Book cover of The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard by John Birdsallby John Birdsall

The definitive biography of America’s best-known and least-understood food personality, and the modern culinary landscape he shaped.

In the first portrait of James Beard in twenty-five years, John Birdsall accomplishes what no prior telling of Beard’s life and work has done: He looks beyond the public image of the “Dean of American Cookery” to give voice to the gourmet’s complex, queer life and, in the process, illuminates the history of American food in the twentieth century. At a time when stuffy French restaurants and soulless Continental cuisine prevailed, Beard invented something strange and new: the notion of an American cuisine.

Interview with the Author

Podcast Art for Commonwealth Club of CaliforniaCommonwealth Club of California
The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard
2/25/21          67 min

Podcast art for Andrew Talks to ChefsAndrew Talks to Chefs
Episode 131: John Birdsall (author, The Man Who Ate Too Much)
10/16/20           67 min

Podcast art for Tip of the TongueTip of the Tongue
58: The Man Who Ate Too Much
1/4/21         29 min

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