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Shopworn: The Lives and Labor Behind One Plate of Food (Andrew Friedman)

Shopworn: The Lives and Labor Behind One Plate of Food (Andrew Friedman)


Shopworn Copies are final sale and may display slight cosmetic damages such as dinged corners, torn dust jackets and dented spines.   

Acclaimed food writer Andrew Friedman follows one restaurant dish back to its origins, tracing every hand that’s ever touched a meal to create a 360 degree look at our food supply through the lens of one dish. 

On a typical night, in a contemporary American restaurant in an emerging food city, a guest orders their dinner from a server. It’s an exchange that happens hundreds of times a night in any restaurant—the core transaction that keeps the place churning. Yet this time, from the moment the guest orders the dish, acclaimed food writer Andrew Friedman follows its production via real-time reportage in the kitchen.

As various components are readied, finished, fired (cooked for service), and plated, Friedman introduces readers to the players responsible for producing it, from line cooks and sous chefs to the chef who conceived the dish. Readers will also meet the producers, farmers, foragers, and ranchers, who supply the restaurant, as Friedman visits each stop in the supply chain and interviews the key characters whose labor plays an essential role in the creation of this one singular dish.

The product is a rollicking ride inside every aspect of a restaurant dish, from the cooks who prepare it; to the farmers, foragers, fishermen, and ranchers who grow, harvest, and raise the ingredients; to the truck drivers who deliver the food to the restaurant and the dishwashers who clean the plates. Both a fascinating lens into the restaurant supply chain and the farm-to-table movement and a celebration of the unsung heroes of restaurants and the collaborative nature of restaurant work, The Dish will ensure readers will never look at a restaurant, cook, or farm the same way again.