From Publishers Weekly
This cornucopia of previously published pieces by James Beard Award–winning food writer Thorne, from his newsletter, Simple Cooking, along with a few from other publications, showcases his relaxed, unfussy attitude, refreshing in this age of cookbook and food-personality overabundance. That casualness comes through on subjects from bagna cauda to pepper pot. It's all foodstuff to him, and his affection for foods of all kinds is boundless. Some of the most intriguing suggestions, reprinted from a regular feature of the newsletter, reflect an awareness that the avocado-green electric range is as legitimate as the Viking. Thorne likes to delve into the source and cultural history of individual dishes, and many spur-of-the-moment concoctions, whose recipes are given, were prepared out of a sense of what-the-heck invention and appetite. He fervently promotes his belief that in every foodie lurks a cook capable of doing wonders with prepared foods, that the opposite also holds, and that the ultimate authority on food is the person eating. (Dec.)
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Those new to [Thorne's work] will experience the joy of prose that welcomes you to the hearth and invites you to stay . . . Each nuance and thought provides a doorway into the contemplation of a life well-savored. (Kyla Wazana, San Francisco Chronicle on Pot on the Fire
The Thornes will bring out the culinary adventurer in you, whether or not you ever leave home . . . Everthing John Thorne writes, in prose rubbed shiny like river stones, is . . . rich in substance and texture. (Sylvia Carter, Newsday on Pot on the Fire
With every collection, [Thorne's] accounts . . . make richer reading. (Corby Kummer, The New York Times Book Review on Pot on the Fire