What better way to spend an autumn Sunday afternoon than engaging in bookchat in the sunny capital of Texas? Well, actually, I can think of a better way: watching this week’s N.Y. Giants-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game at the stadium with Dad. But hey, I’m honored to be a part of this weekend’s Texas Book Festival in Austin, and Mom will ably fill my seat at Giants Stadium, hollering at Luke Petitgout for making yet another false start.
I am participating on a panel at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 29, with Jay McInerney, who has an entertaining collection of his wine writings just out called A Hedonist in the Cellar, and Steven Rinella, who has written an amusing book called The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine, in which the author, an outdoorsman, criss-crosses the nation in pursuit of the obscure ingredients he needs to recreate a gouty feast from the menus of Escoffier. I have to say that it’ll be nice to be part of a panel that’s unabashedly about the pleasure of food and drink, and not some grim “food issues” mopefest.
We will be a-bookchatting in something called the Bon Appetit Y’All Cooking Tent. The day before our panel, the Y’All Tent will be the domain of Amy Sedaris, who will discuss her demented new hostessing book I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence with the funny, swarthy David Rakoff. It’s great that Amy has brought back the hostessing manifesto; my wife and I happen to be devoted to another one, of 1971 vintage: My Way of Life by Joan Crawford. If you haven’t read Crawford’s book, which is out of print, locate a copy and pay top dollar for it. It will change your life.