Tuesday 8 January 2019

Wasted Calories & Ruined Nights : A Journey Deeper into Dining Hell by Jay Rayner @jayrayner1 @Guardian_Bkshop @FaberBooks

Jay Rayner isn't just a trifle irritated. He is eye-gougingly, bone-crunchingly, teeth-grindingly angry. And admit it, that's why you picked up this book, isn't it?
Because you aren't really interested in glorious prose poems celebrating the finest dining experiences known to humanity, are you? You want him to suffer abysmal cooking, preferably at eye-watering prices, so you can gorge on the details and luxuriate in vicarious displeasure.
You're in luck. Revel in Jay's misfortune as he is subjected to dreadful meat cookery with animals that died in vain, gravies full of casual violence and service that redefines the word 'incompetent'. He hopes you enjoy reading his reviews of these twenty miserable meals a damn sight more than he didn't enjoy experiencing them.

Wasted Calories & Ruined Nights by Jay Rayner was published in paperback by Guardian Faber books on 4 October 2018 and is a collection of some of his most scathing and hilarious restaurant reviews, all previously published in the Observer Magazine. His first collection; My Dining Hell, was published in 2015.

I am a huge fan of Jay Rayner. I am a Masterchef addict and my favourite episode is always the critics round. If Jay Rayner is not sitting at that table, I feel completely let down. He makes me belly laugh.

As a book reviewer/blogger, I've chosen not to post negative reviews of books on Random Things. There are a couple of reasons for that; mainly because I can't be arsed to spend time writing about something that I've not enjoyed. Also, I rarely finish a book that I'm not enjoying, so don't feel that I can justify a review, and very importantly; why on earth would I give time to something I didn't like? Doesn't make sense, does it?

However, I absolutely love reading Jay Rayner's reviews of restaurant meals that he's not enjoyed! Producing a meal and (usually) charging hundreds of pounds for it is so very different to me not finding a book to my taste. Book blurbs are usually honest, and tell you what you are going to get. It seems that lots of restaurant menus are not very honest, and what you are presented with is not what was promised. If I were going to pay over £100 for a meal, I'd want something that I could dine out on (see what I did there??) for a long time. I'd want melt-in-the-mouth steak and fat plump chips and a good wine.

If I wasn't actually jealous of Jay Rayner's job as a restaurant critic, I'd feel sorry for him. Some of the things that he's been presented with at some very high-class eating establishments sound horrendous, and he doesn't hold back with the criticism.

This collection of reviews is absolutely wicked, and I loved every one of them. I laughed out loud, lots of times. I read them out loud to the bloke, we laughed and grimaced and felt grateful that we don't run a restaurant.

Hilarious, and frightening, but so very clever. Pefect for foodies. I loved it.

Jay Rayner is an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster with a fine collection of floral shirts. He has written on everything from crime and politics, through cinema and theatre to the visual arts, but is best known as restaurant critic for the Observer. 

For a while he was a sex columnist for Cosmopolitan; he also once got himself completely waxed in the name of journalism. He only mentions this because it hurt. Jay is a former Young Journalist of the Year, Critic of the Year and Restaurant Critic of the Year, though not all in the same year. In the 2016 British Press Awards he was shortlisted for both Critic of the Year and Specialist Journalist of the Year. 

Somehow he has also found time to write four novels and four works of non-fiction. His latest book is The Ten (Food) Commandments He chair’s BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, and is a regular on British television, where he is familiar as a judge on Masterchef and, since 2009, as the resident food experts on The One Show. He performs live all over the country, both in his one man shows, and with the Jay Rayner Quartet, a jazz ensemble in which he plays piano. He likes pig.

Find out much more about Jay, including all his live dates at www.jayrayner.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @jayrayner1
Find him on Facebook

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