Tom Jackson

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Tom Jackson's Chilled: How Refrigeration Changed the World and Might Do So Again (Bloomsbury, 2015) is a completely engrossing look into the history and technology of refrigeration.  This book reads like an expanded chapter of James Burke's classic book Connections.  Refrigeration is not only one of the most important foundation stones of our technological society, it's also one that we take for granted.   It's hard to say which is more interesting; the realization that people were aware of a cooling method almost two millennia before the birth of Christ, the history of refrigeration from the Middle Ages to the present, or the possibilities for refrigeration technology in the world of the future.  Chilled is a fascinating look into one of the most amazing and important technologies that man has ever developed.

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Hanna RaskinYelp Help: How to Write Great Restaurant Reviews

June 10, 2015

It's pretty likely you use Yelp, the restaurant review app and website. Wouldn't it be nice if all the reviews on there were concise, thorough and trustworthy? If it were up to me, I'd give everyone who leaves reviews there a copy of Yelp Help: How to Write Great Restaurant Reviews by Hanna Raskin. As […]

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Josh KunTo Live and Dine in L.A.: Menus and the Making of the Modern City

June 2, 2015

This book is a ton of fun. To Live and Dine in L.A.: Menus and the Making of the Modern City (Angel City Press) taps the deep and colorful collection of Southern California restaurant menus archived by the Los Angeles Public Library. Author Josh Kun, a professor in the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism […]

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Reid MitenbulerBourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey

May 18, 2015

Most of the year, when the weather lets us, my wife and I wind down on our front porch with a bourbon. We live out in the countryside and, for no particular reason, bourbon feels like the right choice as we watch the long grass waving on the hillside and the birds shuttling back and […]

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Tom HertweckFood on Film: Bringing Something New to the Table

April 26, 2015

Movies and television shows often include scenes of eating, either as a side activity of the actors or as an integral part of a scene. University of Nevada, Reno Professor Tom Hertweck compiled 14 essays in his collection, Food on Film: Bringing Something New to the Table (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014). He talks with me about […]

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Eugene N. AndersonFood and Environment in Early and Medieval China

March 15, 2015

Eugene N. Anderson’s new book offers an expansive history of food, environment, and their relationships in China. From prehistory through the Ming and beyond, Food and Environment in Early and Medieval China (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014) pays careful attention to a wide range of contexts of concern with nature and its resources. Readers of […]

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Margarita MartinezCabot Creamery Cookbook: Simple Wholesome Dishes from America’s Best Dairy Farms

March 11, 2015

An unusual case here: Margarita Martinez is not the author of Cabot Creamery Cookbook: Simple Wholesome Dishes from America’s Best Dairy Farms (Oxmoor House, 2015). But I’m using this interview to reveal an interesting part of the cookbook business. The Cabot book is a group project, the original idea germinated by a publishing house. The […]

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Ana Sofia Peláez and Ellen SilvermanThe Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History

February 19, 2015

If Cuba will soon be a travel destination for Americans, what do we think we know about this neighbor that is so close geographically (93 miles south of Florida) and yet politically so far? For Ana Sofia Peláez, author of The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History (St. Martin's Press, 2014), this is a […]

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Dorie GreenspanBaking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere

February 10, 2015

Excellence. Sometimes it’s an additional 20 percent past “pretty good.” But are you willing to put in that extra effort to polish your work, to make it gleam, to make it function irresistibly for your intended audience? Dorie Greenspan is – and it shows. So excellent and successful a cookbook author is Dorie that all […]

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Bryan VoltaggioHome: Recipes to Cook with Family and Friends

February 5, 2015

Why are club sandwiches so good? This is among the important questions we get around to discussing during this podcast. Chef Bryan Voltaggio, a Top Chef finalist and Maryland-area restaurateur, met me at the Malibu Diner in Manhattan, known for blinky fluorescent lighting and a menu that includes cheap burgers and moussaka, to discuss his new cookbook Home: Recipes […]

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