A must-read for foodies

The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and The American Food Renaissance by Thomas McNamee is the biography of the man who invented food journalism at a time when North American cuisine consisted of over-cooked beef, dry poultry, and canned or overcooked vegetables.
If you consider yourself a foodie, love Top Chef, or even good Italian or Chinese food, you owe a debt to Craig Claiborne.
Claiborne was the first "food columnist," as opposed to restaurant critic for The New York Times . He introduced us all to crème fraiche, arugula, balsamic vinegar, Thai cuisine, salad spinners, and last but not least, the celebrity chef. Julia Child wrote in her autobiography about how essential Claiborne was to the success of her first book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
McNamee’s compelling biography recounts Claiborne’s troubled youth in the Mississippi Delta, where his mother served fine Creole and Southern cuisine. Later, Claiborne attended hotel school in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he absorbed the impeccable standards of European service.
Claiborne was a Southern gentleman, an eccentric, as well as a homosexual when it was socially unacceptable except in the most liberal social circles. Forced to mask his personal life, he lived haunted with doubts and self-destructive behaviour in spite of his many accomplishments and friends.
This book is must-read for foodies as well as anyone who relishes a great story filled with bold type names.