I begin? Poor Charlie Palmer and that Citymeals on Wheels recipient have been hanging around the top of this site for 16 months and I’m sure many of you have left me for whatever the blog equivalent of “dead” is. But the truth is that I’ve just been struggling under the weight of work, indecision, and perfectionism (what turned out to be clinical indecision/perfectionism at some points, but that’s a story for another time) and unsure what to do here. But that’s largely over now–knock wood–and I’m going to try my level best to stay in regular touch throughout 2018, at least that’s the plan.
Before I share the vision for this site and what you can expect here starting next week, please indulge a brief catch-up on some projects you might be interested in:
At long last, Chefs, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits, and Wanderers Created a New American Profession, my book about the rise of the American chef in the 1970s and 1980s, will debut on February 27. As many of you know, it’s been a five-year labor of love (and of pain for my publisher and family; no book should take that long). I conducted more than two hundred interviews and read I-don’t-know-how-many books and articles to produce it, and I can’t wait for you all to see it. What distinguishes the book–I hope–is that its focus isn’t food, but chefs, and how that profession rose to its place of prominence in this country.
The cover photo is my absolute favorite chef image of all time, the opening crew of Michael’s Santa Monica–Michael McCarty, Ken Frank, Jonathan Waxman, and Mark Peel–taken in 1979. The book’s now available for preorder and I hope you’ll consider purchasing one and let me know what you think of it by email, Facebook, or social media (links to all of that at the top of this page). Also, I’ll be on the road promoting the book in Philly, Los Angeles (3 times!), San Francisco, and Napa, with more cities on the way, in February, March, and April. Those events/talks/signings will all be gathered on a new Appearances page my site manager is creating for me as I write this, and I hope to meet some of you on the road and to share my adventures in book promotion here with dispatches from around the country. (For the moment, New York readers might like to know that I’ll be in conversation with Esquire‘s food and drinks editor Jeff Gordinier at the 92nd Street Y on Thursday, March 15, followed by a book signing; tickets are already available.)…