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Forking Seattle: Tales of Local Food & Drink · From Farm to Table to Landfill Paperback – September 7, 2016
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--Wine & Beer of Washington State
Seattle's resident food curmudgeon and longtime wine-book author (he penned a few in the 1980s) is using his latest book, "Forking Seattle," to tell tales, and they are delicious. While mostly a food book, Holden dedicates a few chapters to drink, including one on the movers and shakers in the wine industry. If you love food or wine (or beer or spirits or coffee), you'll love "Forking Seattle."
Its scope is daunting, its history of the Emerald City's food scene dating back to 1948 -- the year that Washington voters legalized liquor by the drink.
The reader learns of the pioneers of fine dining, Victor's 610 and Rossellini's Four-Ten, and Canlis' which is still very much with us.The elegant spot perched over Lake Union is where John and Teresa Heinz Kerry went to celebrate their anniversary, and New York Gov.Nelson Rockefeller ordered a steak delivered to his private jet at Boeing Field.
The book takes us through the early Starbuck's, and damns its CEO Howard Schultz for his klutzy role in departure of the Sonics. Itr emembers Seattle lawyer Alec Bayless as the guy who put together the investors behind Sagemore Vineyards.
Why should you fork out $18.95 for Forking Seattle, or the $7.95 edition that is available for download?
History.Tasty, well seasoned history. In the period covered by Holden,Seattle has grown from a provincial town to an international city.The food scene has been a lead force, and for a simple reason.The beauty of the Northwest, and its natural abundance, have drawn talent from around the world.
The Holden book introduces us to fascinating characters who have found their way here, and contributed to putting Seattle at or near the top of all those "Top 10" lists of cities in which to be young,to be single, to be well fed, or to work.
He detours to tout the book "Cowed" in which Denis and Gail Hayes investigate the vast resources required to feed 100 million cows in America, on which we feed, the water they consume,their vast consumption of antibiotics, and the poop they leave.
Holden digs in to restaurant writing as well as restaurant history.He pays tribute to David Brewster, creator of Town Hall and The Seattle Weekly, for introducing the Emerald City and its environs tofine eating and lodging. An original newsletter, A Gourmet's Notebook, begat Seattle Best Places, which was the inspiration for Northwest Best Places.
The author is a onetime news editor at KING-TV, executive editor at Seattle Weekly, and author of Northwest Wine Country.
Ron Holden is also a parental unit to one Dominic Holden, news editor at The Stranger in the glory days of its writing talent, and decamped to become LGBT writer for Buzzfeed in New York City. He has gone gay native on the East Coast, has taken to calling Seattle a "fishing village" vows never to live here again.
At the same time, Ron Holden's book weaves stories and histories and anecdotes as to why we are NOT a fishing village, but a destination not only for tech workers who put down roots, but also food tourists who bring appetites.
GASTROLUST · Jay Friedman
Ronald Holden is out with his newest book: Forking Seattle. Subtitled "Tales of Local Food and Drink, from Farm to Table to Landfill, this book follows up his Home Grown Seattle: 101 True Tales of Local Food & Drink. Both are good reads for anyone who wants to know more about the key players in Seattle's past and present food worlds.
Tales are what Holden likes to tell, both in his books and as a freelancer for various outlets in the area, including Eater Seattle and Crosscut. He's one of those "they don't make them like they used to" reporters, old-school in actually pulling out a pen and writing pad and interviewing his subjects.
"Forking Seattle" is a no-holds-barred look at Seattle's culinary scene. Holden describes what (or more specifically who) makes us a great food city, from gurus like Jon Rowley to market makers like Victor Steinbrueck to artisans like Maria Coassin to chefs and restaurateurs like Tom Douglas. At the same time, he takes a pitchfork to some interesting targets, like a restaurant review site, a coupon system, and a big-time coffee company. He's also got thoughts about other food writers in town. (Disclosure: Holden even profiles me in his book; you'll have to check out whether his words are sweet or sour.)
About the Author
Ronald Holden has lived and worked in Seattle for 40 years as a reporter and editor for print, broadcast and online media. A graduate of Yale, he created Seattle Weekly's first food pages and wrote an early series of guidebooks to the wine country of Oregon and Washington. For 15 years he also operated a luxury wine-touring company, and in 2011 he won the coveted Collio Prize for his international wine writing. Holden contributes regularly to several regional publications, including Seattle Business, City Living, Seattle Dining, and Crosscut. His personal blog, Cornichon.org, was named one of the top ten food blogs on the Internet by about.com.