George Lang Had an Answer

George Lang book cover

An extremely pleasant and perfectly bright acquaintance surprised me by stating with his usual attractive confidence that food is a frivolity and cooking not part of our cultural life. His spouse, whose every meal gives the lie to such silliness, just smiled.So I asked them if they knew that George Lang, best known as reinventor of New York's Café des Artistes, had just died. His life, I said with my own brand of confidence, may be worth a look, because he personified and made public the need to feed as well as be fed. How can hospitality not … [Read more...]

No. 1 Ladies’ Detective — With Apostrophe, Praise

Rarely has this writer, even in the guise of critic, thought it wise to promote a product without immersing the recommendation in a cleansing bath of context. A pleasing exhibition? Look at the history, the economy that produced the work. A fine restaurant? Look at the economy, the history that ... .  Yes, I know. But the result need not be hortatory or didactic, and may be at least a bit more defensible than writing long-form blurbs. Except in this case. I want you to watch a new HBO series, period. It's … [Read more...]