I remember the first time I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I was in London getting ready to do an internship in film and television. A friend of mine who was going to be a cook at Chez Panisse, had the book, and gave it to my boyfriend, and somehow it was in my bag when I left Boston.
Like a lot of people, I finished the book and was really stunned. I asked my advisor if I could switch my internship to a food-related one. And I ended up working at a magazine that was covering the emerging food movement in London. When I came back to Boston for my last semester at BU, I snuck my way into the masters-level food-writing class, and by that summer, I told myself I would take a job in any kitchen that would hire me.
Michael Pollan is in Cambridge at the First Parish Church tonight for a reading of his latest book, Cooked. I just finished it. I view it as the next chapter in a trilogy that includes In Defense of Food and The Omnivores’ Dilemma. It looks less at the industrialized food system, and turns the emphasis back on the importance of cooking at home. Which is something we’ve been working on a lot at Clover. You might think that’s odd for a restaurant. But we’ve been doing these knife skills classes, free for employees. It’s been really cool to see. If you take one of these classes, and learn to break down an onion in 30 seconds, you’re instantly going to become more likely to cook at home with fresh food. Which starts up a really cool cycle. You save money. You begin to taste more. You start appreciating the difference in flavor between processed food and the food you make for yourself.