by Rudolph Chelminski
The core of this book is not the food (which Chelminski describes without any particular passion) or the Perfectionist's character (although Chelminski was a friend and feels badly about how things turned out). This is a book about the irreconcilable tension between the interests of the late 20th century critic and those of the audience.
Food critics -- notably the small cadre of Michelin inspectors -- eat elaborate and expensive food twice a day, every day. Truffles and foie gras are everyday fare, and something new -- tiny portions! strange ingredients! a light meal! -- is almost a day off. The natural audience for fine restaurants, places where a quiet dinner might cost a thousand dollars, has different interests and desires. By the end of the century, the gap between the writers and the eaters seemed unbridgeable and a gun seemed a good answer.